Running a Business with your Sister: Magnifisense

Gail and her sister run Magnifisense, providing bespoke interactive, informative, fun experiences based on the 5 senses, ideal for businesses and groups.

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

Hello my name is Gail, I live with my partner Tony and my 3 beautiful girls Megan 18, Alanna 15 & Darcy 13 put their initials together and it spells MAD! Our house is a mad house; especially with the addition of 2 dogs Deefa & Harvey. Our dining room table is my office but I have the freedom of working in my pjama’s should I wish…..which I don’t….well not often!

What’s your business called?


Can you describe it in one sentence?

Providing bespoke interactive, informative fun experiences (some may say workshops) based on the 5 senses ideal for businesses and private groups.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

Magnifisense was started May 2016; so still under a year old. My sister and I were made redundant from the same events company which was a shock in itself and sent us both into a whirlwind. We both attended interviews but knew something just wasn’t right. We had been so fortunate with our previous employer; as we were pretty much left to our devices to perform and maintain our own job roles. We then had a ‘lightbulb’ moment; why not set up a business together. We knew that we had a good events background amongst other valuable skills and we had been instructing our own workshops for years; so Magnifisense was born.

How did you fund your start up?

With very little money which is difficult! Yes we both have partners that can pay the majority of the bills whom I must say have been brilliant. However it’s very difficult and there is no quick fix or instant cash. It does feel like you are paying out all the time and it certainly is a learning curve with regards to prioritising.

How do you manage working around your children?

You may be reading this thinking well she has it easy she hasn’t got little ones round her feet! Which I appreciate but my girls still need me; my eldest was finishing off her beauty course when we started so she needed my time to be guinea pig and to help with course work. My middle daughter has started her GSCE’s and is not having the best time at school and my youngest craves attention is vocal and keeps us on our toes and is for ever dancing round the house; despite complaining her joints hurt! When I split from the girls dad I started my own cleaning business the girls were then 10, 5 & 3. It wasn’t easy but I was very fortunate to have a good network around me; which I still do. In hindsight what I should have done was expanded the business but I went to work for the events company and didn’t look back as I had the best of both worlds independence and a regular salary which you don’t always get when self-employed. However working for yourself gives you flexibility in the hours that you work and you have no-one to answer to but yourself. Of course there are so many ways of being a Mumpreneur now and I do think it’s awesome. This is one of my favourite quotes “When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life” – JC Chandor

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

So after school run in the morning I take my 2 dogs for a walk so they are then settled. Usually come in and put washing on. Switch laptop on; catch up and respond to emails, speak with my sister on phone if working remotely (we try and work together 3 days out of the 5). Look at various trends, make appointments, go to appointments, speak with suppliers, stock check and perhaps pack if we have an event the next day! Around 4 I switch off for a couple of hours get dinner ready; then usually in the evening I look at Social Media. At first I wondered how I actually ran a home when working nearly full time. Only recently have I learnt to get into a routine and allocate tasks during the day which doesn’t always work but again flexibility works.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

We supply and deliver experiences/workshops so when it came to the website, graphics and anything IT this was out of our comfort zone. Every day is a learning curve; I think we have learnt to take a step back and prioritise where we are going and what we want to achieve. There is so much conflicting information sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees but try and stay focused and breathe.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

I love the fact that being a Mumpreneur means you can be flexible; we’re hoping that the girls will start to join us and be a part of Magnifisense; keeping it in the family. I love working with my sister but above all I love being a MUM so mixing this with my own business is the right combination for me.

What are your plans for the future?

Grow Grow Grow! Magnifisense is a young company we know we provide the extra in front of ordinary but it’s getting our brand recognised and establishing trust with our clients so that ‘word of mouth’ marketing commences bringing in further business. We have recently entered the wedding market too with bespoke fragrance wedding favours; design your own bespoke fragrance and capture it in a bottle, room spray, candle or pretty draw liners to share with guests on the special day.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

It’s scary and still is. If you have faith and passion about what you do and you think other people can benefit from it then Jump; otherwise you will stay in the same place. For International Womens Day (8th March 2017) I posted this on social media “She believed she could, so she did”. Don’t get me wrong this is one hell of a rollercoaster ride and its tiring but we are hoping all are hard work comes to fruition soon; but one must never be complacent and keep working.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

“Do what you love, love what you do!” Thank you for reading and good luck! Come & find us on Social Media it would be awesome to see you. Gail x