After many years teaching public school for years, Brooke Bauer and Roxanne Dillon wanted to focus on helping children develop their critical and creative thinking skills. They decided to leave their jobs and start their own education business in the form of an after-school enrichment program. Quitting their jobs felt risky, but the pair’s belief in their mission fueled them as they learned how to establish a small business.
“We believe that all students need a firm foundation of thinking, not just the ability to learn a set curriculum,” Dillon says. They built CraniaLogix to teach children higher-level thinking skills, collaboration, creative thinking, and to develop enjoyment in the learning process. While young students are at the center of CraniaLogix programming, parents and educators also benefit, as many of the skills developed after school work with the skills being taught in the classroom and at home.
“Although we are both very creative and effective teachers, we lacked business knowledge,” Dillon recalls. “We prayed for help in that area and asked everyone for direction, so when we discovered SCORE we immediately knew we had found our answer!
“Our company has almost tripled in size in the past year,” Dillon reports. In 2016, CraniaLogix added one part-time employee, a bookkeeper, and nine teachers to its roster. On top of their marketing knowledge and business-planning skills, the team has also prepared a new round of goals to help determine when it’s time to hire additional employees.
Bauer and Dillon were matched with mentor Tim Carnell. Together with a team of diverse mentors, Carnell walked the women through their marketing, financial planning, and bookkeeping questions. They attended workshops about QuickBooks, business planning, and small-business marketing to learn basic concepts that would help them throughout their business endeavors. Mentor Terry Toomey stepped in to offer her marketing expertise. SCORE mentors helped Bauer and Dillon register their new company as well as apply for a trademark.
“The first time we met our SCORE mentors we were thrilled,” Dillon says. “We felt they believed in us and would do everything they could to help us be successful.”