She is now welcoming families back to Tumble Tots Warrington classes where parents have enjoyed the activities when they were younger and are returning with children of their own.
The Tumble Tots family is always growing!
Here, in our latest Business of the Week feature, Carolyn tells us what it’s been like running Tumble Tots Warrington for the past 16 years and their plans to celebrate the parent company’s 45th anniversary next year.
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What’s the name of the business?
Tumble Tots Warrington
Where are you based?
We are mobile all over Warrington
Are you the owner or manager?
I am the franchisee.
When did you open the business?
I was a nurse for over 19 years when I decided to buy the business, I have now been running it for over 16 years and never regretted the decision.
Has it always been in the same location?
We have changed halls over the years but stayed in same areas across Warrington – Culcheth, Wilderspool Causeway, Penketh and Sandymoor.
Are you local to the area? Did you grow up here?
I was born in Warrington and have lived here for most of my life.
Tell me a bit about your business. What do you do? What services do you provide?
Our progressive play programme is designed to develop your child’s physical skills. Using bespoke colourful equipment, we focus on agility, balance, climbing and co-ordination, which enhances brain development and builds confidence. Every session is supervised by our specially trained staff, getting the best out of each child. Up until three years, grown-ups participate as well so that parents, carers and even grandparents can spend time with little ones as they develop.
It’s all in the detail – handmade items with a personal touch
Why did you decide to open your own business?
I always wanted to work with small children but at college got pushed toward nursing in college. When I had my own children and was off on maternity leave with my youngest, Tumble Tots Warrington came up for sale. I had attended the classes with my older child and decided this gave me a more balanced work and family life, doing something I love.
What’s your business background?
No business background so learning the ropes of running a business and employing staff etc was a baptism of fire!
Were you open before/during/after the Covid-19 pandemic? How did this affect your business?
We were well established before the pandemic and then all of sudden we couldn’t operate at all. I felt really lost. After a couple of weeks, we started doing daily Facebook live shows, doing songs, rhymes and physical skills. We did special themed shows every Friday and every Saturday was a singalong Saturday where the children could request their favourite songs. My two daughters got involved and gave the little ones something to do. It gave me focus during those difficult times and although it didn’t bring in any money, it kept my business name out there. The shows are still available on our youtube channel. When we started back with face to face classes, it was really difficult as we had a lot of restrictions to adhere to, wearing masks and trying to distance ourselves. The hardest thing was not being able to hug the children when they ran up to us!
What makes your business different to others in the same area/field? What sets your business apart from your competitors?
We have a high staff to children ratio and we have a lot of bespoke equipment designed to enhance children’s physical skills and development. We teach children skills for life!
As Tumble Tots has been around for more than 44 years and in Warrington for more than 34 years, we are now getting next generation Tumble Tots whose parents participated in classes. We welcome everyone and we build up quite the bond with our families – it becomes part of their routine.
“Flowers help mark life’s special moments creating unforgettable memories”
Why do loyal customers return to your business?
Families – parents and grandparents – look forward to the weekly dose of Tumble Tots. I am also a netball coach, head coach of Appleton Netball Club. I am now coaching teenage girls who I have had as babies at Tumble Tots. I love to think that we have started children to enjoy an active lifestyle!
What’s next? What do the next few months hold for you and your business?
We will be celebrating our 45th anniversary next year and hopefully we can keep welcoming the new generations of children into the Tumble Tots family.