Why Amy started a business during the coronavirus crisis

Posted: Tue, Jul 21, 2020 9:11 PM

In her own words...

"In January, I lost a friend to breast cancer. She had 3 children under the age of 5 and she was 40. It made me re-examine my own life and what I wanted to prioritise.

I was commuting 2 hours a day, leaving just after my boys had woken up and getting home just before my youngest went to bed. I was fed up. I wanted to cook and eat dinner with my family. I wanted to watch my boys doing their various sports without breaking the land speed record to get back for a swimming lesson or kickboxing training.

I have been a teacher all my career. From being a secondary school languages teacher to working with apprentice managers. I decided to pivot my life and start my own business working from home and teaching children French, German and Spanish. I also decided to do this at the start of a global pandemic and launched my business a week after the country went into lockdown. It would have been really easy to use the Covid-19 crisis as an excuse why I couldn’t or shouldn’t launch my business but I decided to turn the situation into a positive. More people were on social media at home, and therefore more of a captive audience. More people were looking for activities to supplement home school for their children. Many primary school teachers and parents struggle when it comes to teaching a foreign language- its a very specialist subject. I feel the same about art and creative subjects.

 So I started  teaching from my spare bedroom on Zoom at the beginning of April. At first I was really worried. Would I get anyone to come and see what I do? Would I engage children when I wasn’t face to face with them? I started by offering some free tasters and people joined from all over the country- one lady even joined from Switzerland! I had a great time teaching them, and I had loads of great feedback from parents and friends.

In May, I started offering paid classes online. I was really worried people wouldn’t want online classes but I was pleasantly surprised. Since May I have been teaching over 20 children every week online. I ran a competition on Facebook and it really engaged the community.  I have also taken part in 2 free activity days which were streamed live via YouTube into people’s homes as well as to Cardiff Children’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. I taught our interactive lessons to over 2200 parents and children and it felt amazing to do something to help during the crisis - even a half hour of fun can make a difference.

Moving forward, I will hopefully be able to run face to face classes soon but I am keen to keep some of my teaching online and offer a variety of ways for parents and children to engage with languages in a fun and interactive way."