Devon-based Water Babies and Creation Station shortlisted for British Franchise Association HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards
Headquartered in Woodbury, Devon, Creation Station has been shortlisted in the Brand Innovation category for the British Franchise Association (bfa) HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards.
Sarah Cressall founded Creation Station in 2002 in Exmouth, supported by her husband Duncan and sister Fran. The business inspires children’s imaginations and nurtures potential through hands-on arts and crafts classes, parties, events and products. When creating the business, Sarah took inspiration from the activities enjoyed by her three young sons, making it a true family affair, and franchised the business in 2007.
The Brand Innovation Award is open to all bfa franchisor members and celebrates businesses that push the boundaries to stay ahead of the competition.
Creation Station made the finalist shortlist as it has implemented positive change to improve the traditional franchise business model, creating a ‘family feel’ to its franchisor network, which values and celebrates the contributions and hard work of its 104 franchise owners.
Sarah said: “Developing ideas and creative thinking is a big part of what we do, and we are absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. Many of our ideas are developed by listening to our fantastic customers and wonderful franchise owners. We are very proud of their commitment, which has helped us to inspire over 325,000 children and families.”
Headquartered in Honiton, Devon, Water Babies has been shortlisted in The Brian Smart Award for International Development 2017 category, for the British Franchise Association (bfa) HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards.
Water Babies – global provider of baby and toddler swimming lessons – was founded in Ilkley, West Yorkshire in 2002, and now teaches almost 50,000 children to swim every week. With 58 franchisees, the company achieves a network turnover of more than £25m. Last year, Water Babies was chosen as the bfa’s Franchisor of the Year.
The Brian Smart Award for International Development 2017 focuses on franchisors that have used international expansion as a route for growth. Finalists such as Water Babies are either a UK master franchisee who successfully demonstrates the outstanding support and strategies their master franchisor have developed, or a UK franchisor who has demonstrated successful exporting of a brand internationally.
Paul Thompson, co-founder of Water Babies, said: “We are really delighted that Water Babies has been shortlisted as a finalist for the prestigious bfa HSBC award. We genuinely feel that the bigger we get, the stronger we become, drawing on our global family’s energy. Everyone in the organisation plays a key part. Recognition by such a highly respected organisation, such as the bfa, not only endorses our business model and ethos, but also gives all our staff across the world a big, emotional boost!”
Running for nearly 30 years and established to celebrate franchisors across the UK, the bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards look to recognise the very best franchise businesses, highlighting in particular franchisors who offer excellent employee support, company culture, innovation and commitment to franchising ethics.
Pip Wilkins, CEO at the bfa said: “Looking through the entries made us very proud and humbled to be part of such a successful industry, and those who are just starting their franchising journeys can take inspiration from what these brands have achieved.”
Andrew Brattesani, UK Head of Franchise at HSBC, added: “This is the third year I have been involved in picking the finalists and it is one of the jobs I dread most during the year. Comparing excellence with excellence is never easy and I can honestly say that the standard of entries we receive continues to amaze me.”
For more information and to see the shortlist in full, visit https://www.thebfa.org/news/bfa-news/the-2017-bfa-hsbc-franchisor-of-the-year-finalists-have-been-revealed
To find out more about becoming a member, visit: www.thebfa.org/about-bfa/joining-the-bfa.
(from a press release)