Bricks 4 Kidz
Cash Required: $29,350
$29,350 - $43,600
Full Time: Yes
Part Time: Yes
Home Office: Yes
A low investment, home-based business which provides educational programs designed to teach principles and methods of engineering to children, ages 3-12, using LEGO® bricks. No previous experience is necessary with this flexible business!
Starla Hersey got her first taste of the freedom that business ownership provides at the age of 20, “When my family moved to northeast Florida, my father started his own construction and contracting business and I worked for him,” Hersey recalled. “Working for oneself appealed to me. I liked the flexibility, I liked that you didn’t have to punch a clock.”
Now, many years later and with two children of her own, Hersey is a business owner in her own right, as a Bricks 4 Kidz franchisee (and has equity in BFK Franchise Company). Bricks 4 Kidz provides project-based programs designed to teach children, ages 3 through 12, the principles and methods of engineering, math and science, using LEGO® bricks. Although Hersey recognized the benefits of being her own boss, her path to franchise ownership took a unique course. “I had been a stay-at-home-mom for six years and then began working for a franchise development company as a paralegal…The founder of Bricks 4 Kidz, architect Michelle Cote, is a friend of mine. Michelle had created an after-school Creative Science LEGO® class and had approximately 35 children signed up for it. One day, when I was at her house, I saw a flyer for the Creative Science LEGO® classes that she was offering and I suggested that she franchise it. That was a little over a year ago and I’ve been working side by side with her on the Bricks 4 Kidz business ever since,” Hersey explained.
The women, who became friends four years ago when their children attended Pre-K together, have been offering Bricks 4 Kidz classes, camps, in-school field trips and Birthday parties since 2008. “We initially taught the program in the St. Augustine, FL area,” she said. “In the beginning of 2009, when Bricks 4 Kidz began franchising, I purchased the Volusia, FL county territory. I am currently concentrating on offering the program to elementary school students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. I have three elementary schools that I teach at and the response has been very positive.”
A Franchise That Lets Her be a Mom-First
“The Bricks 4 Kidz business allows me to attend to my family obligations and work from home. My lifestyle is like that of a stay-at-home-mom. I take my children to school and then I go home, make calls, assemble the kits for the classes and then go to a school for an hour to two hours in the afternoon to teach, and I average $100 - $200/hr – beats working for $15 to $20/hr as a paralegal. If I’m away from my children, it’s only for an hour or two, I’m not away from them for an entire day,” Hersey noted. “It’s beautiful. The business is about kids and about family. It’s worked out perfectly.”
“This is an ideal business for moms…Your days are free to do whatever you need to do. If I have to take one of my children to the doctor, or attend school functions during the day, I can,” she observed. “We’re moms first…This business fits right into my life and my schedule.”
Growing by Leaps and Bounds
In addition to being a family-friendly business, the uniqueness of the Bricks 4 Kidz concept also appealed to Hersey, “I’d been in the franchising business and I knew there was nothing out there like this,” she said. “There’s virtually no competition …Nobody does what we do, the way we do it,”
The students who participate in the Bricks 4 Kidz classes that Hersey offers are equally enthusiastic about the program, “Kids love it,” she said. “The business is growing by leaps and bounds.”
“I currently have three schools that I teach at, and business is booming; it’s amazing. I will be hiring employees soon, because once I get to five and ten schools I’ll need instructors to help me- since I can’t be at all of the schools at once. Ultimately, my goal is to have 20 to 40 schools. Each instructor will teach at five schools and I will focus solely on managing the business,” Hersey said.
“Once I have employees my hours will be totally flexible because I’ll be handling the administrative aspects of the business which I can take care of from home, anytime using the online franchise management tool,” she said “The franchise management tool that the home office provides franchisees with is golden. It allows you to handle every aspect of the business, including managing your employees.”
Hersey also praises the training and support that franchisees receive from the home office, “The training is very thorough, straightforward and to the point. The support from the home office is also excellent. I like to call them my own personal business management team. They help me with anything that I might need. They’re great.”
A Fun, Ideal Business for Moms
“I absolutely recommend the Bricks 4 Kidz franchise opportunity. This is an ideal business for women and for mothers with children at home,” Hersey said. “Prospective Bricks 4 Kidz franchisees should be organized, persistent and love kids. It’s a fun business.”