Liz Cairns talks about her first year running her own Creation Station franchise in South Ayrshire, Scotland.

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“I had enjoyed a really rewarding career in the hospitality industry, managing pubs and restaurants but when I had my son Jamie I decided a more flexible future would work better for me and my family, so I took a part time job as a receptionist. Although this was flexible, my brain and skills just weren’t being used and I really wanted to be doing more than this with my life. Liz Cairns lo res1

I did a lot of research and decided that The Creation Station was for the business for me- rewarding challenging flexible and at the same time a lot of fun. Plus I could bring Jamie along if I wanted to. I completed my training, which gave me great skills, knowledge and confidence to launch my classes within 2 weeks of training: I started with 4 classes in total, getting good attendances at each of them and signups for the fun creative activity programme. Children, mums, dads, grandparents have all loved the classes. I’ve learnt a lot in this first year and have changed one of my venues and classes change to a better time and location for my customers. Its important to me to support the local families in the area and that’s another reason why I love what I do.Liz Cairns lo res

Every week I see the children develop and I know I really help parents and their little ones have a really fun an creative time together, in a way they could never do at home. That’s just a great feeling

Many of my customers have been with me for more than one term, some since we launched, moving from Baby Discover to Little Explorers to continue their journey. The enjoyment that the children get from the classes can be seen in the photographs that I publish every week on my facebook. I love the children who come to our classes and enjoy seeing their results – I love running my own Creation Station franchise. I was really honoured to be shortlisted as finalist  for the new Franchisee of the Year award.

One of the great things about my franchise is there are so many ways I can support the local community. I provide classes, parties and event entertainment, and this really helps us gain some great PR opportunities. This summer I was fortunate to be able to provide fun creative activities at – Ayr Flower Show and Ayrshire Doors open day – both of these events attract families so its a perfect way to introduce children and their parents to all the creative fun we getup to at The Creation Station. Already I am always welcomed at many local fairs and fun days to provide my creative fun activities which of course is great for the families and also a great way promote my business!

I also work in partnership with other great family friendly organisations. For example I’m working with a great company called Dobbies Garden World in Ayr. I started by providing arts and crafts for 2 family fun events in 2012. The feedback was so positive, I now run classes in their conservatory area – I am now in my second term there and the classes are fully booked. It’s great working within the community and providing win win solutions for everyone involved.

I have also been working in partnership with a local soft play – providing weekly sessions, and this all helps to build lots of raving fans in Prestwick!

The great thing about the Creation Station is the network of support from other Franchisees – we communicate well, sharing tips for classes and events. Sarah ( our MD) is very selective about who is awarded a franchise, so this means there is a real like minded ethos and value set in our network.

We also get great support from Head Office. I use all the tools provided by HO and try to embrace each new initiative and make it work for my business – I have recently tried an online giveaway, become a tweeter and a fan of tweeting (even though I really didn’t want to!) but I’m seeing developments from this .

After a year, I can say that I am glad I took the risk of running my own business, and although it has been stressful at times – I do have a good work/life balance and can prioritise time with my son Jamie and my family , which is important to me. It’s great waking up and being able look forward to my inspiring work each day.

For more information on Liz’s classes, parties and events visit The Creation Station South  Ayryshire or email lizcairns@thecreationstation.co.uk

One response »

  1. Pingback: I’ve found a fun and rewarding business that I love and that fits in perfectly with being mum to my boys – some people call me lucky – I tend to agree! | yourcreationstation

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