Mumpreneur Profile: Helen of Tots Play #franchising #franchisors

totsplay 1Name: Helen Gillies. Company: Tots Play

I started my own business for the same reason as many mums do, so I didn’t have to go back to my old job and leave my baby in child care all day. When she was a few months old I bought a franchise and started running classes for babies and toddlers which gave me a great balance of bringing in an income, doing something for me and being the (almost) stay at home mum I wanted to be.

After a couple of happy years, a house move (overseas!) made it necessary to sell that first business but also gave me the opportunity to try out lots of other activities that I was interested in and on returning to the UK, I set up my own programme of play classes for babies and toddlers, Tots Play.

When my daughter was young I wanted to try lots of different activities with her, to enjoy time together and to help her development, but found I had to travel far and wide to find these things and paying for them all didn’t come cheap either! What I wanted to do with Tots Play was to provide a wide range of experiences in one programme so that instead of having to choose between a massage class, a yoga class, a music class, a movement class, a signing class and a sensory class for their little one, parents could give their child all these experiences in one place, and this unique mix of activities is one of the reasons the classes have proved to be so popular.

totsplay 2I currently live in South Wales with my husband and daughter, now 10 (how did that happen!) and have spent the last 5 years growing and developing the business, first locally and then further afield through franchising, and it is still a business model that fits in perfectly (most of the time!) between the school run, after school activities and all the other demands a family brings.

Letting someone else run the classes as their own for the first time, was not easy, having grown and nurtured my little business myself for so long, but now I love sharing all the knowledge and experience I have built up over the years with other women who are also looking for a better work/life balance and each new person who joins us brings something new to the programme which only continues to enhance and improve it.

bubblesRunning your own business certainly has its ups and downs and I have found that adopting an attitude of  “I will do what it takes to make it work” is crucial, but if you are determined, flexible and willing to learn then it is a fantastic way to be able to create the lifestyle that you want on your terms.

If you would like to find out how the Tots Play franchise programme can help you to do the same then visit us at http://totsplay.co.uk/franchise_66.html or give me a call on 01633 897841.

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