This week on my Mums in Business series I’m delighted to be featuring Jackie who set-up Les Petit Tigres in South London to provide singing sessions to children to help enhance their French language learning, and also to share her love of the French language and culture.
Jackie set up her business to help her own son with languages when she spotted a gap in the market that there were no classes in South London that offered this service. Since setting up the business, she has expanded this to three different classes and continues to love teaching children, whilst learning new skills to help the business grow. So, if you’re looking for French singing classes in South London then look no further than Les Petit Tigres, or if you’re looking for business inspiration then take a read of Jackie’s story below….
Tell me a little bit about you, your background and Les Petit Tigres?
I started the group as a voluntary basis at the local library for free. I am French speaking and raising my child bilingual. I wanted to do more to support his language learning but I couldn’t find any local groups. I decided to set up my own as a way to encourage me to learn more songs and sing more French with my child as well as meet other people locally with children who were French speaking or learning.
What were your drivers and motivations for setting up Les Petit Tigres?
The biggest motivation is my son. When he started full time at his French preschool, I decided to use my experience running the group as an opportunity to turn it into a business rather than stop, as many people seemed to enjoy and appreciate the classes. I then transitioned and started charging for sessions as at this point I felt that I had enough experience and confidence to offer something of real value. I also want to be a positive role model. I think it’s important for a child to see their mother working – to see that she is creative, productive and contributes to society in other ways outside of the home and apart from being a mother. I also feel that it’s very healthy for mothers to have their own life and other work besides raising children.
How do you balance the business around family and childcare?
My goal is to enjoy a healthy work life balance and be able to spend time with my son so I run my sessions while he is at school. The sessions are term time only which means that I’m off when he is not in school. As I’m a single mama and the primary caregiver, I wanted something that would not only be fulfilling to myself and beneficial to others but also be flexible and give me more control over my time.
Since setting up the business what’s been your biggest success to date?
Every little smiling face in my classes is a success to me! It’s such a joy to see little ones responding to a foreign language and beginning to repeat words. I’ve gone from one drop-in class to three, which I’m pleased about, and my first contract with a nursery was an exciting moment. I recently had a guest blog published at Fluent in 3 Months which is the first time I’ve written an article for someone else and it was exciting to see it online.
What’s your top tip for Mums who are thinking about setting up their own business?
My top tip is to really think about what it is that you want to do as a business and why. Look at what else is out there, think about how you will do it and most importantly, are people interested? You can have an amazing product/service but if there is no demand then it’s not going to be a success. I also suggest taking a business start up course – whether you go with an idea in mind and work to develop it or just are playing with ideas, it will give you a lot of insights and also help you to get off on the right foot. You can find free courses in many areas so have a look at what’s available around you. I did a course with Tree Shepherd and found it excellent.
Thank you so much Jackie for taking part in my series, it was lovely to interview you, and I wish you the best of luck in the future.
If you would like to be part of my Mums in Business then just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in my series: Trotting Dog, Pavara, and Little Story Telling Company.