I AM IN AWE OF THE MANY INCREDIBLE MUM’S OUT THERE, DOING A FAB JOB OF RUNNING THEIR OWN SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES WHILST SIMULTANEOUSLY HOLDING DOWN THE FORT AT HOME. I’M FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE ‘MET’ MANY OF THESE LADIES ONLINE AND CAN’T WAIT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO SOME NEW FACES AND THEIR AWESOME ENTREPRENEURIAL ENDEAVOURS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET INVOLVED AND HAVE YOUR BUSINESS FEATURED, PLEASE SAY HELLO! MELISSA@THEBESTNEST.CO.NZ
Ok, so today we are Saying hello! to a business that gives me ALL of the mummy guilts. When Ethan was a babe we did every activity on offer. You name it we had a booking; Jumping Beans, swimming from 3 months old, baby art classes, Mainly Music, regular play dates………meanwhile, baby #2? Nixon and I have been chilling for almost 2 years lol. And there are reasons for that of course, but one thing I do remember from all of my excursions with Ethan was that sometimes, classes with young bubbas are just as beneficial for the Mums as they are educational and stimulating for the wee ones : )
Let me introduce Sam and Think.Play.Love. “Nurturing playful minds for kiwi kids” – how lovely does that sound? Sam and Hannah from Think.Play.Love bring a uniquely kiwi element to music, movement and sensory classes for babies under 14 months and toddlers 14 months – 3 years. These two qualified early childhood and primary teachers have crafted their fab, experiential classes to support the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, including learning and experiences in Te Reo. Based in Auckland, classes are held in Browns Bay, Whenuapai, Takapuna, Pt Chevalier and Henderson.
Hello Sam! Which came first, the baby or the business?
The baby, but the idea for the business was dreamt up long before Cooper came along! My business partner, Hannah, attended music classes for babies while working as a nanny in London so we often talked about setting up something similar ourselves but with a New Zealand flavour for our Kiwi kids. After Cooper turned one I wasn’t ready to return to my teaching job as I wanted more flexible hours to be at home with him so we decided to go for it and Think.Play.Love was born!
What is your background and how does this influence your business ethos?
I worked as a Primary teacher for 10 years so I am extremely passionate about education and child development. Think.Play.Love has allowed me to build on my existing skills as a teacher but broaden my knowledge and experience by branching into the Early Childhood sector. I feel that learning through movement and sensory play is absolutely crucial for the developing minds of babies so this is always at the forefront of my mind when planning our classes.
How do you manage to balance your young family with life as a business owner?
It’s hard that’s for sure! My partner also has his own glazing business so there is a lot to fit in. I try to be really present when I am with Cooper rather than on my phone or the computer so most of my work is done while he is napping during the day or at night once he is in bed. I am so lucky to have such a strong support network, my family have been great! My mum and sister often look after Cooper so that I can run classes.
Social media is changing the way businesses tell their stories and reach out to customers, how do you incorporate SM in your business plan and is it hard to keep your personal stories separate?
We have found Social Media to be the most effective way for us to get our name out there and generate a following for Think.Play.Love. I do share personal stories or photos of Cooper from time to time. I actually see it as a good thing as I want our followers to be able to relate to me and know that I am a mum just like them.
What’s ahead for Think Play Love?
We are really excited as we are in the process of adding toddler classes which will be available from Term 3. The classes will still include sensory learning experiences but we will add in a lot more movement activities to promote fine and gross motor skills and cross patterning through climbing type activities, all of which develop important brain pathways.
If you would like to win a double pass for you and a friend + your babies to try a Think.Play.Love class for yourself head over to The Best Nest on Facebook and follow the competition guidelines.