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Celebrating Women in Business – Interview With Sunny Sandwell The Fun Experts

To celebrate International Women’s Day I have interviewed a handful of amazing, inspirational businesswomen to understand what motivates them and what challenges they have faced in business.

This has been an absolute pleasure and I’m so excited to share this interview with Sunny Sandwell from The Fun Experts and celebrate her as a successful business owner.


Who is Sunny Sandwell?

Sunny Sandwell is a multi-award winning Director of Fun who leads a national team of Fun Experts in delivering the clear message that ‘having fun makes seriously good business sense’. Sunny had the inspiration to start a business in which the culture and core values would be the driving force to its success. And in doing so Sunny was often asked the question, “What’s your secret? How have you built such a fantastic business with a great culture?” But it wasn’t a secret!

Using her drive and passion to change the very dynamic of the normal 9-5 alongside implementing purposeful fun, she had created an award-winning culture where productivity and work/life balance were all being achieved beyond expectation. The Fun Experts family of businesses include Sunshine Events, Fun Depot and Fun at Work. With over 2000 5-star reviews The Fun Experts have the highest recorded number of happy customers in the industry. An NPS score of 88% rated world-class and even higher than Apple.

Sunny loves to help others and regularly shares her vast knowledge and experience through talks and mentoring.


Sunny, what led to you setting up your own business?

Experience early on in my career working in a stale environment with poor culture and leadership inspired me to create something different, a workplace where people actually want to come to work and enjoy their time there, a place where the people are truly happy.


Why is fun so important to you personally?

Fun is fundamental for my personal life and my business life. From an early age I knew I wanted to work with happy people so initially thought that would be in hotels…but this wasn’t for me…so created my own business to make work happy and fun.


Why is it so important for companies to make sure their staff have fun?

The power of fun should not be underestimated. Introducing fun can literally help to transform a workplace into a productivity boosting, performance improving environment that helps recruit better people and retain the stars you’ve already got.


What are your personal values do they differ from your business values?

My personal values are fully aligned with our core values…which is exactly the reason why they work.


How do you motivate yourself?

Constantly striving and learning lessons motivates me.


Who inspires you and why?

Anyone who decides to set a business up.


What are some of the biggest advancements or changes that you have seen in your industry?

Apart from the digital world that we live in, the biggest change has been the advancement in recognition that looking after your employees and how their wellbeing directly impacts your business.


What is your proudest business achievement to date?

The proudest achievement to date is that both myself and James, my husband, are able to run the business together, something I feel very lucky to be able to do. Together we have created The Fun Experts with strong core values and a culture that not only welcomes people but also inspires and energises them to be the best version of themselves they can be.

We have survived 17 years in business, have created a fantastic award-winning culture and have provided fun to 1000’s of events throughout the UK including Royal events, large organisations such as Google, TV shows including BGT and This Morning together with many celebrity parties.

I am also incredibly proud of the impact The Fun Experts have made and continue to make. The fun brings people together, improves mental health, wellbeing and provides the solution to make coming to work a little more fun.


What was your toughest business challenge and how did you overcome it?

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The pandemic has been the toughest business challenge by far. The very nature of The Fun Experts service is to bring people together, break down silos and encourage teamwork. Unfortunately, the pandemic has other ideas and wants to create silos and keep people away from each other.

True to our core value of being resilient and creative….The Fun Experts have been just that.

Rather than deliver the fun equipment to events and workplaces we now deliver Fun Boxes across the UK.

Wellbeing Fun Box – A Gift Box for the mind, wellness and mental health

We have listened to our customers and everyone struggles to engage teams and onboard new starters when working remotely. We now provide Fun Boxes which are delivered directly to people wherever they are based. We now provide a great range including Working from Home, Welcome Back to Work, Onboarding, Wellbeing Fun Boxes to name a few.

There’s something for everyone to deliver a smile to their door. We also provide virtual events which work particularly well with the Fun Boxes…especially if we send out the party boxes ready for everyone to open together.


What benefits have you experienced, personal or business, as a result of the pandemic?

Although this has been an incredibly testing time for my husband James, and myself who both run the business. We had to dig deep, plump our feathers to seek opportunities and get creative. A large percentage of our business is providing fun to workplaces, events and parties which all closed or stopped overnight. The pandemic has been a huge reset button both for the business and afforded us the time to evaluate everything to make it stronger when we return. It’s great to now start receiving calls from companies looking to introduce Fun at Work in recognition that they need to help make workplaces happy and fun places to be.

On a personal level our family daily walks, board games, movies have all been essential for our wellbeing. They have kept us united and given us time together. Amazing how much is discussed when there are no distractions.


What is a typical day like for you?

There is no typical day and that’s what I love about my job. I see myself as a plate spinner in the business. If something is working I can leave it but if something is showing signs of a wobble I step in.


How do you think your team would describe you as a manager?

Approachable, driven, passionate with a clear vision to get things done!

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

The only barriers were very early on in the business when it was a male-dominated industry. I experienced some negativity from competitors, but this experience made me more determined and powered me even more to succeed.


Do you think it makes any difference being a female business leader – either positive or negative?

No. I am an entrepreneur and business leader, for me, it is irrelevant that I’m female.


What advice would you give to other female’s setting up their own businesses?

Don’t think of yourself as a female business owner, think of yourself as a business owner. Part of being a business owner is to ride the roller coaster of ups and downs. Learn from the downs, use them to make you stronger.


What qualities do you think make for a successful business owner?

I believe that to be a successful business owner you must care!

We care about our environment, our team, our suppliers, our customers and we care about each other. The Fun Experts family is fully inclusive and we constantly evolve, learn lessons and move forward towards our common goals. The core values are lived by the whole business and led from the top.


What would you like to hear people say about The Fun Experts?

The Fun Experts are exactly what they say they are….the experts!


Thanks so much to Sunny for sharing her story.
You can check out her wonderful business below.