A woman has shared how she makes $135,000 a year by dressing up as a clown at children’s birthday parties.
Self-proclaimed “clown mom” Regina Martinez, of Austin, Texas, makes a living by charging $300 for a “Birthday Boost” package — an hour of puppet shows and balloons made especially for preschoolers.
Even more remarkable is the mother’s flexible lifestyle, working an average of only two days a week, including a 12-hour Saturday.
The 35-year-old says what started as a sideline has turned into her family’s main income, and in 2022 her husband quit his job to pursue his own dreams.
She said Business Insider: ‘I like the creative freedom I have. I can go out in the morning, put on a puppet show and get paid well for it, and spend the rest of the day with my kids.”
Self-proclaimed ‘clown mom’ Regina Martinez, of Austin, Texas, earns $135,000 a year by dressing up as a clown at children’s birthday parties
The budding entrepreneur says her rapid success has come as a shock.
After launching the company full-time in 2021, she didn’t expect it to take off in a big way.
Still, she soon realized that fellow moms were more than willing to spend money for “stupid entertainment” at their children’s parties.
That same year, she experienced rapid growth, with inquiries rising to about 20 to 30 each weekend.
However, Regina’s burgeoning achievements have not gotten in the way of family life as she has complete control over her schedule.
The puppeteer says she maintains strict boundaries at work, attending only a handful of weekday events and staying home on Sundays.
The overnight mom success has been more than 10 years in the making.
In 2010, while looking for extra income, Regina came across an ad for face painters.
The ad agency suggested she become a character so she could increase her earning potential.
The 35-year-old, whose clown name is ‘Sparkles’, says what started as a side business has turned into her family’s main income
Fortunately, her best friend, a clown at the time, was on hand to help the newcomer, and in 2011, Regina landed her first job as a clown.
She said, “My best friend, who was a clown, suggested I call myself Sparkles. I went to children’s parties as Sparkles, a fairytale princess, but I realized I didn’t really look like a princess, so I decided to become a clown instead. In 2011 I started calling myself Silly Sparkles’.
Sparkles the clown offered a full package of balloons, face painting and magic.
But she adds that a listening ear and attention to feedback from little ones have been critical to her success.
The kids seemed more enchanted by her glittering costume than her clown makeup.
As time passed, Regina was directly wanted for gigs and no longer needed the agency.
And after becoming a mother for the first time in 2012, the creativity and flexibility of the job was the perfect way to finance her family.
She then launched her own website, took professional photos and officially launched her clowning business, charging $125 an hour.
Unfortunately, the Covid pandemic in 2020 caused things to slow down for Regina, but quick thinking led her to think of other ways to make money.
After some research, she found that her services were especially appealing to mothers of preschool-aged children.
So she ditched the face painting and focused entirely on children’s parties, performing puppet and balloon shows while dressed as a clown.
She also doubled her rate, charging $300 for an hour of special brand fun.
Her success is a far cry from the graphic design degree she earned in college in 2010, a route she abandoned after the Great Recession in 2009.
Still, the entertainer is pleased with her career trajectory, adding that she enjoys being her own boss and having the freedom to dictate what comes next.