Where it all began
It was back in 2015 when the idea started to formalise around an event for mums. I, Lindsey had my first baby Molly in October 2013 and a few months into maternity leave my mind started thinking about work. What would I do, could I return to my city job as a Marketing Manager or was there an alternative?
I spoke to my employer at the time about flexible working, my only option was to work 4 days a week but that would mean a 20% cut in wages with Molly having to be in child-care for a very long day, I didn’t want that so I faced the conundrum about what to do. There had to be a way to do something where I can put Molly in childcare for less hours a week, manage my own diary and work.
I started another business which led to this
I thought long and hard, researched many options but I took the plunge and decided to start my own event management company first of all. Events are my professional passion, its what I feel I am good at and confident in doing so knew I could organise eves for client organisations. It was about a year into that, I then had the idea for the Mums Enterprise Roadshow. I had started to connect with the likes of Talented Ladies Club who featured me and my new event management business on their website, I could see there was support and opportunity out there for mums. And of course I had experienced it myself and I could hear the challenges all my mummy friends were having.
The idea came in March 2015 and it didn’t take long really to write it up as a plan, I knew instinctively what it would be like, I could envisage what the event would be right away.
That’s when Lucy got involved.
She was a friend, was a freelance graphic designer and I needed to bring my idea to life. I needed a brand, a logo and design elements to make the whole thing look professional. She came up with this Mood Board and I cried tears of Joy – this was going to happen and I knew it was going to be epic. You can see that ‘Moon Board’ here, the very one I opened up that day.
So that really takes us to today. Me and Lucy have been working together, as business partners on these events for two years. We started planning the first ever events in May/June time 2015, our website went live in September 2015 and the first two events took place in my local region Hertfordshire in June 2016.
We learnt a hell of a lot of lessons from those two events.
But the feedback was amazing so we decided to make some changes and give it another shot and we started organising the Brighton event for February 2017. By this point my other half was a little worried, as far as he could see I was working really hard, paying out for some childcare, had by this point closed my event management business to focus on Mums Enterprise. So I was risking it all to make this work but we knew we were onto something, we knew we had inspired so many mums and actually changed lives through the first events.
After June 2016 events we made some changes, these included:
• To go target larger regions, Hertfordshire is too small
• Promote the events to a wider region surrounding our event locations
• Make them free to attend, the first events were £35 a ticket
• Have refreshments for sale, not included in the ticket price
• Reduce the number of workshops on at once – we didn’t need three on at the same time
Thankfully we gained the support of many of our exhibitors and they booked into Brighton and supported us again to make that the biggest success yet with over 700 mums attending. It is from that success that we have now decided to keep the mission going as we had planned if all went well. We have London and Birmingham dates set, we have the least time of all events to organise them and I am expecting a baby in June! But if we can’t do it, then nobody can.
We are so confident in what we have created
We are having conversations with huge brands and mixing with some really inspiring and successful people who are giving us there full support. And we keep un-covering amazing organisations and individuals who want to exhibit with us, many of them don’t exhibit at other shows which gives us such an amazing variety on the day.
We have big ambitions.
By 2020 we will be welcoming over 30,000 mums to our events hosted across eight regions reaching all corners of the UK. We intend to grow using the talents of freelance mums and flexible working just like we are working with Jo Tribe who has recently joined our team.
This is serious for us, we want to change the lives of the mums who attend as well as change our own lives for the better. We can do it, together as we #shootforthemoon.
Me and Lucy work 120 miles apart
Communicate mostly through skype in the evenings and during Ruby’s daily naptimes, Lucy’s family also help with childcare. For me, my Molly is 3 years old and goes to a mix of nursery and a childminder which adds up to about 25 hours per week. I am also expecting baby #2 in June – I have no idea how I am going to work around a newborn baby, so that will be interesting.
We hope that gives you a little more info about who we are, the organisers of the Mums Enterprise Roadshow and event for mums by mums. Here are some tips from us about working
1) Laptops and the cloud are glorious things.
I haven’t had a garden for almost 5 years (killer!) so when I was planning the business I used to take molly for a walk and take my laptop with me. To use the internet I would tether my
2) Plan what work you will do and when
If you are going for a walk with your laptop but won’t have access to WiFi plan to do jobs where you don’t need it.
3) Plan childcare.
Take whatever time you can get, I first started with Molly in childcare for only 8 hours a week. But that was enough to secure my first event management client. You can do it, if you put your mind to it.
4) Get rest
Now I am pregnant I have made sure I get rest when I need it, which for me sometimes means getting an early night instead of working late. But it makes me more productive when I am working to have the rest I need
1) Remember to keep your options open.
If family take care of your children for free it’s great BUT if they suddenly can’t, try to make alternative time in the day that you can use. When this happens to me I carve out more time from my evening (sorry other half) x
2) Find ways to maximise the time you do have available.
The more organised you are with your work flow and the priority of tasks the more you can make of that precious time when kids are quiet or being cared for.
3)Entertainment for the kids
Don’t feel bad if you need to sit them in front of a movie while you get things done.
Register for our free, child-friendly work and business show in London on 25th September and Birmingham on 17th October with Brighton planned for 22nd february 2018. Visit our registration page HERE
You can also join our Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/mumsenterprise