GardenFlix: The Loughton cinema hire company that brings movie night to you

GardenFlix is the perfect solution for fed up families during lockdown (photo courtesy Bailey Mansfi

GardenFlix is the perfect solution for fed up families during lockdown (photo courtesy Bailey Mansfield/GardenFlix) - Credit: Archant

Meet Bailey Mansfield, the 21-year-old from Loughton who founded outdoor cinema hire company GardenFlix

Bailey Mansfield

Bailey Mansfield - Credit: Archant

Tell us a bit about your background... I have lived in Loughton all my life. After studying A-Levels at Davenant Foundation School I have gone onto study Business & Management at the University of Portsmouth. I’ve just started my final year studying remotely from home so that I can also continue my work for the business.

Was a strong work ethic instilled in you from an early age? I have grown up seeing my parents work long hours to provide for me, my sister and brother. It definitely instilled in me that hard work is the best way to a happy life.

Did you always plan to run your own business? It was my eventual aim, yes. However, I never expected to be doing it so soon at the age of 21.

How did GardenFlix come about? All credit goes to my sister. For our dad’s birthday she decided we should get him a projector and screen. As I’ve always been interested in technology and gadgets she left the research to me. It was while doing this that I started to think that people may prefer to hire out the equipment instead. From there came the idea of movie nights and the business has really grown from there.

Did you immediately see its potential as a business? There was already a few similar businesses offering garden movie nights across the UK which seemed popular. However, there was none locally. Business is all about taking risks so I took the chance and invested my all - and haven’t looked back since.

Can you talk us through the service you provide? GardenFlix provides Home Cinema Experiences - in particular Garden Cinema Experiences. Our team set-up a 120” screen, projector, soundbar, luxe seating and all the added extras to truly bring the cinema experience to our customers’ homes. Our experiences are popular for special occasions and are also suitable for live sport screenings.

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Has the business taught you any lessons? Everything happens for a reason. Before Covid, I had a set idea on my plans for summer, final year of uni and beyond graduation. However, since starting the business, I’ve learnt these plans can change for the better.

Have you seen an effect from the more recent Covid-19 restrictions? The business is in a very unique position in that it owes much of its success to Covid-19. There’s not a lot of options left for special occasions and our Cinema Experiences fill this gap. The more recent ‘rule of six’ saw some bookings cancelled but people still want a safe and fun experience.

How many staff do you ordinarily employ? Behind-the-scenes it is myself that handles all the admin, social media, responding to emails, bookings etc. My parents helped over the summer when I first started, but I’ve since hired a friend to help with that aspect.

Any advice for budding entrepreneurs? Be ready to commit all of your time to it and be determined to make it a success.

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