When Kirsty Sa­vides needed to sup­port her young fam­ily and find mu­sic classes for her youngest child, she launched classes of her own,) which she now fran­chises,

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - BUSINESS - writes Joseph Booy­sen

DRIVEN out of des­per­a­tion to find an in­spi­ra­tional mu­sic class for her tod­dler and earn an in­come while based at home, Kirsty Sa­vides’s en­tre­pre­neur­ial jour­ney be­gan 10 years ago and re­sulted in a suc­cess­ful busi­ness.

Sa­vides, based in Fish Hoek, is the founder of Wrig­gle and Rhyme, a proudly South African mu­sic and move­ment pro­gramme de­vel­oped for chil­dren aged from six months to six years. Sa­vides, a mother of three, is a mu­si­cian with ex­pe­ri­ence in cor­po­rate mar­ket­ing.

“The busi­ness started in Oc­to­ber 2008. I was a young mom with kids aged one and three.

“My hus­band was tak­ing a ca­reer change and study­ing full-time, so I needed to find other ways to find money just to con­trib­ute to the in­come. “Ba­si­cally, I was look­ing for a mu­sic pro­gramme for my youngest to join. In­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies were com­ing here and fran­chis­ing their pro­grammes,” said Sa­vides.

She could not find a lo­cal pro­gramme at the time and de­cided to start one her­self, which killed two birds with one stone – in­come and mu­sic classes for her child.

“There was a gap in the mar­ket in our area in Fish Hoek, as well as a need for per­sonal fi­nan­cial re­lief.

“I grew up mu­si­cal but ended up in mar­ket­ing, so it all just came to­gether. It started with one class in my lounge in Fish Hoek with six moms at­tend.

Sa­vides said she put to­gether the mu­sic pro­gramme by iden­ti­fy­ing themes chil­dren could re­late to.

“For ex­am­ple, one theme would be a trip to the sea­side, and we would do a whole half-hour around an imag­i­nary trip to the beach, which most chil­dren can re­late to.

“We talk about the sub­ject through mu­sic, what we’re smelling, what we’re see­ing, what we are touch­ing.

“They learn songs through that with lots of move­ment and I give them lit­tle per­cus­sion in­stru­ments to play,” said Sa­vides.

In just a few years the pro­gramme had gained pop­u­lar­ity in Fish Hoek and peo­ple started ap­proach­ing her to ask if they too could run the pro­gramme.

“I had taken on a staff team, but I was run­ning ev­ery­thing, and what hap­pens with a small busi­ness when you start grow­ing is that you start stack­ing things on to your busi­ness, but not very strate­gi­cally.”

Sa­vides said things started mush­room­ing out of con­trol and she con­tem­plated clos­ing the busi­ness.

At that time, in 2013, she re­alised that she needed help and had a con­ver­sa­tion with her fa­ther-in-law, a busi­ness­man, who said her pro­gramme was great but she needed to fix the model.

“The up­shot was that we re­launched the busi­ness un­der a new busi­ness model. What we opted for was to re-li­cense the pro­gramme.

“What it meant was that any­one could then take it any­where in Cape Town.

“We started build­ing a bit of a brand, and started do­ing a bit of mar­ket­ing.”

Sa­vides compiled eight pro­grammes and train­ing man­u­als as well as CDs, and put to­gether a prod­uct pack­age, so peo­ple could li­cense that with the train­ing and with the brand sup­port.

She hired a lawyer to draw up a li­cence agree­ment for the busi­ness.

Sa­vides said there were chal­lenges with the qual­ity of the li­censees.

For peo­ple want­ing to start up a fran­chise, it costs about R55000, which in­cludes five ses­sions of train­ing, all the start-up equip­ment and mar­ket­ing bun­dle for the area, with an amount al­lo­cated for so­cial me­dia or print me­dia.

“Ba­si­cally, it’s a busi­ness in a box that you buy and li­cense to run for as long as you want, and the re­turn on in­vest­ment is very good,” she said.

Sa­vides said cur­rently there were seven fran­chises in Cape

Town, in­clud­ing Melk­bosstrand, Panorama, Ron­de­bosch, Clare­mont, Mead­owridge, Con­stan­tia and Fish Hoek. Her dream now is to of­fer the busi­ness out­side of Cape Town over the next few years.

KIRSTY Sa­vides ven­tured out on her own many years ago, and though the jour­ney was not al­ways smooth she has fi­nally achieved suc­cess.

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