I had been looking to get back to work after having my son Henry in October 2008. As we had moved from Lancashire to my home county of Buckinghamshire when I was pregnant, returning to my old job was not an option for me. I kept an eye on the local job adverts but everything that was on offer seemed like too many hours for very low wages that would not justify the cost of childcare, let alone the hours away from my baby.
I had always had an ambition to run my own business so I began to explore that option, which is when I discovered Tatty Bumpkin. I remembered seeing an advert for the brand when I was pregnant and was surprised to see that there were no classes in my area. I contacted Head Office in to enquire and was told that my territory was available, and invited to attend a Discovery Day in London. I was very impressed with what I saw and loved the concepts behind the brand. The fact that the territory on offer was so generous also really appealed to me. The franchise is sold as being scalable, meaning that you can chose to keep your business relatively small and teach the classes yourself, or you can run it as a management franchise and take on teachers to run classes for you. I definitely had ambitions for the latter option.
I made my decision to buy the franchise quickly as I didn't want to miss out on my home territory. I had a very busy Christmas that year as I juggled hosting Christmas dinner for eight, with doing market research and writing my business plan.
The hard work paid off as in January 2010 I was accepted as a Tatty Bumpkin franchisee and attended the initial four day training soon after.
I had a slow start to my business as my son was still very small and I was not ready for him to go to nursery yet so I didn't have very many hours to dedicate to teaching. I started off running just one class in a local hall and building up my confidence with the teaching programme. I completed further training to teach the Baby Bumpkin programme in June 2010 and started teaching that soon after. One of the really great things about being part of the Tatty Bumpkin franchise network is there is a lot of support available from the other franchisees, as well as from Head Office. I had been speaking to one of the other more experienced (and very successful) franchisees and she told me how she focussed her business on nurseries and children's centres. I realised that, particularly with the limited hours available to me, this would be the most sensible way of making the best use of my time.
I am now coming to the end of my second year as a Tatty Bumpkin franchisee and I can honestly say that I am so glad that I made the decision to invest in the franchise. I have just taken on my second teacher and am planning to expand the business even more in 2012. My son is now three and is only in nursery for three mornings a week; I have managed to build a business that provides my family with a valuable second income as well as allowing me to spend plenty of time being Mummy too. I am really proud of what I have achieved with the support of the team at Tatty Bumpkin.