Amanda Frolich is setting up a working mums network in addition to her already thriving business running children’s classes and parties. Why?
Amanda Frolich is not short on ambition. Not only does she want to get parents and children across the UK on their feet and having fun together, but she plans to get working mums networking to improve their business opportunities.
A fitness trainer by profession, she set up Amanda’s Action Kids
after doing a music and movement course and being asked whether she did birthday parties. She combined her fitness classes with the party activities until it became too much for her and she saved up to allow her to devote all her time to hosting hi-energy parties and fitness classes for children. Her empire has since grown to embrace training for childcare providers, fun days at football clubs for parents and children and work with Sure Start. Now she is building on that by setting up a working mums network. A working mum herself to a very active four year old, she says: “I have been teaching classes for 18 years and realised that I had built up a network of amazingly talented women.”
Amanda is based in west and south London. She says she got the idea for the network while talking to a women about marketing. The woman said she could have done the work herself. “I thought: why go to the bigwigs when we can help each other?” she said, adding that she prefers working with women after having bad experiences with men.
She says most business networks are badly timed for working mums. They are either early in the morning or at lunchtime when working mums can’t go. Her launch event on 18th June will be in a restaurant in London and in the evening. It will, she says, be very informal with good food, a sort of speed dating format which allows everyone to introduce themselves to everyone and pampering sessions. There will also be talks by Amanda’s PR and marketing consultants on issues such as how to grow your business, how to market your business and how to dress for success.
“We will also have some pompoms,” says Amanda. “It will be a fun way of meeting everyone and deciding how to move forward with the network. I’ve never been to an event like it so I am very excited.” She adds: “Men tend to network through sports like golf, but women don’t have time for these things so we are making the time for them.”
She says the recession means many women may be looking at starting their own businesses and the event will allow them to link up with like-minded people who could also help them out with advice and support.
She is already planning another event in September with ex-Apprentice star Saira Khan. Amanda has worked with many celebrities’ children over the years and built up some good contacts for publicising her work.
She is eventually hoping that her work will go national. She plans to launch the party and classes side of the business as a franchise in the next few months and thinks mums would make ideal franchisees.
Currently she employs a lawyer, marketing person, a PR expert, an adminstrator and an accountant as well as other party hosts so she can focus on her teaching. She trains them thoroughly in using her music and props and says they must have a great personality, be reasonably fit, have a lot of drive, love children, have a strong voice, lots of passion and a will to succeed. Her music is specially devised for the sessions and is “quite funky”. “I work with a Black American rap artist so the music is contemporary. It’s really important to me that the music sounds great,” she says. It includes reworked versions of nursery rhymes and pop songs and little dance routines.
These are used not just for children, but she also trains nursery workers, teachers and lunchtime supervisors. All of her activities are linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and she has run classes and events for Sure Start and children’s centres in a bid to get children active from an early age. She is particularly keen to encourage dads to “reconnect” with their under 5s and has set up events at Chelsea and Arsenal football grounds.
Amanda, who has got through to the last stage of Dragon’s Den [she had to withdraw because she had organised a party for one of the dragons], has big plans for the future: alongside the franchise, she is planning to market her skills to every parent in the country with an Amanda in a bag kit so parents can do her classes with their children at home. The bags will include her props, including a spider ball [to develop children’s grip], white glasses, a bunny and maracas. She says her aim is to get children getting into fitness from an early age and seeing it as fun. She adds that the best way to do this is to get them dancing with their parents. “Eventually I want to go up and down the country in an Amanda bus and Amandafy everyone,” she says.