Work. Not worth it?

Flexible family-friendly work

My name is Sam Petter and I started Children inspired by yoga just after my son was born. My life has been a search for flexible working solutions – even before I had a family.

Initially I trained as an interactive designer, working on some of the first multimedia projects in the 1980s, in the heart of Covent Garden. I was freelance, because I wanted to take 6 week holidays each summer to travel and explore. This was a good solution, but not perfect as guess what? when I wasn’t working I wasn’t being paid.

I continued with this pattern of work until my son was born in 2002 and we moved out to the Kent countryside. Having a baby was obviously now another variable in the whole world of work and pretty soon it was obvious that now if I wanted to do any sustained periods of work, my son would have to be in nursery, which cost money = work. not worth it?

But I liked working, I’d worked ever since leaving college, and I didn’t want to stop completely. I switched my focus to teaching yoga and then baby yoga – both much more family friendly, but essentially still requiring me to get childcare and not get paid holidays, sick pay etc.

I then set up Tatty Bumpkin in 2004. I had hit on a plan that allowed the business to scale without it being about me and my family commitments. Initially it was a teacher training, but now is a franchise.


I never liked the word franchise, but essentially franchising is about scaling up, community and best practice. Its taking a successful model and duplicating it in different locations. Franchising always makes people think of MacDonalds, Costa etc big corporate businesses with little moral code.

Actually, although that can be true, franchising is immensely successful – did you know 95% of franchises are successful compared to 15% of startups?

As a working parent, I had little time – and if I could share resources, successes, mistakes, best practice, then it would be time efficient and collectively as a network we could grow together.

Sometimes working for yourself can be lonely and challenging, but having a franchise network to turn to, is very empowering. You are your own little business, within a framework, there is plenty of scope to grow and lead your business in the direction you want.


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