When did you start your business & why?
Having worked through the market crash of ’98 and enjoyed a career at JP Morgan, Credit Suisse then Deutsche Bank, I began to feel there was more to life that the jet setting and high jinks of the City life. I took my then young son Solomon to a friend’s party at a private members club, and it was there that my lightbulb moment occurred.
I loved the fact parents had somewhere quality and classy to go, with everything they needed – soft play, a creche, even rooms to relax and get a massage in – and they could unwind with friends in a place that children were not just welcome, but looked after in every way. I decided to start looking into creating my own leisure brand.
At this time Trampoline Parks had not reached European shores, but a chance viewing of Keeping up with the Kardashians sparked an idea in my mind. I met with an American firm who specialised in building trampoline parks and supplying the equipment. After several attempts being thwarted by unscrupulous investors, I entered into a partnership and set up Rush – a huge trampoline park and indoor entertainment centre firstly in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire and then a second park in Birmingham.
What’s been the highlight of running your own business so far?
The opening of Rush’s flagship complex in High Wycombe, just before Christmas in 2015. and to see it open for the first time was just the most incredibly proud moment for me. My husband Tim later took 18 months out of his career in June 2016 to work with me on the project of opening our second park in Birmingham in November 2016.
How do you organise your time?
I’m not a conventional 9 – 5 person and I work flexibly. My day is organised in and around my children which was the whole reason I decided to set up my own business. I do all the school drop offs and pick ups and I work around it. I use the phone a lot while I’m driving on hands free and I prefer to have conversations with my senior managers than do everything on email.
I flex my time between working from home and in the office. If I need to focus on something I work from home and I focus on the team when I’m in the parks. I also fill the gaps by working in the evenings if I need to. I do need to have a switch off time and make sure the time when I am I with my children is when I am completely focussed on them. It’s not always easy and its a juggling act and my goal is to try to find a way to juggle it all better.
What’s the biggest life lesson you want to pass down to your children?
If you believe in yourself and set your own goals and work hard then you can achieve them. Nothing is given to you on a plate and you have to work hard for it.
The rewards do come with hard work!
It’s also not often the end result that’s the most important thing, its the journey and making the most of that journey.
What business tip would you give to mums thinking of starting out alone?
Don’t listen to the naysayers – stay focused on your own game and your own goal. If you listen to people who are negative around you it will dissuade you from actually doing it. .
What’s does your ‘mum uniform’ comprise of?
As we have a fitness offering at Rush, I start my day with an exercise class in one of our studios so I usually wear workout gear and then change into a nice skater skirt and top or more recently I’ve been getting into dresses and trainers! I love Zara and Reiss – they are my go-to brands for work wear.