Ruth Morris ran her own successful Creation Station franchise - winning the British Franchise Association mirco-business award. Due to a change in her family situation Ruth sold her business. Now four years later Ruth has joined The Creation Station team again to support great people doing great things. Here’s Ruths story:
"I am delighted to be in this extraordinary position of being able to work here at The Creation Station..again!!!
I discovered Creation Station back in 2012 when I was juggling my two children and ever depressing job in the Education Department at Aberdeen City Council. My husband Steve, always incredibly supportive, was again encouraging me to reconsider my career and look for a new opportunity. And I remember the very moment I discovered The Creation Station.
I was perched at our tiny computer desk squashed next to our bed, whilst the kids were running riot before bedtime. With the computer open, I was trying to recall when I had last been truly happy with myself, my family and work/life balance. I was shocked to realise I was last really content when I was on my first maternity leave with my eldest, Connor, back in 2002! Ten years of trying to bring up my family whilst carving a meaningful career and I was happiest right back at the beginning, whilst attending gym classes with my baby.
And so I discovered franchises that evening and only a few clicks later, I stumbled across The Creation Station and requested an information pack.
I was immediately drawn to the engaging logo and loved the creativity. I had loved art at school, and although had been considered for art college, had chosen to focus on more academic subjects.
Fast forward a few months and I was attending my Discovery Event in York, (These are now online) with both my preschool daughter Lexie, and mother-in-law in tow. The highlight was listening to Sarah’s story and recognising many of my own experiences and values. I left my name on a list to be considered and left, excitedly phoning Steve with all the information.
I received the call soon after to offer me the chance to run my own Creation Station in Aberdeen. I was delighted.
Although due to family commitments and Steve leaving to work overseas, I was unable to train and launch for 6 months. Returning to work I was buzzing with excitement and set to work scoping out venues and customers.
0In April 2013, I trained alongside the delightful Kirsty Hickson, who is one of our fabulous Business Development Managers supporting our franchisees. I completed my training in Devon – which was really insightful and comprehensive. Training is now completed online over five days which makes it a lot easier for people to attend.
As soon as my website and my Facebook business page went live, I officially launched The Creation Station Aberdeen & Shire. I had classes booked and customers confirmed before I got home from my training. As soon as all my supplies arrived, I was raring to go. (You can find local classes, parties and events here).
Before running my own Creation Station, both my kids endured wrap-around care. This cost in excess of £1,100 a month. For the duration of my business, I am so proud that neither of them ever had to be looked after by anyone else again. They were able to join afterschool clubs that they wanted to go to for the first time too. I’m sure you can imagine how this felt. At long last, I felt I was able to give my kids the childhood I dreamed of. Plus they got to see the happier more real me. We all enjoyed this newfound freedom of having choice and time together. It was fab!
I was passionate about my Creation Station. My business goals were to be in profit, to deliver excellent experiences, and to support women into employment. How did I do?
In the 5 years I was fortunate to discover The Creation Station, this is what I got up to;
- Delivered more than 20,000 creative opportunities
- Paid off my business loan and continued to grow my annual profit
- Awarded New Franchise of the Year 2014, Best Staff Member 2015, Franchise of the Year 2017; BFA Microfranchise UK 2017
- Proud to provide employment to six awesome ladies: Sarah, Diane, Tracy, Eveline, Maria and Laura and support them with professional development
- Launched Creative Crafters and Create Club in Scotland
- One of the first Business Development Managers
- Had families at my last class who had joined my first ever classes in term one and who attended every venue I ever delivered in
- Developed The Shakey Wakey song!
- Sold my business for three times the purchase price
So what happened? Well, we had a family plan to move to Canada and I was going to be Creation Stations’ first international Master Franchisee.
We applied in 2015 and waited…and waited.
Fast forward till Easter 2017 and Steve and I decided in order to provide our family with the international experience we had hoped for in Canada, that we needed to move overseas that summer. The rush was to ensure Connor could still complete exams for university.
I was delighted to sell my Creation Station with support from Head Office in time for our move in summer 2017 to Valencia, Spain. With Steve still travelling for work, I was now responsible for our family in a new country, and I decided to dedicate as much time as they needed to settle.
Our original plan was to stay for 2 years. But after only 4 months we decided to buy our forever home. The day I got our house keys, Canada confirmed our successful application. It was a very bittersweet moment, but we really felt Spain was providing our family everything we hoped for. Although Sarah Cressall (Founder of Creation Station) and I kept in touch and she often asked if I would consider launching in Valencia, I never felt the time was right.
Instead, I have been renovating our home, learning how to garden in such an extreme climate, badly learning Spanish, supporting my family, dabbling at teaching at an international school and language academies, launching an all-women mountain biking club, and growing my zoo…we have 1 dog, 3 cats, goldfish, a tortoise, 2 guinea pigs and a lovely chunky pony called Charlie.
I saw a post on Facebook that Sarah was looking for a virtual assistant in March 2021. I commented saying 'I might be able to help'
The last year has taught us all so many new things, what we really value and what we want to do with our time. The pandemic has been truly heartbreaking and equally inspiring. I had a chat with Sarah about the possibility of coming back on board, and working remotely from Spain. Sarah agreed that it was the lessons of remote working due to the pandemic which made this a real possibility.
I am beyond delighted and excited to be back on board.
As part of the Hub, working remotely from my desk in Valencia. My role is to help and bring onboard the next generation of passionate franchise owners across the UK and beyond. I hope to be of added value to the network and to both Fran Long ( Support Manager Extraordinaire!)and Sarah. Together we are building an even stronger, more exciting business for the future.
I’ve learned that life definitely doesn’t go to plan. But by setting your course I believe you can navigate to overcome challenges and achieve the things you want for you, your family, and ultimately your life.
I’m thrilled to be back supporting great people to do great things with their life. If I can help you, please book in a call with me and say hi 😃.
Chief Inspiration Officer (Love my job title too!)