Where were you 10 years ago?

Or how about when you were 10 years old?

Perhaps you were also the Minnie Mouse, short jeans wearing awkward teenager who loved performing for anyone and everyone. 

A decade. 

X.

What did you do for your 10th birthday? Did you choose a cake from the Women’s Weekly cake book?

What has your 10 years been like?

Double digits.

10 fingers and 10 toes. Decadactylous. 

Babies need 10 hours of sleep, but if you were a squirrel you would need 15.

Not sure that it would have really been motivation to make it to 10 years married back in the day, you would have received a tin. Thankfully it’s now a diamond. A much better upgrade if you ask us.

We are not the only ones that love the number 10. Did you know Pythagoras considered 10 to be the most sacred number, as 10 = 1+2+3+4, which represented existence (1), creation (2), life (3) and the four elements: earth, air, fire and water (4)?

You’re probably wondering what all this talk about the number 10 is. Well I know you are waiting with bated breath so here we go.

Before we tell you can we firstly just say; It’s not easy to have a business in general, let alone in 2021. Economic recession, a pandemic. People say business is hard. Most businesses fail in the first 3 years. Unfortunately in this season, even after fighting so hard, many haven’t been able to survive.

Business can be referred as one trying to grab a slippery baby out of the bath while trying to hold onto another child who is about to stick a fork into the toaster, while the other child is about to run out the door onto the street, and yet doing what you do because you love them.

The one star review that steals your peace in a movie theatre, the lightbulb moments that keep you up at night, the hard slog of marketing not knowing if you’re going to get your return on investment. Sometimes even friends and family not quite understanding what you do.

Let alone celebrating the milestone of 10 years.

Make me a Rockstar has not only survived this Covid season, but is rapidly pivoting and changing to keep up with the ever changing times. They’ve learnt to move and adapt, holding fast to the promises that there will, indeed, be better times coming and just to hold on.

So where did it all begin you ask?

In February 2011 a friendly neighbourhood conversation. Lauren had been working as a cleaner for her mums business and doing some children’s entertainment on the side. A conversation around a wine at Christmas time turned into a decision that changed the trajectory of her career. Her neighbour was selling her business.

Between full-time job cleaning, balancing a new marriage, job, singing gigs, working at a Before and After School Care and the business on the side, making sure they had enough finances for the basics. Lauren spent the next 2 years just scraping by, madly wishing for the time and finances to throw into marketing the business and making something of the dreams that had always been there.

At the end of 2013, Frozen had just come out. At this stage there was just a few disco parties…until this! What a great opportunity to extend the business! Lauren got Frozen costumes, first few gigs, and everything just went from there. Make me a Rockstar was finally becoming a name, not just in the Sutherland shire but around Sydney, seeing more regular parties in action.

Mid 2014 Lauren’s business mentor threw a lifeline. She was giving up her entertaining business and Make me a Rockstar gained some costumes and parties. After reading the information that was going to be sent to new clients, mentor Sarah Borg (who now owns Spoil Me Kids Day Spa) got excited. She loved the vision for school holiday programs. She filled the first class with her daughters and their friends teaching from a local play centre, only charging a gracious $5 per child. This started the first of many Make me a Rockstar workshops. That’s where classes and workshops were born. It begun with singing, then singing and songwriting, and then slowly developing into Creativity workshops, teaching children to play different instruments, and eventually the ones they have today.

A look back over the end of the year in 2014 showed excitement and full of promise for the year ahead. By now there were music programs with primary aged children, Lauren was visiting aged care facilities running music programs, managing working as a casual youth worker at a local youth refuge, had a few voice students, starting to do recording parties, and running a musical theatre class while balancing everything life had to bring. Everyone thought life was pretty crazy! Little was she to learn it was only going to get crazier.

The start of January 2015 saw the start to many more programs and pre-school classes, guest appearances, more costumes bought, by now Make me a Rockstar were doing discos in schools and wedding entertainment, being involved in more functions such as roaming and performing at Gymea Bay Festival, and being asked to teach at Victoria Point Public. This time also saw Make me a Rockstar become a sponsor for the Leukaemia Foundation event “Light the Night” in Cronulla where Lauren performed as both Elsa and then as a singer songwriter. As a business they have since been involved every year.

In October 2016 a friend finds Lauren in overwhelm surrounded by paperwork. Too many great ideas, with not so much execution. She helps set things back on track. She offers assistance for free, giving perspective. This same friend (also a Lauren, only spelt Loren) is now the PA, co-author, sidekick in workshops and the backbone of Make me a Rockstar, Lauren’s biggest cheerleader who just won’t let her quit.

July 2017 saw another pinnacle moment in business.

Mike Wheeler from Toonworld, another business mentor passes on information about “OOSH Connect”, an online forum for those in Out of School hours care. After listing the workshops on the forum and getting a large response, 11 Rockstar workshops get booked into centres around Sydney in the Spring holidays, as well as our regular workshops locally at Funtime 4 Kidz in the July holidays. Learning about crowd control, booking in centres earlier and structuring things better, the team set to keep working on their processes. Julie Zommers from www.schoolworkshops.com.au, an expert in this space gives advice. A new interactive character “Rainbow Lollipop” is coming together, and I have someone assisting me with the larger workshops.

In March 2018, after years of balancing cleaning and her business, and after some encouragement from someone in networking to take a leap of faith, Lauren finally decides to leave cleaning work, with no plan B. By now there is a regular income with weekly classes, vocal students, vacation care programs, local workshops, events, parties, and pre-school programs/guest appearances. With so many great ideas about voice over work, performing, functions and special events under her belt, and with sheer determination she decides to press ahead with both fear and excitement. There is no turning back. After quitting cleaning, Lauren pursues children’s entertainment full time. 

April 2018 after filling up the 2 weeks of holidays with vacation care centres, now with 2 characters, Rockstar Lauren and Lollipop set off. By now there is a YouTube clip and proper website. Enquiries are flooding in. There are also around 20 costumes, accessories, new equipment and thousands are spent on improvements. There are now more pre-school discos with a show. 

Then the story gets even more interesting. A new passion is born August 2018. A story about a Bright Yellow Backpack idea dropped on her lap. 

Yazzie the Bright Yellow backpack story came to life. You can read all about that story here.

Before the team knew it, the story was off and running, being taken around to vacation care centres, starting to get a good response from the children, and even the staff, identifying with the story about being yourself and shining in who you are. After speaking to friends, Lauren realised there was so much more that she had learnt over the years, I start thinking about some more topics that children struggle with. Over the coming months, the Rainbow Backpack series was born. For more of that story check out their page.

Being coached by an entertainer from Israel named Zivi Kivi over the following months, who has bright ideas and a strong work ethic, Lauren started to flourish. She was flung into the world of goal setting. Loren and Lauren attempted to finish all 7 books, programs, puppets, and voice-overs, ready for illustrations and publications by the end of the challenge. Challenge accepted.

They do their first ever Movie party with green screen, paparazzi, red carpet, hairspray, selfie corner and lots of Rockstar fun. 

Lauren attends an event called “Pitch your business”. The winner for the established business category was to receive $2000. A pitch deck was created after working hard during the breaks, and, surprising to them, they won! The money was going to be used to get a new camera and green screen equipment to take our new movie parties to the next level and get our books published.

This month saw us travelling around as Elves, surprising children on Christmas Eve, running 8 weeks of school holidays both locally and in QLD. We are talking with Canberra about another visit in April. We finish the year excited for what is ahead in 2020 and beyond. And that’s exactly what they’ve done.

Happy 10 year birthday anniversary Make me a Rockstar! May there be many more years to come! 

Lauren’s notes..

“As a creative singer songwriter and teacher my passion all this time is to be able to give children the same joy that I found myself with singing and music. Bringing life to a business that could bring happiness to all children. 

When I was a child I loved to perform. Any chance I got, I was on the stage: whether that platform was merely a set up in our very own lounge room at home or at school in drama class, I loved to sing, dance and act.  

Through life’s circumstances I lost that childhood confidence, whether it be the kids at school or people around me, but I somehow lost my voice. I never felt that I was good enough and didn’t want to try for the fear of failing. Fast forward and I am often confronted with the reality of kids that don’t know who they are now and don’t know that they have a voice. It’s a timeless message, an important truth that every child needs to hear.. that they ARE good enough just the way they are. That they don’t need to be anyone else, they are unique and exactly who they are meant to be. It is such a privilege to be teaching children in all these different capacities.

I am excited because after all this time I have still found a passion and purpose in what I do. And Covid just reiterated that further. I want to make a difference in the lives of children. I want to teach and instruct in music and to help children to have confidence, but even more than that, I want to instil in them character and perseverance, depth, and a resilient truth. The truth that I now know. And whether it be through disability programs in local centres, running local or interstate workshops, going around to schools spreading the message through our Rainbow Backpack series, be one-on-one tuition or seeing them come alive while in the recording studio, I love that I get to be a part of their journey. It is such an honour to be working with people through music, inspiring them to break out of their shell and be everything they are called to be. 

After the rollercoaster of the last 6 months, of both productivity and moving forward to getting overwhelmed with uncertainty, it certainly is something we as a business, like many other businesses, have never faced before. We have used the time wisely to work on processes, and I even in faith joined the Business University, getting back to basics in Marketing, sales, Social Media and a 90 day plan which constantly changes. We have seen a halt on our Rainbow Backpack series, unable to do our trial that we set out to do. However I am continuing to challenge myself despite not knowing what the future will hold for my business, taking one day at a time.

Thanks for being part of our journey over the last 10 years. There have been many highs and many lows, but one thing remains, we will keep moving forward taking one step at a time because, after all, it is so worth it!”

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