Childcare challenges leads mum to start Teepee sleepover business

Christine Ranson , owner of ABC Teepee's, with her two children Bradley and Arabella.

Christine Ranson , owner of ABC Teepee's, with her two children Bradley and Arabella. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Teepee sleepovers have inspired a Capel St Mary family into an exciting business venture.

Christine Ranson's six-year-old daughter, Arabella, wanted some new experiences during lockdown - and what else could top the list but sleeping in a teepee? 

Arabella having fun in one of the Teepees. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Arabella having fun in one of the Teepees. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

But it wasn't as easy as Christine thought to find businesses in the area that provided the service and when childcare issues meant that her return to work as a children's health advisor was more difficult than expected she decided to set up her own.

She said: "Ideally I'd have been able to go back to work after I had my son, Bradley, but it didn't work out.

"I was due to return from maternity leave in 2020 but was told I'd have to work from home because of the Covid restrictions.

Bradley and Arabella having fun in the teepee. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Bradley and Arabella having fun in the teepee. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

"However I couldn't have children in the house with me when I started back up again and I couldn't find a childcare place that was accepting new children.

"I had no choice but to step back and think about my future and how I could make an income while working around my and my children's needs."

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ABC Teepee's is named after each member of the family, of Arabella, Bradley and Christine.

And while setting up a business might have been daunting, the 34-year-old mum has found some freedom in it too.

Christine said: "I am dyslexic and have always found myself enjoying being creative and coming up with new ideas.

"My business has allowed me to find something I am passionate about and to now not stress over what others would think of my spelling or anything like that.

Christine Ranson , owner of ABC Teepee's, with her daughter Arabella. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Christine Ranson , owner of ABC Teepee's, with her daughter Arabella. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

"Working for a company, I was always worried about my spelling, especially if I was asked to take notes or to lead a meeting.

"But now I'm having fun and coming up with ideas and getting all my family time too."

Christine's first customers - her kids - are very pleased with the service.

Arabella said she would "easily give up her bunk bed and sleep in a teepee full time" and two-year-old Bradley loves playing with the different sets.

Bradley getting cosy in the jungle style teepee. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Bradley getting cosy in the jungle style teepee. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Bookings have been coming in and Christine is already thinking bigger to bring more to the business, but added: "I know I can't run before I can walk so for now I'm just enjoying seeing the faces of the little ones light up when they see the sleepover themes I've set up for them."