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Arts and crafts classes, clubs and events for children and adults in Birmingham

Emma McCalla -John had a twenty-year career as a teacher, working with children of all ages including those with additional and complex educational needs. Now Emma provides creative arts and crafts classes for toddlers, children, families and adults in Birmingham in and around Harborne, Bearwood, Edgbaston, Quinton, Bartley Green, Woodgate, Kitwell and Frankley.

Here’s Emma's story  

Why did you want to work for yourself?

I really wanted to be creative and have a great work-life balance. Challenging myself to run a creative business was something I wanted to achieve and be proud of doing something I'd never done before. Something to be really proud of!

My husband Marcus has always been fully supportive of my business, he even helps out occasionally with Arty Parties. My daughter Hannah is 20 years old and is happy that I am happy running The Creation Station. She thinks all the creative activities look a lot of fun but generally likes to keep her perfectly manicured nails away from the paint and glue!

Emma McCala-John- Creation Station Birmingham

It’s a big step to run your own business what made you decide it was right for you?

I really wanted to own and run The Creation Station from the moment I saw their stand at The National Franchise Show at the NEC. I did lots of research regarding whether it could be a viable business opportunity and talking with my family reassured me that I should go for it. It was a little scary and there was a cost implication however I'm so glad I took the chance and just went for it.

Emma McCala-John- Creation Station Birmingham

What steps were involved when checking the Creation Station was right for you?

I attended a Discovery event, back then they were physical events, and now it’s much easier as they are online.  My first impression was a warm welcome from the head office team along with a well organised setup and event. I was pleased to chat with current franchisees. I was pleasantly surprised to see the owner of the franchise there. Sarah is passionate about the business and explained how she was, and still is fully active in striving to make The Creation Station the best it can be.

Emma McCala-John- Creation Station Birmingham

What was your training like?

My training week was amazing! My fellow trainees were great and we had a fun filled week. Lots of informative business training, lots of creating, and lots of chatting too! The support I have received over the last 3 and half years has been invaluable. Nothing is too much trouble and head office are always happy to answer even the smallest of queries.

Emma McCala John  Creation Station Birmingham

You’ve been running your business successfully and continued through the pandemic. What was that like?

It's been a challenge and at the start of the pandemic, I really couldn't imagine how I was going to continue to run my business. I always have a positive attitude when it comes to running the business and my motto is: 'There's always a way!', which served me well as head office put lots of effort into making the business find lots of solutions for us to run our business safely during the pandemic. We swapped all face-to-face sessions to online sessions, provided customers with craft packs, and ensured that we stayed at the forefront of people's minds when it came to creativity. I was so nervous running online sessions and of course I still love the interaction face to face, however, I'm now really confident using Zoom and it feels great knowing I can still inspire people online. It’s actually created new income stream for me, so that’s been very positive.

There is tons of support but during 20202 it really was incredible.  We were provided financial support as well as practical and emotional support. We have all had access to weekly Zoom catch-up meetings, fortnightly Zoom masterclass meetings focusing on growing our business. Access to our BDM for 1-1 support on our goals, regular regional meetings to look at specifics for our area. Also, a host of assets for use on our social media platforms. Access to other business training such as Entrepreneurs Circle and as always head office is only a phone call away – whatever it takes, we’ve had that support. Also as a team, we have supported each other and that has been lovely too.  

Emma McCala-John- Creation Station Birmingham

Running any business during the Pandemic takes resilience, guts, and courage! How has it felt running a franchise business rather than doing this by yourself?

You really do need a positive attitude during times of challenge. Running a franchise means that even if you have a bad day, there's always someone there to help. Stuck with something? You just need to ask and between us, we can work it out and make things happen. I think we can all imagine how isolating and unsure things have been for businesses, however running a franchise equals, support, friendship, accountability, and positivity.

Providing creative experiences provides so many benefits. Can you share a  story of how your classes have helped someone?

There are SO many lovely stories!  Here’s a  story about Khyra and Rumi. They have been taking part in my  Create Club sessions online since Summer 2020. They are best friends and prior to Covid- 19 restrictions, I  worked with them, providing bespoke creative activities to suit their needs.

Neither of the boys work well in large groups and at the start of lockdown Rumi also had terrible social anxiety using Zoom, which impacted his school work and self-confidence. The boys really enjoy Create Club where they feel happy and safe to create. They are curious about the products and experiment with the theme to create unique pieces of art. These fun online experiences have helped them engage far more with the whole online learning. It has been wonderful to see their development and a real privilege to support them as they are ACE!    

You’ve supported so many people through the pandemic with your creative activities Emma. What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my attitude and resilience. I have spent a lot of time focused on connecting with individual and businesses who I can work with now and in the future. I have also upskilled myself on different aspects of business, using my time to read and research.

I’ve learnt that I am resilient, I am adaptable and I have a great business that people want to work alongside me with.

Emma McCala-John- Creation Station Birmingham

How is 2021 looking for you?

I have set myself some challenging goals this year which I am chipping away to achieve. I have a focus on events for the next 12-18 months and am looking forward to doing more online and face-to-face events.  I’ve already got 11 after schools set up and enquiries and booking are coming in. I think we’ve all learned the value of positive experiences and doing things with others.  So I’m very excited about the future. I think it’s going to busy!  

Join Emmas fab arts and crafts classes in  Harborne, Bearwood, Edgbaston, Quinton, Bartley Green, Woodgate, Kidwell and Frankly.

If you aren't local to Emma click to find creative classes, parties and events near me 

If we don't have a Creation Station in your area yet, and you would like to find out about running your own  download a Franchise information pack 

 

 

 

 

What people say

Excellent 4.9/5

7291 reviews on Trustpilot

Lauren
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20th Apr

It was a very friendly environment!

It was all very friendly especially Kelly, my one year old attended for the first time today and he’s very inquisitive and doesn’t sit still. Kelly was wonderful with working around him and his feet that never stop.

Hayley
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20th Apr

My child had a great time at the space…

My child had a great time at the space themed creation station with Alexis at Betley School! Thank you so much! :)

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19th Apr

Thank you for inclusive, fun and engaging intergenerational workshops Alix!

Thank you to Alix for the fantastic intergenerational workshops she ran for us at Sussex Housing & Care last week. Residents at Saxonwood care home in Battle and Oakwood Court care home, Haywards Heath connected with relatives, staff, families and children. The experience was very enlightening and emotional. The activity was designed to be inclusive, fun and encourage interaction, building on the positive resources that young and older people have to offer each other and those around them. But little did we know how captivating this latest venture would turn out to be! We have had amazing feedback from all involved. A relative said “Thanks for a lovely event, it was great to chat and to see everyone”. Evelyn and Peggy, residents at Oakwood Court, joined up with Evelyn’s grand daughters Hannah aged 2 and Isabelle, 13 who tuned into the workshop from home on zoom. Evelyn even said during the session “We need this!”. Lots of fun and belly laughter was enjoyed by all as we created our portraits and connected with relatives. Care assistant Charley added, “it was lovely to be part of and we look forward to running more intergenerational workshops in the future”. Thank you for all the fun and enthusiasm and your hard work in pulling it all together Alix; the collages and experience was amazing! Fingers crossed for the world record!

Karen
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19th Apr

Very well run course

The course was absolutely brilliant and efficiently run. My daughter really loved the amount of different mediums she was able to create with and the fact the some of her creations are able to continue growing at home!! Looking forward to the summer course!

Sian
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18th Apr

We had a lovely afternoon making slime…

We had a lovely afternoon making slime and experimenting what we could do with it. Kelly was a fabulous host and we received a warm welcome. Would definitely recommend The Creation Station classes to others.

Maria
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18th Apr

Messy fun a great time.

Messy fun a great time.

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18th Apr

great time

We loved our session last week doing hand and footprints. it is perfect for arty/creative mums wanting to get their baby into crafts as early as possible! cant wait to come back!

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16th Apr

Slime making and more - Easter holiday

This was a great session led by Alix via Zoom. Started with silk clay making keyrings and more and then finished with slime. Excitement started with box of goodies arriving in the post before the event. Everything was provided so really easy. On the day loads of interaction with every child on the Zoom call. We will definitely do it again with Alix. Thank you so much!

Katy
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16th Apr

A fantastic few days for my daughter

A fantastic few days for my daughter. She loves Emma and everything they did - came home full of beans!

Natalie
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15th Apr

Fantastic class for babies and…

Fantastic class for babies and toddlers! Great for development and lovely class leader!