A family is back on dry land and ready to sail to business success after swapping the lucrative life on board cruise ships for something a little closer to home.
Mark Straker and his wife Danielle decided it was time to drop anchor at home after years sailing the seven seas, making their living in entertainment.
But now, thanks to a little help from Blackpool Council’s Get Started team – part of the Start Up Lancashire service supported by the European Regional Development Fund – they have formed Amberlight Leisure and are set to bring their brand of exciting entertainment to a party near you.
The couple, who spent 10 years working on cruises, will use their entertainment background to offer a wide range of services – everything from inflatable hot tubs and bouncy castles to children’s parties, DJ services and discos.
Working across the Fylde Coast and beyond, they plan to build a great reputation with families and party planners alike.
Mark said: “We love seeing people enjoying themselves – that’s the inspiration for this business. We want to bring fun into everyone’s life and the simplest way to do that is great entertainment.”
Danielle added: “From work and family experience we know that planning a party can be stressful, particularly when it’s a children’s party.
“That’s why we have included pre-wrapped party game prizes, too.
“It’s only a small part of what we can do but it makes a big difference when you are organising an event for a lively group of eight-year-olds.
“We’ve even had a few adults request pass the parcel for their own party!”
The couple have benefited from one-to-one advice, coaching, courses and support from the Get Started team who have helped around 1,000 businesses – including some now worth more than £1m – get going in Blackpool over the last seven years.
Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, said: “The Get Started team is doing an excellent job and I would urge anyone interested in starting up a business to get in touch with them and make use of their expertise.”