Cute babies and new mums might not make it to your average business meeting – but they’re part of what makes Mumbler conferences so special!
Since Mumbler complements family life as much as possible, the annual conference follows suit, with babies welcome and franchisees supporting each other as mums – as well as business owners.
Held every autumn, the conferences are a great opportunity for franchisees to come together in person, cement relationships, hear the latest news from Mumbler HQ and share the knowledge they’ve gained in the last year.
Relaxed and informal, this year’s event took place in York’s Revolution bar, with comfy seats, free-flowing caffeine and a steady stream of inspiration.
From news of how Mumbler has grown, to top tips from in-house and external speakers, franchisees spent a full day networking and celebrating their successes.
This year’s highlights included a talk and Q&A session on the popular Mumbler Awards, led by event specialist Liz Theakston, with Doncaster Mumbler Caroline Brooks and Mumbler owner Sally Haslewood
While Harrogate Mumbler is celebrating seven years of Mumbler Awards, Doncaster Mumbler launched its first event this year, and shared lots of information on the costs involved, growth over the years and the difference it has made to website visitors.
York Mumbler Emily Pickard gave an inspiring talk on time management, sharing tips on how to manage an editorial diary, focus your time when juggling the demands of family with a business, and adjusting the balance as time goes by.
After a delicious lunch and group photo, Mumblers took part in an interactive sales session, tackling how to generate sales, strategies, top tips and anecdotes. This was followed by a session on overcoming personal barriers to sales – such as phobias of picking up the phone – by Audrie Woodhouse, an external speaker from Honestly Speaking. Audrie also delivered a personal and professional coaching session.
Since the franchisees all have different backgrounds, meeting up in person is a great opportunity to benefit from each other’s experience. With former teachers, accountants, sales people, journalists, copywrite lawyers and more among their numbers, everyone has different skills to contribute and is always at the other end of a phone – or email – offering help and support.
Franchisees have weekly catch-up calls to chat about how everything is going, and help each other as much as possible on Workplace, but everyone relishes the chance to connect in person.
“I’ve gone away buzzing, full of ideas and in a much better place than I arrived, as always,” shared Hull Mumbler, Rachael Smith.
“It was incredibly useful,” added Poole Mumbler Maria Vargas. “I’m super proud to be part of this amazing bunch!”
Emily Pickard, York Mumbler Franchise Owner
I am Emily and I run York Mumbler.
I previously worked in Brand Marketing – having had a 15 year career working on big brands like Anchor & McCain.
Although I loved my job and was fortunate to work for great companies, everything changed after having children and my priorities were just so different. I didn’t want to leave the house as the kids got up (sometimes before) and get home late, have to work away from home sometimes or feel like I wasn’t doing my best.
Although I worked part time in the end, I found that I was compromising – on my job and also on my kids and home.
Taking the leap to run Mumbler full time was a big scary decision – I’m the main breadwinner in our house so I had to make it work. Seven years later and now I can honestly say it was the best decision of my life to make that leap.
The biggest thing it has brought me is freedom and flexibility. I do work really hard on Mumbler and probably as many hours (if not more) then I did before… but it doesn’t feel like work.
I can fit the work in around my family – for example, in the holidays I don’t work in the day but just catch up on the evenings. I absolutely love it and I’m offering such a valuable service to my community too. And when it comes to school runs, school holidays, kids being off ill and bedtimes, I now never miss a thing!
Anna Winter, North Leeds Mumbler Franchise Owner
I’m mum to two energetic children and also run North Leeds Mumbler. If that isn’t enough to keep me busy, I also help out on a voluntary basis at the children’s school!
Prior to starting North Leeds Mumbler, I was a Business Account Manager for more than 15 years in the FMCG industry. Up until having my second child I did this full time, dealing with supermarket buyers on a daily basis and travelling around the UK.
After having my second, I found that I was becoming compromised both at home and in the work environment and couldn’t give ‘my all’ to either. I loved my job, but I knew I would never get this time again with my children so I decided to take a career break.
Whilst I loved the increased time with the children when my eldest started school and youngest started pre-school, I wanted something to challenge myself and my brain again! Mumbler has done just that whilst allowing me the opportunity to still be there for the children.
I have the flexibility to work around the family, allowing me to attend school events, manage any sick days, be there to pick them up from school and be their taxi service for after school activities! We love experiencing new activities as a family and Mumbler has allowed that, most of the time the kids don’t realise mummy is working as they are also having so much fun!
Rachael Smith, Hull & The East Riding Mumbler Franchise Owner
After spending 13 years working in marketing (first at ReckittBenckiser then at McCain Foods), I had two children and decided to try working for myself and spend more time with my children.
Four years ago, whilst on maternity leave, I built the second Mumbler website, Hull & East Riding Mumbler, never returned to McCain and haven’t looked back.
I now employ another mum to help me run it and have made a full time living, all whilst working from home around the kids. Two years ago, I also launched a second business, The Marketing Lane, a freelance Marketing Consultancy.
The lifestyle I now have has enabled me to also slot in voluntary work and give back to my community. I Chair the Hull MVP (Maternity Voices in Partnership), a panel of Healthcare Professionals and local organisations all working together to improve services for women in Hull, from becoming pregnant to when their baby is one. I am a board member for the charity Viking FMs Cash for Kids and a Trustee for the charity Bundles of Joy.
I was even nominated and became a finalist for this year’s Women of Achievement Awards Hull & Humber.
SJ Barker, Franchise owner of Ryedale Mumbler and also Scarborough & Whitby Mumbler.
As well as being a mum to two children, I live with a menagerie of animals – including horses, Ryeland Sheep and Giant African Land Snails – and have lived rurally most of my life.
It’s always been second nature to jump in the car and travel, but now I know my local area inside out, I know it doesn’t have to be this way – there are so many amazing things for families on our doorstep!
Previously I was an insurance risk control surveyor but when my children were born (Henry, 6 and Eliza, 4), I wanted something more flexible to fit in with family life.
Running Mumbler has been a huge change, but I’ve always been able to and happy to adapt, and I love helping families to make life easier.
Ryedale Mumbler has gone from strength so strength so when the opportunity arose to take on Scarborough & Whitby Mumbler, it made perfect sense.
Running the two sites fits in wonderfully with family life, and I am enthusiastic about helping other parents, carers and visitors find those hidden gems!
Sarah Smith, Wharfedale & Craven Mumbler Franchise Owner
I gave up my Sales Manager Role with a Blue-Chip company when I had my son in 2011.
Six years out of the industry and a daughter later, my knowledge of that area was dated so it was either retrain or put my new “Mum” knowledge to good use.
That’s where Mumbler came in! Having used the Harrogate site, I knew this was a much-needed resource in Wharfedale.
Almost two years later, I have built a business I can be proud of.
It’s flexible so I can still do every school run, sports day and Christmas play! It’s hard work but you get out what you put in. It’s the best decision I made!
Caroline Brooks, Doncaster Mumbler Franchise Owner
I have a sales and marketing background and have over 15 years experience marketing everything from colour measurement equipment with X-Rite/Pantone to clothing at JD Williams, and Steel Rolling Mills with Siemens!
I left the “corporate” world of marketing in 2016 to join Twile, a business set up by my husband. I helped steer this company towards an acquisition by a large genealogy company, Findmypast.com.
Having had a taste of working from home around my family, I undertook some freelance work and spotted STAG Mumbler.
I noticed there wasn’t a Mumbler in my area and seeing the possibility to be creative and in control of my own destiny, I did some market research and took the leap, launching Doncaster Mumbler in September 2018.
Mumbler is a fantastic resource for parents. I have two children, aged seven and five and we have found so many amazing things to do in Doncaster. It is great to share this with everyone else!
We live in a great town and it is fantastic to help promote some brilliant activities for families, plus the kids love helping me out at events and being a part of it too.
I’ve had some lovely feedback from both parents and businesses. Being a mum is hard sometimes and Mumbler can help. It’s especially rewarding helping new mums embarking on the journey – we’re in it together!
I’ve had the best nine months, and am planning for the Doncaster Mumbler Awards 2019! It’s been a lot of hard work, but I work school hours or catch up around the kids’ activities.
Being a Mumbler franchisee has far exceeded my expectations.