Kids Gone Wild
Today’s Start-Up Story comes from Lauren, who runs Kids Gone Wild with her partner Rob. Together they create exciting woodland experiences for kids and their big kids!
Tell me a little about you & your family, what your business is, and the inspiration behind getting started…
I’m Lauren, my partner is Rob. We have a 1 year old boy and an 8 year old girl. We are a very outdoorsy family, our go to for entertainment and relaxation is the woodland. Last year, when I was on maternity leave, my partner was working long hours at a call centre, was coming home after our babies were in bed and away out again before they got up, we very rarely got any time together as a family and on top of that he was stuck at an office all day, it was soul destroying.
We decided to start up a company based on the values we love, somewhere we could enjoy going to work, and somewhere that our children could come and have fun with us while we worked… So we created Kids Gone Wild. We run outdoor woodland, nature and bushcraft classes for families and kids. We offer classes from 2+ (babies in slings welcome along!) and we are proud to have had over 1000 people take part in our sessions since we launched in August 2018.
How did you make the leap from idea on paper to reality with your business idea?
I couldn’t sleep one night for thinking of our predicament, by the time Rob woke up the next morning I had created our business plan and how it would work. Although it was fast it all made sense and was the answer that was sitting under our noses the whole time. We decided just to go for it, we applied for a business loan and took a 3 week trip up to the North of Scotland in the campervan with the kids, in order for Rob to complete his formal Woodland leader training. Once that and our insurance was in the bag, we started to think about our branding.
How did you get your first sale or client?
We ran an open day in our local woodland. We invited lots of local families through the power of Facebook and word of mouth. We chatted to people about our first upcoming session and gave them a welcome discount. We had our first bookings come through our system that night, and we started to think, hey… This actually might just work!
What ‘lucky breaks’ or helping hands have you had along the way that have really boosted your progress?
We are very lucky to have a strong team and helpful family and friends, in our close network we have a IT consultant, graphic designer, 3 photographers, corporate lawyer and a corporate tax advisor, so we have had a lot of great advice to help us get on our feet. We are also a part of the RBS Entrepreneur pre-accelerator programme and have been to a few business gateway events too to boost our skills and knowledge.
What do you LOVE about your business and working for yourself?
Meeting people. We love that we get to build a community of like minded families and we have made friends along the way. We get to sit around a campfire, roasting Marshmallows, or whittling a mushroom and for us, that tops sitting in a call centre any day!
What’s the scariest thing you’ve had to do since setting up on your own?
Tax and legal stuff like GDPR! It’s all a bit daunting in the early stages and very nearly put us off launching for fear we would mess up!
Who is your support network that you simply couldn’t manage without?
Each other and our close family and friends. Its not all been plain sailing, its been an emotional investment too and some days can be hard going when trying to grow the business. Its not all campfires and trees, we have had some pretty tough business days where we have felt defeated, but we always manage to lift each other up to push on.
What exciting plans do you have for your business over the next 6-12 months that you’d like to share?
We have just launched our schools and groups programme so that should bring some exciting new challenges. Some things are top secret for now though… Keep an eye on our FB page!
Find out more about Kids Gone Wild from the website and visit their Facebook Page here.
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