How did you come up with the idea of your business?
When I was pregnant with my first son the realisation that a successful career usually comes at the sacrifice of family life hit me hard. I had a great job as a Chartered Accountant in London, but I could see that even with part-time/flexible work I wasn’t going to be able to balance family life in the way that I wanted to. By complete chance (I was just googling different things as I believe many people do when they’re pregnant!) I happened to read about baby massage and I was so intrigued and impressed by the associated benefits that I decided to train as an instructor. I loved it! Everything I learned resonated with me and I wanted to support and empower parents in their early parenting journey. I could also suddenly see a path where I could make it possible to have successful business AND be able to put my family first. My first child was born, and this was also the birth of Basking Babies!
How did you get started?
Whilst I was up through the night feeding my baby, I would think through all aspects of my new business. I thought through business names, sketched logos, designed session plans, and dreamed ahead into the future about how what Basking Babies would become. Only a few weeks after the birth of my first child I ran my first baby massage class from my house in Brentwood.
How far have you come from where you started?
I continued to run baby massage classes on a weekly basis, but the demand for the classes quickly exceeded the capacity of my house! I began running classes from a venue in Brentwood, and I shortly after launched baby yoga classes (as the perfect follow-on from baby massage) and the word continued to spread. I knew that there was a far greater market for Basking Babies classes than I would be able to provide on my own.
I also felt passionate about helping other Mums to be able to run a successful business whilst being able to put their families first. So I put a simple message out on Facebook to see if anyone would like to join my team, which lead to my first 3 franchisees. I have continued to grow the business year on year – whilst also being a full time Mum and growing my own family. I now have 3 boys and 13 franchisees operating all over Essex. My next plan is to continue the spread the Basking Babies love all over the UK.
What hurdles have you had to overcome?
I think that there are always hurdles to overcome when you run a business. Things change and if you don’t change the business with it then you don’t end up with a good business or a business at all. A good example of this is the COVID-19 pandemic where I had to shift the business from our usual face to face classes to live online at very short notice. Thankfully it worked really well – the franchisees really enjoyed being able to continue to deliver their courses and we received the most incredible testimonials from our clients. Our online classes also immediately became accessible nationwide, so we enjoyed welcoming clients from all over the UK during this period. We will now continue to offer live online classes nationwide in addition to our in-venue classes. I’m delighted that we have managed to grow as a business through such surreal and difficult times.
How do you cope with managing a business and a family?
I’m not going to lie – sometimes it is really challenging! My husband works incredibly long hours so I’m alone in looking after the children and running the house. I basically work at every opportunity I can in between looking after my boys. I have an 8 year old, 5 year old and 2 year old so I work whilst my 2 year old naps and the other two are at school and then I work when they are all asleep in the evening. It does mean that I often work until the early hours of the morning to make sure that I keep on top of everything. I feel lucky to have found work that I genuinely love. I love every aspect of it. I honestly look forward to the moment when the children fall asleep and I bring out my laptop!
What inspires you?
I often feel inspired in rare moments of peace and stillness. For instance, when I’m lying with my boys at bedtime, or when I’m awake in the middle of the night, or even on the school run (before I pick up!). During these moments things I’ve taken in from all around me, perhaps from conversations, social media, articles etc, seem to organise themselves and ping into my head as new ideas for Basking Babies. Whether it’s deigning a new course or making amendments to constantly improve the business.
Any advice/tips you wished you’d been given?
I’ve recently begun working with a business coach and I’m enjoying it so much. So I’d definitely recommend to anyone running their own business to find a good mentor and to never stop learning and improving. The support feels great and you end up with an even better business!
Anything else you would like to share?
I am a big believer in following your heart and your instinct. I always tell my children to dream big as dreams really do come true. If you have an idea or a dream then believe in yourself, you can make it happen.