Creation Station

Alexis Jervis

The Creation Station Newcastle-under-Lyme & South Cheshire 

Alexis enjoyed corporate life as a senior buyer for a national supermarket, but often she felt like a round peg in a square hole. Alexis has already had an interest in creativity and dreamt of running her own business, but it wasn’t until she came across the British Franchise Association website that she discovered the wide range of opportunities that were available. Alexis started her search and soon came across The Creation Station: an established, market-leading franchise, providing award-winning support that matched her values, delivering fun and creative classes, parties and events for kids and adults. She knew that The Creation Station would give her the opportunity and support she needed to achieve a rewarding and fulfilling career, doing something she loved with flexibility for her family needs.

Why did you want to run your own business?

“I have always wanted to run my own business but wouldn’t have known where to start setting up a business from scratch.”

“I believe that creativity is really important for both children and adults as it allows people to use their imaginations and just think in their own way, be themselves, and have fun. This helps to build self-confidence and social skills which are so important in every aspect of life.”

What attracted you to The Creation Station?

“I was on Facebook one day and an advert popped up for another franchise which, amongst other things, mentioned about fitting around your family life – something which I was really looking to achieve in my next role so this idea immediately appealed to me. This led me to do more research on franchises via The British Franchise Association (bfa) website- this is a really informative and helpful site as I didn’t really know much about franchising. I found a list of all their approved franchises which I excitedly started to search. As I searched I came across The Creation Station, and it just really resonated with me. It looked like the one that would enable me to combine my passion for crafting with running my own business which I could also fit around my family life more flexibly than my previous role.”

“As soon as I came across The Creation Station I knew that this was the business for me; the branding was amazing, really professional and eye-catching and the strong values of the business really shone through from my first interaction with the team.”

“I downloaded the franchise info pack and went along to a Discovery event. When I met some of the team it really did look and feel like the right opportunity and the numbers all worked for what I was looking for. The business enables me to work, tapping into one of my true passion; crafting, something which I never dreamed could also be my business. Plus I plan my week and can tailor my business to suit me. It really does tick all the boxes for me.”

What are you most looking forward to as you launch your own Creation Station?

“The training week was really comprehensive and my first week after training I took over £500 worth of bookings. Already I’m enjoying running my classes and meeting new people, both adults, and children who are just as passionate as I am about getting creative, making new friends and having loads of fun along the way.”

How do you and your family feel about the future?

“My husband Jamie has been amazingly supportive and my daughter is already signed up as my number one helper – she’s already ordered her special Creation Station ‘Creative Helper’ uniform!”

“Running my own franchise has already given me more freedom and flexibility to be around for my two young children. Just being able to drop my daughter off at school is something I was never able to do in my previous job.”

Aby Mason

Mum of 1, owns The Creation Station Worthing 

“I wanted to spend more time with my eight year old daughter so decided to utilise my sales and marketing skills and apply my theoretical knowledge of running a small business. I have seen first-hand the difficulties faced by start-up businesses so I researched franchising as this seemed to be a good option. I would have my own business with plenty of support and back up.

“I could see The Creation Station would offer me the flexibility to involve my daughter in my work as well as fit around school. Plus it would allow me to use my creativity as well as my business skills.  Also, The Creation Station is a member of the British Franchise Association (BFA) which really reassured me.”

creation station aby

Jenny Seymour

Mum of 2, owns The Creation Station West Sheffield

“I didn’t want to miss out any more on my boys growing up and I realised the only person who could do something about it was me.”

“It was a huge step to give up the security of my career having been a solicitor for 16 years, but for me, it is has taken me to a place where I now have the flexibility to be my own boss and to be there when my boys need me! I realised what a fantastic business opportunity The Creation Station provided, it was truly inspiring.”

creation station jenny

Jo Sutcliffe

Mum of 2, owns The Creation Station Enfield 

“I was looking for the flexibility which working for myself gives. With my franchise, I can work during school hours and be a mummy before and after – the perfect combination.”

“When I attended the Discovery Morning I just wanted it to match up to my expectations!  And it did.  I found all the team to be really great and very friendly. “

“My background is in sales and advertising, so I feel confident in terms of approaching people marketing too.  The support from head office has given me massive confidence.  It feels like there is a big team behind me, willing me to do well and that is great.

My past working life was very different to running children’s art classes and parties. I studied marketing at university and went into hospitality, managing many different businesses and venues. 

I took an admin job after my son was born so I had more flexibility and I was able to be at home more. The job didn’t satisfy me though and I knew that I had to find a job that was flexible and challenging as I need to have personal achievement in my work.

I knew that I wanted to work for myself and started to search for a business that would suit me and my skills. Franchising appealed to me because of the back-up and support systems that would be provided by the franchisor. I had managed branded venues when I was in the Licensed Trade, so I felt that I would be able to fit into a franchise brand and work within its brand values and structure.

Although I have only been operating for 10 weeks, I have had 30 children attending classes regularly each week. I have met really lovely parents and children and it is a pleasure to go to work. The children are really proud of their creations and the parents are happy and relaxed with their children.

I’ve got big plans to grow my business and I’m working in a model that supports my ambition – however big. In the long term I would hope to be able to expand the business and employ staff locally.

creation station jo

Karen Carnson

Mum of 2, owns The Creation Station Perth and Kinross

“My old job was not giving me the flexibility I needed to put my family first and the office politics were getting more and more frustrating. The Creation Station has given me the confidence to be my own boss and I am very positive about the future.

“As someone who is at the beginning of my journey into franchising, I am very excited about what the future holds. I was working as an Environmental Health Officer but I just wasn’t getting the flexibility I needed to put my family first and work in my old job and office politics were getting more and more frustrating. It was massively important for me to take the step and become my own boss. The Creation Station has given me the confidence to be my own boss and I am very positive about the future, plus I feel safe in the knowledge that they are only a phone call away.

“My husband and I had looked at many options for a more flexible way of working and considered buying a nursery, but the costs involved made it unrealistic. I knew franchising was a lower cost option and has the extra advantages of a head office support team along with being a tried and business model, so I researched flexible franchising to see what options were available. 

“I was very interested in The Creation Station when I found out about them, but I was still apprehensive about leaving the children behind and making the long journey from Perthshire to Devon to attend a Discovery Morning. However it turned out to be a life changing journey.

“I was totally inspired by The Creation Station founder Sarah Cressall – who set up the business in her home in order to meet the needs of her family – and I knew after attending the Discovery Morning and from looking at the videos and testimonials that I wanted to be part of this business.

“The training and support I have received has really prepared me for what is ahead. I have a plan that helps me to focus on what is important and not get bogged down with things that can wait. I have found the support and hand holding from Head Office (AKA Inspiration House) is remarkable considering how much work goes into Discovery Mornings, training and the on-going support.

“When I completed my 3 day training in Devon, my Webpage, Facebook page, Email account and phone number had already been set up and my business was already being marketed for me online. My start up stock was packed up and arrived the week after training.  Unpacking all my kit when it arrived was like Christmas all over again and the look on Holly’s face was priceless – she can’t wait for mummy to start her new job and neither can I.”

creation station karen

Erika Doerksen

Mum, owns The Creation Station Norfolk

“I wanted to have the freedom of choosing my work hours to fit around family life. I knew I wanted to work with children and be my own boss.

Coming from a creative family and having two crafty daughters myself, it was important for me to be able to work with children and be creative at work. I had worked in a crèche and as a nanny for 2 years, but when I started looking at what to do after having children I had different priorities – I wanted to have the freedom to choose my work hours to fit around family life; I wanted to make my own decisions and be responsible for my successes and failures; I wanted to be the person benefitting from my hard work, not somebody else.

“I looked into many different franchised businesses for women and mums. I really liked the idea of a franchised business because of the start-up support, training and established business model that you’re buying into.

“My friends were quite doubtful on whether it was a good idea, I think it’s hard if you don’t get the support you would like but it was only my husband’s support I needed and he thought it was a great business opportunity too.

“The idea of running your own business is quite daunting, so the Discovery Morning I attended was important to me. It was very helpful and answered all the questions and doubts I had arrived with. 

“Training what not only a time of learning the business and how things are run, but also a time to bond with other new franchisees. This really helped following training in the support calls and hand holding as we were there for each other as well as head office support. In addition to the on-going support, I found the franchisee forum a great help, having a support network of people who understand your worries is essential.

“The learning curve when you start running classes is massive! I was nervous in the build up to me first class but I was calm and feeling settled after the first week. I felt confident very quickly at explaining what I did to people and I was encouraged at seeing how the word about my classes was spreading.

“I have only been running it for 5 months although it feels much longer. I’m now at the stage where holiday sessions fill within a day or so of advertising them, party enquiries are flowing in weekly and more mums are signing up for the whole programme. I’m looking forward to seeing where I am in another 6 months.

“The reaction from children and adults has been very positive. Lots of people comment that there is nothing like this in the area and when their children leave they are singing the songs and don’t want to wash off their superstar stamp! I have some parents that travel from the large towns and cities to attend my holiday sessions. That’s almost a 50 mile round trip!!

“The future is full of opportunity. I feel a lot of the foundation has been laid and it’s now much easier for customers to find me and I’ve also got a good reputation as a party entertainer, which really helps.”  

creation station erika

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