With three kids ages, 7, 6 and almost 5, Joan Lockwood, wanted to begin early to instill her children with the manners and social skills that would carry them successfully throughout their lives. A search for an etiquette class in her community, outside of Boston, left her empty handed. What was this mom to do – start her own program.
Research led her to a school where she became a certified etiquette consultant. She attended a week long program at The American School of Protocol in Atlanta, Georgia. She structured her venture around her children’s schedules. Like most mothers she has free time during the day when they are in school. So Joan offers a series of one hour classes through local schools in her community. Coming from a background in sales, business development and magazine publishing, Joan was able to draw on past experiences in the workforce to package her etiquette program targeted to children. Building a web site and a marketing brochure is at the top of her list for marketing the classes to local schools.
Joan says, “My program focuses on teaching children the rules of etiquette and everyday courtesies so that they have the tools to be more self-confident and kind people. I believe it is important for children to know the “rules”, that there is a time and place for everything. If people act with grace and kindness, relationships with peers, families and their communities will be more enjoyable.”
She is able to spend about 20 hours a week on the classes and her venture and hopes to ramp up her time as her children grow. Her husband is supportive and likes the idea of a venture that can begin slowly to measure Joan’s commitment outside of motherhood. She had been considering many different ventures but this one worked from a timing perspective.
The classes are for children ages Pre-K through 5th grade. Joan plans to expand to grades 6 – 12 in 2010. By providing manners, dining skills, social and life graces needed to succeed, the classes offer a valuable service. Joan has other ideas on how to expand her venture as her kids grow and she has more time. And her kids have taken her class and think it’s really fun. Her hope is to have The Common Courtesy be something that is adopted by families and schools throughout the nation. What a great idea.
Create a venture around a need not met in your community.