A nanny, a beauty therapist and a plumber – business clearly runs in the family for three south Oxfordshire siblings. But where other brothers and sisters may bicker, co-operation is key for the Lays who at just 32, 28 and 25, have taken the plunge and each launched fledgling businesses – at the picturesque surroundings of their family farm in West Hagbourne, near Didcot, run by their parents Chris and Sue.
They’re now hoping their brother-sister bond – and farming roots – will be the key to business success. Manor Farm is now not only home to tractors, trailers and straw bales, but to Aimee’s bespoke nanny agency Contented Childcare, Matt’s Hagbourne Farm Plumbing business and Becky’s Bare Essentials beauty therapy salon. And from sharing leaflet dropping to persuading their Dad to let them display adverts in his fields all three are going from strength to strength. At just 25, Chiltern-trained nanny Aimee is the youngest of the three and already has a wealth of childcare experience behind her. She spotted a gap in the market matching families with nannies to suit their childcare requirements – saving them time and hassle. She said: ‘Watching my brother and sister set up their own businesses motivated me to do the same and we often go off and do flyer drops together to try and promote our businesses. It’s great all being based in the same place as we can support each other and bounce ideas between us. Setting up a business is quite scary, but with a brother and sister already established, it’s made it easier so I can always ask them questions. ‘We often have meals together around the kitchen table discussing ideas, ways to promote the business and ways we can market them. Dad is always pushing us to get out there and we all motivate each other – he’s even let us put up large bill boards in the fields so we can advertise.’ At 32, Becky is the oldest and believes south Oxfordshire has great potential for her beauty therapy business. Her salon is based at Lilley Cottage within the picturesque grounds of the farm and among the treatments on offer is radio frequency designed to tighten the skin. Her business is ideal for childcare too – with her parents Chris and Sue just around the corner to help look after her daughter Lily-Ella. She said: ‘Didcot is expanding fast so there is a great opportunity to tap into a growing client base here in south Oxfordshire for all three of our businesses. We’re hoping we can publicise all our businesses through each other’s clients – with the three of us in business it’s a great talking point. There’s a bit of healthy competition between us though, which keeps things interesting.’ Father-of-one Matt, 28, said: ‘All three of us have been lucky enough to have great parents who support us with what we are doing. I was dyslexic at school but wanted to find something more hands on and practical. It’s great working so close to my sisters – there haven’t been any arguments yet! ‘We’re all quite young but we are the next generation bringing business to the farm and using the buildings in new and exciting ways. We’ve all been inspired by our parents and the hard work they have put into the farm – and now it’s time to make our mark.
NOTES TO EDITORS: All three businesses are based at Manor Farm, Main Street, West Hagbourne, Didcot, OX11 0ND 01235 850 738 To contact Contented Childcare call Aimee Lay on 01235 850 436 / 07890 334460 or visit www.contentedchildcare.co.uk or email email@example.com Aimee visits families at home to assess their childcare needs and carefully selects nannies to match individual requirements ensuring all the nannies are vetted and references and qualifications checked. To contact Bare Essentials call Becky Lay on 07870 849351, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.bare-essentials.info Becky offers hot stone and Swedish massage, Fake Bake and Xen Tan tanning, OPI manicures and pedicures, waxing, Jean Marine facials and lash and brow tinting. She also offers laser hair removal for men and women, reduction in pigmentation marks, thread veins, rosacea and acne as well as radio frequency to help reduce cellulite, slack skin, lines and wrinkles. To contact Hagbourne Farm Plumbing call Matt Lay on 0800 566 8263 / 07816 399 315 or see www.hf-plumbing.co.uk Matt offers maintenance for domestic households, and also surveys and fits bathrooms. Services include small jobs like taps, ball valves, toilets, overflows, leaks, blockages, washer changes, 24 hour call out.