For our first instalment of MBTribe we talk to Susie Lodge a self confessed crazy Mum of two toddlers and founder of Wiki Places for Kids – the encyclopaedia of every day escapes and epic days out. So get your packs ready you are about to leap into an adventure!
Name: Susie Lodge
Location: Stony Stratford
What inspired you to start Wiki Places for Kids?
Being a mum for over 3 years at the time the idea came to me and having come from a digital career I felt underwhelmed with the online resources available to parents looking for ways to fill their week and plan for big days out for children of a specific age. I also felt that the information available didn’t properly manage your expectations, such as if baby changing was available, enough high chairs, can you see two children within the space, is it contained, what’s the children’s menu like and so forth. That’s why I wanted to create a beautiful online experience (and social ecosystem), great to look at, intuitive to use that allowed you to filter to your specific requirements. And I wanted the content to be user generated, real life recommendations from real life parents – quality over quantity and hand picked venues over endless lists.
How do you balance work and home life?
(Laughs) I don’t, but I’m working on it. I’m going to schedule hours for working on WPFK in my week and then be disciplined. I’m going to create a workspace that I enjoy sitting at so that the sofa or kitchen table is not my desk. I’m also trying to plan ahead where possible so that the work in the evenings is minimal. I’m trying to manage work in bite size weekly chunks too rather than building up backlogs that become unmanageable. I’m also not shy to ask for help and to pay for resource when I forecast that home life needs me more than usual and that I won’t manage without another pair of hands.
Describe your typical day from AM to PM.
Crazy busy. I’m juggling 300 things at once, sorting house admin, childcare, being the childcare, managing a paid job as a programme director, being the COO of our household, and then fitting in my WIKI responsibilities around all of those other things. I tend to put the laptop away around 10:30pm and then go to bed – but this is something I’m working on and need to manage better. The business is in its infancy so although it needs a lot of attention (almost as much as my two actual infants) I also need to learn ways to manage and optimise the processes I’m currently working too. I go to bed shattered around 11pm. I do watch a bit of telly during that time too and if I can I go for a run at least once a week to clear my mind and work off all the chocolate that fuels my day.
In the next 2 years where do you see yourself and Wiki Places for Kids?
I want to be in control of my own time, running Wiki as a full time role and having the balance I need to be there for my children around their school day (my eldest goes to school in 2018 and my youngest the year after – despite the 2 year gap, I managed that one quite well). I want the site to be full of amazing recommendations across the UK and I want to give venues and destinations the opportunity to build their profiles and use my platform to reach bigger audiences. I see it becoming the encyclopaedia for amazing places for kids and grown ups, as per its name WIKI. Move over and make some space trip advisor.
What advice/tips would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Be prepared to have no time at the beginning, try not to be disheartened by the small knock backs and be MEGA PROUD of yourself for not just sitting around and dreaming about it but for actually taking the risks and doing it. There has been nothing in my life beyond my family that I have felt this drive and passion for. Having built something on your own from nothing is a mega achievement. It comes with many hurdles but it’s worth it.
Interview and Copy by Mama
Images by Susie Lodge