Entrepreneurs bid to open ‘mums hub’ in Little Hulton

Two friends, who have become successful entrepreneurs, have announced big plans to open a community hub for local mum’s in Salford with the help of our Do Your Own Thing programme.

Sam Jones and Erica Jackson met working at a local nursery and live just a few minutes away from each other.

They each set up their own businesses when they became mums because they wanted to work for themselves and have more flexibility for other commitments, such as childcare.

After hearing complaints about the lack of activities for parents and their children in the local area, the women decided to combine forces and set up a new hub in Little Hulton.

Do Your Own Thing, which helps people fuel their potential and develop ideas before taking steps into self-employment, is supporting Sam and Erica in applying for funding, working up their business plan and securing a base in Little Hulton Precinct.

The pair want to use the Hub to run a range of activities from messy play and arts and crafts to sessions that cater for children with autism and special educational needs.

The hub will have a café and a play area along with a quiet corner for children who want to read or for mums to breastfeed in peace.

Their plans don’t stop there – Erica and Sam plan to run educational day trips and even holidays abroad to Disneyland.

Sam said: “The idea for the mum hub came from Erica and I chatting about how great it would be to have somewhere just for mums to have five minutes of peace, socialise and meet other mums or even go on great adventures with their kids.

“There’s the SureStart centre, but not really anything else. We used to meet up in Costa with the kids, but if the baby is crying you feel stressed and like everyone is staring.

“From talking to other local mums, we found they all felt the same and they are all really excited about our plans.”

Erica added: “The Do Your Own Thing team have been a massive help. We couldn’t have got to where we are without them.

“We are excited for the future and working hard to make our dream for the hub come true.”

The pair were both already familiar with our Do Your Own Thing initiative from setting up their own individual businesses and got support to dream, plan and achieve their goals.

Erica, aged 33, lives in Little Hulton with her husband and three-year-old son and their dogs.

She set up Coffee Monkey Mugs in early 2018. The multi-award-winning firm sells novelty mugs, coffee and toy monkeys.

She said: “After I had my son, I didn’t want to go back to work but wanted to bring in some money and give myself a challenge.

“As a sleep deprived mum, I began to love coffee and a good mug to drink it in while watching my own little monkey play. This inspired my business idea, which is all about giving mum’s five minutes of peace to enjoy good coffee.

“I sell mugs with cheeky slogans, speciality coffee and toy monkeys and I’m really active on social media and my website has a regular blog page too.”

Erica secured grants of £500 from our Do Your Own Thing project and £500 from Big Local to launch her coffee division and purchase a new mug press.

The funding, along with support from Enterprise Advisor Hywel from our Do Your Own Thing team, helped her to take her business dream to the next level.

Erica said: “I didn’t have the confidence to pursue adding a speciality coffee to my sales offer until Hywel gave me the support I needed to go for it. He gave me a real boost.

“I’m so happy running my own business and would encourage anyone thinking about it to go for it and to get in touch with Do Your Own Thing.”

Sam, 26, lives just down the road from Erica with her partner and two young sons.

She runs her own fashion brand, Minimack Clothing, which she set up two years ago.

The business prints a range of garments from t-shirts and hoodies to dresses and dungarees for children and adults, emblazoned with cheeky slogans.

“I felt there wasn’t a great selection of boys clothes on the high street,” Sam said. “I also wanted to be able to work around caring for my two sons so now I work in the evenings.

“I love what I do. It’s been great getting a bit of extra support from Hywel in recent months with my accounts and website.”

Interested in setting up your own business or have a great idea like Erica or Sam? Do Your Own Thing offers free help and support so you can make more out of what you love doing, by turning your ideas into income.

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