Family-Owned Kids Entertainment Company Loses 3 Months of Paid Gigs

Pistachio Entertainment

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In 2006, Emily Martinez and her husband, Mario, met as back up dancers and actors on the set of The Wiggles when Emily played Dorothy the Dinosaur and Mario, Wags the Dog.

The couple toured around the world and filmed several DVDs and TV Series up until 2009 when they decided to leave the company.

“What we learnt whilst there has been invaluable in so many ways,” Emily told TheLatch— in an interview.

“They really know how to connect with children, especially the preschooler’s age group. Once we started to put down roots here, we used our knowledge and skills to start our own business which has been so rewarding.”

The couple now own Pistachio Entertainment Group and supply energetic and dynamic children’s services such as live entertainment for the private and corporate sector, as well as education curriculum based dance active programs.

However, since the coronavirus pandemic hit, a once full three-month calendar has been wiped clean, with the couple (who have a four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter), losing 90% of their income.

Pistachio Entertainment
Children’s parties have been heavily impacted. Supplied.

Anita Lyons: Hi Emily, this must be such a difficult time for you. How has your business been affected by the coronavirus?

Emily Matinez: At this moment three months of events have been swiped off the calendar. We have done our best to ask clients to postpone but in such difficult and unchartered circumstances it is a challenge.

We do rely on seasonal work such as Easter and school holidays and had more than 30 big bookings, including weddings, birthday parties, promotions in shopping centres, school shows, family clubs and Easter celebrations, and many Easter bunny appearances all cancel.

AL: Have you taken a financial hit and how bad has it been? 

EM: It is hard to put a figure on the amount, but it could possibly be up to $30,000. We have lost 90% of our income. Yes, it is bad currently, but our business will be 10 years old next year and we are very committed to it.

“We have lost 90% of our income. Yes, it is bad currently, but our business will be 10 years old next year and we are very committed to it.”

AL: What does it mean for you now? 

EM: Our children are at home with us full time now. We had to stop child care as it was one less bill to pay. We are putting into place payment plans for our essential bills e.g. rent, cars, and also dipping into our personal savings which we were saving to buy a home.

For now, we are looking at how we can ride this out, what can we do for now? We are now offering virtual entertainment options and working with clients to create opportunities.

Pistachio Entertainment
Emily, Mario, their family. Supplied.

AL: Have you put any immediate plans in place to pivot your business? 

EM: Currently, we are taking it day by day and doing our best to cut costs and come up with new ideas to entertain outside of the box. We are very lucky to have a great accountant that is really there for us right now, so we are planning with him also.

AL: What steps will you take to make up for this after COVID-19?

EM: Hopefully the virtual options we are working on now will translate into a new branch of business that can continue well after this!

AL: How can people support your business in the short term?

EM: Check out and share our socials, follow us on Facebook and Instagram and engage with our content. And let us know what you think of our new options. We are happy to receive feedback!

If you’re a small business owner and looking to increase your digital offering like Pistachio Entertainment Group, check out GoDaddy.