Owner of The Creation Station Mid-Ulster Roisin said “I was amazed to win the Best New Creation Station Franchisee of the Year award 2013 as there are so many inspiring Creation Station franchise owners all over the UK. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to support local parents, carer’s and their children by offering fun arts and crafts sessions. To receive the award is a huge honour”.
Here’s my story…
Background – The Journey Begins
On Jan 15th 2009, our lives changed forever, our beautiful daughter Aimee arrived into the world. I was always ambitious professionally, but my biggest ambition in life was to be a mum and I’ve relished every moment since. In March 2011, our family expanded – our wonderful little boy, Joshua arrived into our world prematurely. Three short days later Joshua became an Angel – our life journey was to change direction once more. After much consultation with medical professionals, late night chats between ourselves, discussions with our families we took the monumental decision to add to our little family once more. Our precious Dylan was born on 23 May 2011, he was born sleeping. Too beautiful for this earth.
In Dec 2011, I returned to my corporate career in Banking after an extended period of leave. We live in rural Ireland, and worked in the city – this meant a 100 mile round trip. Our day started at 6.15, Aimee was dropped with the childminder and we didn’t get to collect her to that evening. I had lost my passion for Corporate world, but I had found my ambition to be the best mum I possibly could be to my little Angel on Earth (mind you she can be a little devil too!).
Matt and I had long chats about our options and the wish list consisted of
1) Wanting a flexible career that allowed me to take Aimee to school each day
2) Wanting to work with children
3) Using and building my existing skill set
4) Make some money to contribute to the household budget!
It was whilst researching another franchise opportunity that I came across The
Creation Station. I was immediately intrigued and my tummy was doing some of those little somersault things (I’m not often a gut feeling kinda girl!) I emailed off for my Bright Shiny Red Pack and from the moment I opened that envelope, I knew I had a new path to take!
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
It was with great excitement and anticipation that I attended the Discovery morning – Matt and Aimee waved me off at Belfast City airport, Fab brekkie later and a nervous stroll up to the village hall where I met the lovely Laura Meachin another new prospective franchisee. Sarah Cressall the Founder and her team an other franchise owners were all on hand to give a warm welcome. I adored the discovery morning and regretted not having Aimee and Matt alongside me. BUT, that was it… I was hooked… I wanted to be part of this amazing creative inspiring train! Where do I sign… Laura and I travelled back by train to Bristol – we were like two giggly school girls on that train with excitement. We were already imagining running the the classes ourselves.
Matt and Aimee collected me from the airport and Matt commented how ‘different’ I looked… my eyes were bright, my step bounced, my cheeks were flushed… all from excitement of what lay ahead. I was fortunate to be able to avail of a redundancy package which would fund the franchisee fee, but I was contractually obliged to work until 31st July. But that didn’t stop me getting on with planning… Sourcing venue’s, making contacts, drawing up lists of potential sources of customers… nurseries, playgroups; developing a business plan – and then training. I was priviledged to share my training with Gemma, Liz, Nina and Clare hosted by the lovely Ali & Carly. It was an action packed few days in July, and I was raring to go. I was still employed and needed to see out my last few weeks so I tramped the streets at the weekends leafleting, worked long into the night to seek out opportunities to promote the business. I was fortunate to land my first venue as a free one – a vacant unit in the Shopping Centre. On top of that the Centre employed me to do Fun Arts & Crafts on Friday’s throughout August, all leading to our Little Explorer Launch event at the end of August. I was able to piggy back on the paid advertising that The Shopping Centre did and was pleased with the amount of coverage The Creation Station Mid-Ulster was receiving and still does. I LOVE my job, and I want everyone to know what we do.
I love Rollercoaster’s, always have – Aimee does too… Matt holds the coats. This has been a roller coaster of a year for us. I’m learning every day, including alot about myself.. actually I’m quite creative, I’m visual , I’m pretty good at marketing, I love winning business, I love meeting new people and cultivating new relationships, I love trying new things. I’m pretty shocking at admin!, I’m terrible at asking for money, I’m not a great at selling all the products. I have a diary note to go onto the franchisee forum regularly, not only to seek advise, but to support when I can – I firmly believe together we can achieve more. I’ve been able to help out our Inspiration Hub, aka Head Office occasionally too, by assisting with Little Explorer’s new session plans and sharing in The Hot Seat – all of which make you feel part of a team and less isolated.
So 5 months in whats the landscape like ahead?
I am so proud to have inspired over 1500 little imaginations in Mid-Ulster through sheer hard work in 5 months! I am proud to have 3 Weekly Little Explorer’s classes ranging with between 7 – 16 children and a waiting list for one particular class . I have over 650 likes on my FB page. I’m especially proud of the 16 event tenders that I’ve won. I have been honoured to entertain at 12 children’s Birthday Parties. I am proud to be part of such a supportive, energetic, understanding team – my Creation Station Family. You all rock!! By far the proudest moments come with the development of the children, the High 5’s and hugs of excitement in class not to mention watching little friendships blossom.
Onwards and Upwards
No-one knows what tomorrow may bring, I know that more than most, but I thank my Angel Boys every day for giving me the courage and guiding me to make a positive difference not only to our family life, but the lives of other’s.
The Creation Station Mid-Ulster runs weekly heart warmingly friendly and fun Little Explorer and Baby Discovery classes in Magherafelt and Cookstown and awesome arty birthday parties for up to 11 year olds. Click here to see Roisin’s classes. For information about the arty birthday parties click here.
- Finalists Announced for The Creation Station Franchisee of the Year 2013 (yourcreationstation.wordpress.com)
- The Winners of the Best Creation Station Franchise Award Announced at the 11th Annual Inspiring Imaginations Conference. (yourcreationstation.wordpress.com)