After the TUC conference in Manchester this week highlighted big changes in the world of work, recent ONS figures have also shown that there are more mums starting businesses now than since records began.
Earlier this year super-mum and Barking Mad business owner Lynn Chipperfield decided that the corporate world wasn’t for her. Formerly a technology programme manager for the NHS, Lynn had taken several years out to care for daughter Freya who was born profoundly deaf. Lynn needed ‘to create a successful business that fit around my family’s needs.’
Growing up Lynn was surrounded by dogs. Her childhood pup was named Spike after iconic Goons star Spike Milligan. ‘He used to rock me in my bouncy chair. Nana had sheepdogs, Grandma had terriers and my auntie had a brilliant little Jack Russell called Skipper who made us all laugh when he got over excited and peed on my Dad’s shoes.’
Labradors Oscar and Archie were always important members of Lynn’s family and they inspired her so much that creating her own business centred around them ‘seemed like a dream come true’.
After completing a Women in Business course Lynn knew she needed establish herself on stable foundations. Barking Mad, created by MD Lee Dancy, offered this stability with an 18-year proven track record. ‘Longevity and 5* Trustpilot reviews helped me decide pretty quickly.’
Becoming a Barking Mad business owner turned out to be ‘much more straightforward’ than anticipated and in April 2018 Lynn began offering dog sitting services in South Manchester.
After just five months, Lynn is already planning on taking on support to meet flourishing demand. Seven-year-old Freya has taken on the role of head of marketing, ‘any time she sees anyone walking their dog she gives them a leaflet.’
Freya also offers another unique and inspirational service. A love of reading, fostered by teachers, lead Freya to start reading stories to her four-legged friends. She even caters to the preferences of individuals, ‘Jessie the cockapoo, for example, carries a stuffed owl around, so Freya reads her a story about an owl.’
The benefits of reading aloud to animals for children with reduced hearing has long been a topic of interest to institutions worldwide. Washington School of Medicine researcher Jacklyn Litzinger states ‘research suggests that reading to dogs greatly improves reading attitudes, comprehension and fluency in children’.
But Freya doesn’t read to help herself. ‘She is very visually aware and sensory sensitive and although I think she often reads to the dogs to play at being ‘teacher’ and because she simply enjoys reading aloud, she also sees that many of the dogs seem to relax when she’s reading. She loves to feel that she’s helping.’
Lee Dancy, Barking Mad founder says: ‘we are looking for more passionate dog lovers as franchisees, who want to change the face of dog care across the UK’
Barking Mad can be contacted on 01524 276476.