Business Spotlight – Me Too! Magazine
This week in our Business Spotlight feature, we’d like to introduce a business who are making big waves in helping children with additional support needs feel included in and around Aberdeen.
Phionna and Dennis McInnes-Piries’ Me Too Magazine offers a fantastic ‘what’s on’ for children with additional support needs in and around Aberdeen City.
Amongst lots of other features, the magazine also has handy hints & tips in the 'parent to parent' section, information about family training days, and of course information about available help and support.
To find out more, we put a few questions to Phionna & Dennis:
Business owner: Phionna & Dennis McInnes-Pirie
Date business started:
Business location: 14 Beechgrove Avenue, Aberdeen, AB15 5EJ
Business tel: 01224 643200
1. What did you do before you started your business?
Dennis was a Project Engineer in Oil and Gas. Phionna was a coordinator at Arts Centre and Theatre Aberdeen as well as an Information Officer for the National Autistic Society.
2. What drew you towards your field of business?
Personal experience! As parents affected with Additional Support Needs, we were frustrated at the fragmented information out there without one single place for it to be accessed. We saw an opportunity to make a difference and create a work/life balance around our family.
3. What hurdles and challenges have you faced in getting to the stage you are currently at?
There have been many – mostly trying to manage time effectively when working at home! Especially during the Summer holidays and wanting to spend all my time with the boys!
4. How has Elevator and Business Gateway helped you and your business on its journey?
The business courses that are run have been fantastic for us both to gain a deeper understanding of all parts of the business. Dennis is the methodical one, Phionna gets bored with all that side!
5. Since starting your business, if you could have done one thing differently, what would that be?
I will turn this around and say that I am glad we did what we did as we didn’t think about it too long – 10 weeks from concept to magazine – sometimes you just have to jump in!
6. What aspect of your business have you taken the most pride in since you started?
It has been fantastic to receive such positive feedback from organisations but more so from families just like us telling us how great it is to have something that is theirs.
7. Do you have any entertaining stories or experiences since starting your business, unexpected events, or interesting developments?
The same week as we launched the first edition of Me Too!, I (Phionna) had post-print blues and decided to go along to a Woman In Business Event to get motivated again as I heard there was a great, inspiring speaker that night, only she was sick that night.
The inspiring talk ended up being me!
8. Has the business recently secured significant orders, expanded its premises, taken on new staff, received funding, produced something unique, increased exports, etc.?
Me Too! have been delighted to secure some funding from UnLtd as competition is fierce to enable us to get the website and logo created. We were also delighted to start a partnership with Archie Foundation as they really believe in the magazine. Also Dennis had his car all adorned with our logo with thanks to sponsorship from Recognition Express.
9. What do you love about running your business? Or the sector you work in?
I love being able to help other families and connect organisations to families and families to each other. Third Sector is a fantastic place to work with some truly inspiring people doing great things– Dennis would probably never to go back to Oil and Gas now!
10. What plans do you have for the future of your business?
We are looking at Franchising the model so that Me Too! can be accessed by parents over Scotland.
If you have a fantastic idea that you'd love to turn into a business, then Elevator & Business Gateway can help. From a wide range of free workshops, through to supporting you every step of your journey, Elevator & Business Gateway can help make these dreams a reality.
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