I’ve always known that I have the drive and motivation to successfully work for myself but I was getting fed up of waiting for my “light bulb moment” - a brilliant idea and gap in the market that I could get really passionate and excited about.
Then I found The Creation Station. I wasn’t looking for a franchise at all initially
but the CS stood out for me and I realised the huge benefit in buying into a successful brand and business with all the processes, templates and tried and tested methods already in place.
I was so attracted to The Creation Station because I was looking for an opportunity that I could be really passionate about and that would be rewarding both on a financial and job satisfaction level. As a mum of 2, something that I could fit around the children was crucial as my husband works long hours and I don’t have family living close by so I’m responsible for all the childcare with limited practical support.
I didn’t want to rush into starting a business as with two young children still at home, I wanted to make the most of being a full time mum but I was also keen to plan for my future. I’m so pleased that my area was still available as I know now they go really quickly. In a way I wish I had started earlier as its fits in really well with my family life and I love what I do!
After my initial enquiry I went to a discovery event and was very impressed. We got to meet Sarah and a couple of other established franchisees both of whom were very enthusiastic and positive about their decision to buy their franchise and how their business had performed to date. Seeing how the children responded to the Little Explorers session was also very encouraging and the information provided by Sarah and her team was both impressive and extensive.
The training support I have received so far has been fantastic and I really feel that Sarah and her team are just as keen for me to do well as I am!
The team at Inspiration House are always available to help with any queries and there is on-going weekly support from another franchisee in the first few weeks and months. When I’ve had the occasional wobble or panic, I’ve been able to pick up the phone and talk to someone straight away who can help answer my questions and put my mind at ease. It can feel very daunting running a children’s class for the first few times and taking centre stage when the only experience you have of kids is your own but after a few weeks it does become second nature.
The other fantastic part of being a franchisee and part of a wider network is the support and friendship of other franchisees across the country. Although I am running my own business I never feel isolated and really value the sharing of ideas and experiences that goes on every day of the week especially with our fabulous online forum. It’s so important for me to be able to share highs and lows and see that everyone is going through similar challenges and successes even though we are in different parts of the country. I truly have made some great friends since coming on board.
Now I’m up and running and the opportunities are really starting to open up. I am getting a lot of party bookings which is fantastic, some even 6 months in advance. People I talk to are really excited about our Arty Parties and say that they’ve tried searching for something similar in the past but there’s been nothing like it – until now! Numbers in my classes are steadily rising and the feedback is really positive. I also love the fact that my children can be involved. Joel came along to my term time classes before starting at preschool and Lauren has already been to one of my Arty Parties (which I did for one of her school class mates) and my holiday sessions.
It’s great that they can be so involved with my work. They get to help me practice my sessions and they know all the magic words, as do their friends! To have children running up to me in the playground shouting “The Creation Station Celebration…” and seeing the key rings they made at one of my parties hanging from their book bag gives me a real buzz! And I’m told that Lauren’s class were learning about jobs and careers recently and all the girls said they wanted to be a Creation Station “lady” when they grow up!
One local mum turned to me after their first holiday class saying, “Today was great. It was above and beyond any craft thing I have ever done with the girls. It’s the attention to detail and quality of the products that makes it worth the money. You’re going to do really well”. And I have to say she was right!
I’ve also been invited to represent the Creation Station and talk to potential franchisees at two large Exhibitions and a Discovery Morning. And the business development from Head Office keeps on coming with new announcements from Sarah on a regular basis about what she and her team are doing to drive the business forward. It is very exciting and extremely motivating to see and share in such passion for what we are all doing.
I was so delighted to receive the best New Franchise Award in 2012 and the Franchisee franchisees award in 2013, chosen by my fellow team. It makes me feel just so proud of what I am doing. I feel very positive about my future. Some would say (and have said) it’s a very difficult time to be setting up a new business given our financial climate and that I’m very brave but I feel very confident that there is a demand for the services that the Creation Station can deliver within my area and as a mum, I am looking forward to running a flexible business that will still give me time to spend with my young family as they grown up.
On a personal level, I’ve noticed a real boost in my own creativity and having all the tools and materials in my own garage makes it really easy to get creative at home with my kids (which they love) and sometimes even on my own in the evenings! I have to pinch myself every now and then and remind myself that I am actually running my own business, I feel really proud of myself for taking the plunge and going for it.
For more information about Louise's classes, parties and events visit The Creation Station Mid Beds page or call Louise on 0844 854 9178