Kathryn from Luxury & Little Ones is my new business Mum on the blog today. Enjoy having a read all about her and her business and then pop over to her website! I think Kathryn has a brilliant idea as I always spend so long researching going on holiday and finding places that are just right for the kids; I am sure this is going to be a huge hit with many parents! Good luck Kathryn
Who are you?
Kathryn Wright, Mummy to two scrumptious little girls, Madeleine 4 and Charlotte 2 and wife to understanding and supportive hubby. I was a solicitor in a previous life and currently work as a law tutor but have taken voluntary redundancy to give my business a chance! Hoping to finish work in May 2013!
What do you do?
I have an online website which focusses on finding, reviewing and providing information to parents on the facilities and services which hotel’s offer for families and children. Families can then book the hotels through the website. The hotel pays us a commission so it is no more expensive to make a booking through our website, and some hotel’s offer Luxury and Little Ones Extras (like a glass of sparkling or afternoon tea) so it can be more beneficial to book through the us. For hotels abroad we have a relationship with ITC Classics a well-known and trusted tour operator (ATOL and ABTA bonded) so families can rest assured any bookings they make with us for hotels and flights abroad are protected. Again it is no more expensive to book with us as ITC pay us a commission rather than add a fee on top.
When did you establish your business?
I got the idea in March 2012, after much deliberation and discussions with my other half, hired a web designer at the end of July 2012 and finally launched the website on 23 November 2012.
What made you start your own business?
The idea was borne out of frustration. I wanted to find a solution to a problem. I worked full time but spent far too much of my own time in the evenings trying to find hotels which we could go to as a family during the holidays, or just for a weekend break, which would offer all of the practical needs of self-catering but with the luxury of being looked after and pampered in a hotel. Online booking sites and hotel sites did not have that kind of information so it meant phoning each hotel. I thought that there had to be a gap in the market for an informative hotel guide for families.
What do you love about working for yourself?
The satisfaction of when I have done something right, or which looks good, or gets positive comments, I know it is down to my work and determination and that one day hopefully I can pass a business in an area (travel) I am passionate about to my two girls. There is also a huge sense of accomplishment when you type into Google your business name and what pops up is all yours! Although it would be nicer to see www.luxuryandlittleones.com a little bit further up Google’s page rankings!
Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
It can at times be a little lonely. Any decision made is mine and mine alone. Even with the support of family and friends it can be quite stressful sometimes to think if have made or make the wrong decision it is an error I am responsible for. But this is far outweighed by doing something I feel passionate about.
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
I wish I had got started with twitter as soon as I gave the web designers the go ahead. I thought I should wait until the website was live so I had something to tweet about but now I realise I missed out on valuable time building followers and piquing tweeters interest!
Thought more clearly about different options and talked to more people in the travel industry before I set off on this new venture. I have learnt so much along the way from travel professionals I have built relationships with.
I have made some silly errors – like not saved word documents I have spent hours on and finding they have disappeared, bought the wrong domain name so I now have .com, co.uk and .info. .info was a mistake because I was doing it in a rush. Minor – it cost me £1.99 but still!
What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
I was held back by thoughts that I was putting my kids future in jeopardy by using some of our savings to start up a business which I had no idea if it would succeed or not.
Actually as time has gone on I realise that if I had not tried it out I would be disappointed in myself. I also believe that it is something I can give to my children, a lesson in life that if you want something you need to work hard to achieve it and “I can’t” should not be in their vocabulary. My oldest friend died a few years ago and a few months before she died someone told her, “life is not a dress rehearsal”. How true that turned out to be and something I think more of us should live by.
If you have an idea, then give it your best shot. You won’t regret trying something, but you will regret not giving it a go.