Marian Mayberry’s journey perfectly demonstrates the essence of what Exploring Enterprise is all about.

Marian wasn’t sure how to move forward with her life. She often had ideas about what she’d like to do and businesses she’d like to set up but she  lacked confidence and had no self- worth so couldn’t foresee any way of achieving her dreams.

At the time of joining the Exploring Enterprise Programme, Marian was struggling on a daily basis with mental health issues.  Marian’s mental health meant that she found it very difficult to interact with other people. She hadn’t left her home one her own for a few years prior to joining the programme. Marian suffered both mental and physical exhaustion and felt that her life was hopeless.

After her initial visit to CIDO she was actually in two minds as to whether or not to proceed with the Exploring Enterprise programme but with the support of Kirsty Watson she completed the programme, set up her business, V & M Princess Pamper Parties and hasn’t looked back since.  Marian now has two Pamper  Parlours, one in Portadown and one in Magherfelt,  offering a variety of pamper packages and spa days for little girls aged 3-16 including BFF Pamper Days, Unicorn Spa Days, Spajama parties, Sweet  Sixteen Spa Days, Rainbow Slime Pamper Parties, Mother and Daughter packages and so much more.  We recently met up with Marian to talk about how the Exploring Enterprise Programme helped her in her journey to employment.

“In the beginning I found it extremely hard to attend the training days”. Marian told us, “but with encouragement from everyone involved with the programme, tutors, advisors, other participants and my family I persevered with it.

Attending the course helped me grow in confidence around other people, and I found myself becoming more involved and contributing to group discussions and team building exercises.

I realised that my ideas were credible and I started to believe in myself and my dreams.

I learnt a lot from the Exploring Enterprise Programme and in particular from the one to one mentoring sessions as they helped me overcome my fears.”

Marian talked to us about her achievements since completing the programme. “As a result of the programme I am now running my own business, V& M Princess Pamper Parties.  The business has become so busy that I have had to employ staff to help with the makeovers, face painting and hairdressing.

I have attended meetings with other businesses, community groups and schools and secured bookings with several of these.  Coupled with this I have a monthly booking at a brilliant craft fair and have been asked to front their 10th birthday celebrations. I have also found time to work with numerous ladies’ community groups, Brownlow House and Parkview Special School.

The business is growing steadily as a result of everything I have learnt through the Exploring Enterprise Programme.  I now believe in myself and intend on expanding even further.

Outside of my work I feel more confident and at ease with others, and I feel this is a direct result of participating on the programme.  The day I received my Level One certificate I was totally overwhelmed with delight.

Since meeting with Marian she has opened  a second premises in Magherafelt and employs staff to run it, she has also put a manager in place in Portadown leaving her time to develop the business further.  Looking to the future, she is hoping to open a third party venue in Belfast.

If you would like to find out more about Marian’s business, pop over to her website

If Marian’s story has inspired you to take action, CIDO is currently enrolling for Exploring Enterprise 4.  To find out more about the programme or to enrol please contact or visit