Lucy Wilkinson, 40, better known as her stage name Louby Lou, has provided joy and laughter to kids in and around Salford and Greater Manchester for over 22 years.
The children’s entertainer who comes from a generation of clowns was raised in the business with her two sisters from the tender age of six. From then on she has continued to provide laughs abiding with her motto: “I don’t just do magic, I am magic.”
However, the pandemic has tested the stability of the entertainment industry. According to a report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), nine in 10 UK employees will have to reskill by 2030 as a result of the pandemic accelerating changes to the world of work.
Lucy says: “At first I did go into panic mode. Your first thought is can I continue with my business. But I like to live in this positive world. My husband calls it a “Lucy’s world” and he always says “the world doesn’t stop for lucy” but I choose not to watch and focus on the news because I don’t understand what they saying; it makes me confused and I don’t want to go to bed and worry.
“My husbands is in the police so he says “you should be watching this to save your business” and I’m like just tell what I need to know and what to do.”
Nonetheless, she has managed to find creative ways to entertain children throughout the pandemic safely.
She says: “I’ve started new services; virtual parties and giggles on wheels. Giggles on wheels was a service I offered before that I struggled to get off the ground. It started after I delivered a cucumber to someone’s house as a get well present. And since then, it has been the best thing.
“The reactions have blown me away. This little girl I saw yesterday, I’ve never met her before and from meeting her and other people I’ve built up a new set of friends. Because a lot of the shows I used to do were for the same people, I’m able to meet new people all the time.”
Not only have her giggles on wheels taken off, but Lucy has found another way for children to celebrate their birthday in style electronically.
She says: “Somebody who I had done loads of parties for years and years asked if I could you do a zoom party for us. I said yes but I had never been on zoom before in my life. But I did it and came off and was like “that was horrendous” even though they thought it was brilliant and it was good, but I’ve been used to having children eating out the palm of my hands.”
Alongside her virtual parties and giggles on wheels, Lucy has welcomed her blooming magic bracelet business in which she says: “It has not been a business to make money as such, it is more about what words children and adults pick and the story and meaning behind it. I’ve been able to move it up a notch in lockdown and I’ve ordered different colours and different packaging so it ready to grow now”.
Though the industry proves tough, Lucy’s perseverance alongside her love and passion for her career is one which continues to drive her on.
She says: “I’ve not had to get a job at Asda yet because I keep thinking I might have to get a job somewhere else which is fine, I can work anyway and I quite like it as change, but I feel there is something in me that tells me I can carry on with my business.”
If you would like a chance to be visited by Louby Lou herself or have any enquires please visit her website at https://www.loubylou.co.uk/ or her Facebook https://www.facebook.com/loubylouclown/ or email at firstname.lastname@example.org