This week we interviewed mum and entrepreneur Maggie Bolger of the brilliant family members’ club Maggie and Rose to find out what she’s been up to, to celebrate their 10th anniversary. We ask Maggie to divulge the highs and the lows, including her ultimate highlights, their new publishing deal, and a little bit about their brand new (top secret!) TV series in the making.
Happy anniversary! Tell us how you celebrated 10th anniversary of Maggie & Rose.
We haven’t stopped! Rose and I threw a big birthday tea party in our Kensington club and invited members, old and new, to join in with the celebrations. It was an amazing afternoon with close to 150 members turning up to wish us well. We totally owe our members everything when it comes to the success of Maggie & Rose, so it was great to see our children and grown-up members’ smiling faces on the day. There were even a few tears when we had to wrap the party up and say goodbye. Luckily, every day’s becoming its own little celebration at the moment. We’re growing, so we’re looking at new sites both in London and Internationally and it’s a big reward to let our imaginations run wild, thinking about what these new clubs could be. Likewise, every week we welcome new members and we get a huge kick every time we’re able to welcome them to the Maggie & Rose party and see how we can change their worlds.
What have been the ultimate highlights of 10 years of Maggie & Rose so far?
It would be easy to pick out any of the big victories, like moving from mine and Rose’s tiny mews studio to our first all-singing-all-dancing family member’s club in Kensington, or cutting the ribbon on our Chiswick super-club, or opening our first international site on Repulse Bay in Hong Kong this year, but it’s the everyday triumphs that make the dream come to life. I love that both mum’s and dads love the clubs and can’t imagine life without us! We are where their family memories begin and we’ll be a part of their lives forever because of this. Many families meet their closest friends through the club and their kids have a lot of their ‘firsts’ with us, whether it be steps or birthday parties. Whenever we get stories like this back from our members, we want to shout it from the rooftops, but we do try to restrain ourselves.
You’re exploring a publishing deal, and have an animated TV series in the making – tell us everything!
Shhh – it’s a secret. Essentially it all comes down to trying to allow Maggie & Rose to become a part of every family’s world. Everywhere needs a Maggie & Rose, but at the moment, not everywhere does. Hopefully, these deals will give other families a chance to learn a little more about us. The books are going to span everything from incredibly imaginative stories to super fun and engaging non-fiction books. As for the TV series, we’re still in development, so the sky’s the limit. Watch this space.
What are the most challenging parts of running Maggie & Rose – especially now you guys have diversified into books and TV?
Business in general is pretty tough and balancing a family with a business has always been challenging. The books and TV series have only made it harder, but it’s great to push ourselves. We don’t like to be trapped in our comfort zones for too long. Luckily I’ve found a team who understands the brand and can visualise our potential… the key members of that team are still here, so it’s awesome that they’ve stuck around to cheer us on as we dive head-first into this new adventure.
What are your top tips for juggling a busy career AND family life?
It feels like I don’t manage to juggle them at all most of the time! However, I have learnt that feeling constant guilt for not having enough time for the family/the business is pointless because to juggle anything requires splitting your time, so you can only do your best. When it has come to opening new sites, or having another child arrive, I have been extremely fortunate to have the undivided help of my mother for quite long periods of time – that’s been a real blessing. My husband is also super supportive and we take it in turns to juggle the kid’s schedules, we are lucky as they are able to come to work with us. The clubs are like home to them. It’s also been a big reward to see my daughter get A*s in all of her GCSEs, so clearly we’re doing something right.
What’s the most fun part of your job?
Every day is different! My favourite element is designing new spaces and products and seeing them come to life. We have a fun team who like to party a lot, which also makes the job a lot more enjoyable!
Tell us a bit about the charities you work with, and why they’re so important.
We have just worked on a Macmillan cancer support project., One of our team shaved her head to raise awareness and money for the charity. There are so many family and friends that are affected by this disease, so anything we can do is insanely rewarding.
What are your plans for the future?
There is a lot of demand for the concept now and we are being approached by people all over the world which is very exciting. We are super committed to opening a few more sites over the next year. It is super flattering that what we created almost 10 years ago, out of my sheer desperation as a mother, is now being considered a necessity for parenting all over the world.