Emma McCalla-John, Harborne and Bartley Green
Emma has always loved teaching, but after 20 years, she became wearied about how the system worked and what the priorities were.
She says: “I trained as a music teacher but quite early in my career, I started to work with special needs children. I have worked with children and young adults with lots of differing abilities, those on the autistic spectrum, those with physical disabilities and other complex needs.”
“As time wore on I wasn’t able to have as much say in what I was teaching and it all seemed about passing exams, meeting the grade and trying to teach all children the same thing and in the same way. We don’t all learn the same way though!”
While the ever-changing teaching environment didn’t resonate her, she was still passionate about working with children, especially on creative projects and expressive arts.
“With an almost grown up family, it seemed the ideal time to take a calculated risk and challenge myself to achieve what I could have only dreamt of a few years previous – to run my own creative business. It was a now or never moment.”
She decided to invest her passion and experience into making her dream of being her own boss, running her own creative business and supporting children to learn and develop through art and crafts activities a reality. She turned to the world of franchising and hasn’t looked back.
She decided to look into the many varying businesses that were exhibiting at an upcoming franchise exhibition, and came across The Creation Station and was immediately drawn to them.
“I looked at the list of franchises that were going to be at The National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC and thought, ‘That looks interesting!’ Prior to the exhibition, I did as much research as possible on The Creation Station; I downloaded the franchise information pack from the website, read about it, watched YouTube clips and got a list of questions prepared ready for when I went to the franchise exhibition.
I think I knew before I got there that this was going to the right fit for me. But seeing the bright and colourful stand and the lovely ladies from the network just reinforced my gut feeling that I had to be part of this success and value driven company. I just knew!”
She now runs her own award-winning Creation Station Franchise, providing classes, clubs, parties and events in and around Harborne and Bartley Green, Birmingham.
Investing in a franchise is a commitment for both the franchisor and the franchisee, and it is imperative that both values and ethos are aligned with one another as you become a part of that franchise family.
Emma agrees: “Investing in my own Creation Station franchise means investing into a whole network of support, and that’s really important to me. I know that I can always ask for help, advice, and support at any time from our Creative Hub Head Office or from other franchisees.”
So how does Emma feel about taking the decision to visit a franchise exhibition and meet with her future franchisor?
“I’m proud of taking the risk, taking a chance and doing something that to be honest not everyone has the guts to do. I’ve achieved some important personal goals. I have a flexible work-life balance; that doesn’t mean less work, it means work that you want to do when you want to do it. To be honest, sometimes I work harder and longer… but it’s my choice, the work is valuable and I reap the benefits – and that’s great.”