Sarah Cressall, Founder of the multi-award-winning Creation Station shares insights on how Creation Station have adapted to support more families, and is harnessing new opportunities in the light of the current situation.
“Where there is change there is an opportunity…
In these uncertain times many of us have time to reflect, review and take stock.
What we know for sure is that nothing is certain anymore and that people are truly amazing.
At Creation Station, focusing on our purpose has helped us overcome hurdles, connect even more as a franchise family and give clarity to what we need to do to support customers and franchise partners.
Here are the four principles we have focussed on:
- Our Purpose: Bring creativity into learning, life and leisure.
This involves putting people first and supporting families with positive creative activities, to enjoy at home. As my three sons where home, we did daily free Facebook lives, and my sons have been running the warehouse as we are in lockdown as a family. This has meant we’ve been able to send craft supplies to families across the UK and provide craft supplies for our new online courses.
Our franchise partners have therefore been able to deliver live classes using our safety checked products and also sell their own themed craft packs. So children don’t miss out on a creative party with their friends, we created online arty parties, with items from around the house or upgrade to a Fun Arty Box for each guest.
To support customers who want more flexibility as to when they enjoy their class, and help drive income for franchisee who aren’t able to run live sessions, we’ve built a new ‘iCR8’ online classes website.
Franchisees receive revenue when anyone inf their territory purchase a course. This has increased our reach and connections for future creative classes clubs, parties, events and retail sales.
We launched an online official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS attempt called Our Creative face.
All ages can create and upload a collage.
Plus we are providing online experience with crafts supplied. This includes:
- online Tiny Treasure events for new parents to meet and get creative
- online adult craft evenings for mindful relaxing
- online classes for care home residents
- online creative team building events
There is still huge demand for creative activities and we are turning this challenge into an opportunity for all.
- People; Without people we don’t have a business, so as well as supporting customers we have looked at what our franchise partners need. We have provided a licence free period for three months. The first few weeks I ran daily Facebook lives with the teams and we called all 120 franchisees. We have regional zooms, training and support sessions, plus I do a weekly Zoom which is recorded for access for anyone who can’t make it. We’ve had quizzes and creative challenges to help keep spirits up provided access to counselling mindfulness workshops and 1 to 1 support sessions. Our Discovery Events are now online, plus we awarded four new franchises and ran training online during the last week of May.
- Passion: Clarity helps us navigate through unknown territories but keeping true to what is important provides a solid foundation. To support vulnerable families and say thank you to key workers we have put together a ‘BUY1INSPIRE1’ campaign to provide courses and or crafts to 5,000 families. So far we have supported 2669 families – with the help of Gloucestershire City Council and Home-Start. Plus the incredible kindness of our franchise partners
We’ve just awarded 4 new franchises and are running online training with practical exercises at the end of May, Our Discovery events are now online and every fortnight we are seeing 10 - 20 people who are looking at running their own flexible and creative business.
Profits: I’ve always believed when you focus on your core values and behave in a way you would like others to behave, you can’t go to far wrong. Our actions and behaviours have massive ripple effects, and we are seeing the benefits of this.
- Future: We will continue to listen, find and explore opportunities and bring creativity into learning, leisure and life for all ages.
What I do know for sure, I am so uber proud of our franchise family, they are bringing so much to their communities at these difficult times and I’m incredibly grateful to them and all those who are helping us get through these difficult times.
Keep safe and all the best to you and your loved ones"
Best Selling Author, Multi-Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Speaker, Founder and CEO The Creation Station.