I’m Emily, and I’m the owner and class leader of Baby Sensory Portsmouth. I’m married with 2 children (Violet aged 5, and Bertie aged 1). I have a degree in Psychology from the University of Portsmouth and have worked for over 10 years in marketing for an international publishing company. In 2018 I’ve taken on the Baby Sensory franchise for Portsmouth.
What is Baby Sensory?:
Baby Sensory was the first (and original) baby programme to offer a complete approach to learning and sensory development. Behind every Baby Sensory session, there’s an incredibly detailed lesson plan backing up everything your baby touches, sees, hears, smells and feels.
Every week is different and introduces new sensory development activities supported by useful information to help you interact with your baby and discover what he or she can do. We’ve done the research so that you and your baby can spend time focusing on each other and having huge amounts of fun!
Our summer term runs for 12 weeks, and due to limited classes sizes early booking is advisable.
After having my second child I knew going back to work wasn’t such a bad thing, I’d already done it once before. I would be going back to a job I’d been comfortable in for over ten years, and was lucky enough to work part-time. However, half way through my maternity leave I was made redundant. I was gutted. But it wasn’t because I was losing a job I loved, it was because I was being pushed out of something easy. I’d been settled, knew what I was doing, now I’d have to probably find something full time, learn loads of new stuff, work extra hard.
After receiving the dreaded call I nosily went on to Facebook to see if any of my colleagues had been affected and saw an advert looking for someone to take the Baby Sensory franchise in Portsmouth. It was fate. Any other time I probably would have just scrolled past that post, but I was intrigued. It sounded great, but was I being hasty, literally jumping on to the first thing I saw? I’d worked in Publishing for a decade, could I work with babies? I went to check out some classes to see what they were about…
They were brilliant. Not just another one of these groups that call themselves ‘sensory’. Baby Sensory classes truly stimulated the senses- mine and my son’s! All based on 35 years of research from parenting and child development expert Dr Lin Day, every activity and piece of equipment had been thoughtfully considered and researched to help drive and support my baby’s development. And at the same time, we had such fun!
It was a risk and a huge change of career for me, but I decided to take the jump.
I won’t lie, it is scary to begin with. Having worked for a large and international company since leaving University, I didn’t know the first thing about running my own business, and there’s A LOT to know. I’d always been safe knowing that each month I’d get my paycheque, someone else would sort out the finer details. Now it’s down to me to manage the finances of my company – I’m the finance department, the marketing department and everything else in between. If I don’t put in that work, then the business won’t work. And that is the most stressful part, if I don’t get people to class, then I can’t pay my bills.
On the flip side, being my own boss means that I can truly be in charge of my time and my schedule. I will do the school drop off and pick up, and haven’t been forced to go full-time – classes run 2 days a week, so I have time at home with my son, but the flexibility to run more classes if there is a demand, or not if I don’t want to. And I know that every success the business has, however small, is down to me and the hard work I put in, and that is a fantastic feeling.
Business skills you can learn (I was lucky enough to get business training included in my franchise package, but a great place to start is by joining your local Chamber of Commerce and take advantage of their training) – but having the strength to do something completely different, and the confidence in yourself to do it is much harder to achieve.
Visit www.babysensory.com/portsmouth/ for more information and to see our timetable.