How a great love for babies birthed a business
I'll come clean. I've known Pauline Crawford for years and am fortunate to have her as one of my true besties. Not only have I had the pleasure of watching her dance on stage and TV, I've witnessed her transition from performer to teacher and have marvelled at her ability to combine community and creativity and weave them into a busy and demanding life. Lucky old me then, that I could spend some time chatting recently in a pub on the Thames. Mmm, warm beer. My favourite.
In our talk it's clear that Pauline's business ambitions were born from her love of exercise, teaching and yes, babies.
Let's pause there for a second. How good is that? Creating a business around the very things we hold so dear. As we hear from Pauline, when we truly honour our values, money ceases to be the driver...and yet still flows in.
In our conversation, Pauline acknowledges threats to her business and makes it clear that marketing is a constantly changing beast - what works today, may not work tomorrow.
Thankfully, as you'll hear she's taking steps to upskill while remaining joyous at the role word-of-mouth has to play in growth. Easy to overlook, but always ticking away.
We hear too, how her observation of competitors offers some clear pointers to opportunities - in this case the growing use of subscriptions and memberships, and the shiny light of franchising.
Pushbabies is very much a lifestyle business that contributes income to a larger pie. One that's fed by regular, largely unrelated contractual gigs. This 'portfolio' approach to work suits many of us and has been cleverly designed to fit Pauline's creative ideal. A bigger game was probably there for the taking, but was never the goal.
I'd love to hear what your take-outs are and welcome any feedback of any nature. Let me have it.
STOP PRESS: I ceased Mellow Brick Road in early 2019 and have a new podcast, Rekindle where I talk with entrepreneurs, creatives and trailblazers to discover how they stay energised, inspired and on-track. Please join me there, you can subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever else you get your podcasts. And if you’d like a gentle nudge each time a new show is published, subscribe to my newsletter.