Featured Franchise Owner – Miss Laura
Every month we like to highlight one of our terrific franchise owners to hear their story and how they got started. This month, we’re speaking to Laura Teal, who owns her franchises in Northwest Arkansas & St. Louis/St. Charles, Missouri.
Thank you for taking time to talk to us about your journey. We can all learn from each other through sharing our journeys. Please tell us a little about yourself.
Where did you grow up and how did you come to be in your current city?
I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I grew up there and in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. I moved to St. Louis, Missouri after marrying Jonathan in 2006. We lived there for 9 years and started our first Tippi Toes® franchise there in 2012. We moved back to Tulsa in 2015 and started our second Tippi Toes® franchise in Northwest Arkansas this year!
How long have you owned your Tippi Toes® franchise?
I have owned Tippi Toes® St. Louis for 4.5 years and opened Tippi Toes® Northwest Arkansas with one of my best friends, Britney Fox, in August 2016.
Did you ever think you’d be a business owner?
Yes and no. I started my college career in the business school but switched to Early Childhood Education. I dreamed of opening my own preschool one day, but that was before I heard about Tippi Toes®. I love that Tippi Toes® allows me to own my own business on my terms. I work when it’s convenient for my family but also have the flexibility of being home with my kids. I could never give that up!
What made you decide to choose this business?
I danced growing up and have always loved working with children. I taught first grade for 7 years before we had our first daughter. I chose to stay home with her but quickly realized that I needed something in my life that was just for me – something I could build and be proud of. Tippi Toes® allowed me to have that opportunity, to build my own empire, while also being the kind of wife and mother I wanted to be.
What advice do you have for other people starting out on this road?
Go for it! I would never have taken this leap if it weren’t for my amazing husband, Jonathan, pushing me to try it. He gave me the confidence I lacked in myself. You can do this, too, and you will have an amazing support team in Sarah, Megan and all of the other Tippi Toes® owners!
What is the best thing about being a business owner?
Making my own hours! I love being able to work hard but not missing out on my kids’ lives. I set my work hours around their school schedules, play dates, and school functions. I love that I can volunteer at their school without having to ask for time off. But I also love building my businesses and feeling success like I’ve never felt before. It’s truly the best of both worlds!
What is the most challenging thing about being a business owner?
Knowing when to turn it off! I love Tippi Toes® so much that I sometimes have to remind myself to stop working. Is that bad?!
If you could go back in time what advice would you give yourself?
Believe in yourself. I spent so many months – probably years – doubting if I could be successful. But I was all along and was just really hard on myself in the beginning. Any new undertaking is hard, and I can look back now and see how far I’ve come and how I truly was successful from the start. It’s such an amazing ride, enjoy it!
Ready to join the Tippi Toes® family? Check out the Franchise Owners page and learn more on how to get started in owning your own business. We’ll be with you every step of the way!