That’s a lot of years but it also feels like it has gone in a flash, how can I have been in business for 15 years?

Our 15th year brings mixed emotions: reflection, hope and ambition but tempered with the loss and hardships from 2020.

However, I'm reminded that good things can come from great difficulty as that is how it all started for me in late 2005...

When I had my daughter my employer wouldn’t even talk about a more flexible return to work.  Even 15 years ago flexible working was a ‘thing’ and legally employers had to consider all requests to work flexibly.  But I knew that I’d have to be a trailblazer in my company if I was to have any chance of making a flexible role for myself.   With a small baby this felt just too hard so I resigned.  My employer didn’t even acknowledge my resignation for several weeks and my manager had just 'passed it on to HR'.  Made me feel great and so valued!

But after a bit of wallowing, I decided that I had to find my own flexible career and also I was determined to prove to them, and myself, that I was worthwhile.

Since that moment of realisation, running my own business has been what I’ve done and I’ve worked very flexibly around my little girl.  Now she is not so little that same flexibility gives me time for myself and to help my parents.

My business has given me such joy and the most wonderful experiences too numerous to pick out just one or two.  It has also given me great sadness and upset.  I’ve been able to make many of my ideas a reality – some have worked out, others haven’t.

I’ve met fabulous, inspiring people and have made many good friends along the way. Thank you to everyone who has helped me, I literally couldn’t have done it without your help and support.

I hope that we have also helped others: families, children and other small businesses just like mine.  I’ve no plans to stop just now – actually it feels like I’m just getting started in some ways!

Like almost every business, 2020 was the toughest year yet and I am very grateful to all my team, our customers, our partners and parents who have stood by us whilst managing their own challenges during the year.

Here are some of our highlights from the past 15 years.

Sam Willoughby

Founder & Managing Director of Grow4th
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