I’m Tami, and I’m the owner of Gymboree Play & Music of Lafayette. I took over my site in June 2018, and I’ve loved it ever since! Don’t get me wrong -- I have my tough days. But I love what I do, and I love being around so many families, who in so many ways, remind me a lot about myself when I had my babies. It’s just so great for me to see so many families, so many moms, dads, grandparents, caretakers, getting together,making connections. It’s seriously my favorite things to hear families make plans to meet up later, or walk out and say “ok see you at Friday’s class” or “see you at the zoo tomorrow!” It’s just the best.
My journey to ownership is very similar to many other Gymboree owners – I started out as a Gymboree mom! All 3 of my children did the Gymboree program and I just adored it. I started out in the San Francisco site with my son Ben, who is now 9. Then moved to the Lafayette location with my other 2 children – Tessa, who is now 7, and Timmy, my little 5 year old. I was a stay-at-home mom for 8 years (bravo to the SAHMs!) and am now a full-fledged working mom (bravo to the working moms!).
I always thought I would go back to the legal field when my kids got to elementary school (I am a proud graduate of Santa Clara School of Law). But life is funny like that! I went through the process of taking over the Lafayette location, and everything just fell into place. It just “fit.”
So why did this work for me? First, I love getting to know families and chatting with new parents. This is an environment where we can really build community, and that’s an integral component on how I run my business. Second, I really believe in what Gymboree does and know that it has helped me in raising confident and curious children. But even more than that, I know that Gymboree is a place where relationships with other families can flourish. That helped me as a Mom – the fact that I could go somewhere that provided benefits for my kids AND me. Lastly, the timing worked. I was at a point in my life where I could run a business. Did I need a business degree? No. I think anyone can do this if they have the drive to work hard and the passion to work with kids and families.
It’s a juggle for sure!! But that’s life for you, and while business ownership can be hectic and time-consuming, I’ve managed to blend this family-friendly business into a fulfilling life, for myself and my family!
Gymboree Play & Music is not a business, it is a lifestyle.
As a Gymboree parent, some of our family’s most precious memories were at DC Gymboree. Our three boys all experienced their initial kinesthetic and social emotional milestones at our second home. I was traveling extensively for work and wanted to spend more time with family. My wife forwarded me an email that the current Gymboree owner was selling the franchise and I should explore the opportunity.
Discovery Day in San Francisco was informative and fun. I was very impressed by the values of the organization and dedication of its loyal team. My due diligence included conversations with over 20 franchisees that were supportive and generous with their time. A successful operator shared, “I sent my children to private high school & college and never missed a recital or game”.I was convinced me that this would be an ideal venture to quench my thirst as s professional educator and cultivate my entrepreneurial spirit.
I am thrilled with my decision to become a Franchisee. We have significantly improved sales, built a dynamic team and created a welcoming community. Gymboree has given me a fantastic challenge and rewarded me with personal flexibility and financial profitability. If you care about early childhood education and are willing to roll up your sleeves, then come join Team Gymbo!!