About Us

Catalyze Enterprises Ltd

The Registered company, Catalyze Enterprises Ltd, is operated by Hazel and Tracey as a partnership, solely to run the Scallymag Franchise. The aim is to help others set up their own Scallymag Magazines around the country.

Both Hazel and Tracey also operate their own successful Scallymag Franchises.

 

Hazel

My first child was born in 1999 and, as you can imagine, my life changed. Apart from learning the ropes of parenthood I suddenly discovered how little I knew about the town where I lived. Where do all the mums go, and what did they do? How did I sign up for swimming lessons? Where were the Mums and Babies groups meeting? Etc, etc.

Of course, the Health Visitors were great, but understandably busy; I had seen all the notices on the library notice boards and I had made friends who could point me in the right direction; but the information was disjointed and not always accurate.

I muddled on, making new friends, finding out more information, trying things out, until my eldest child was three and my youngest was 18 months. By now my career had been on hold for over three years and I was starting to get a bit stir-crazy. I needed some grown-up time; something to do to keep my brain active; something to challenge me.

I considered going back to work, but trying to fit childcare around my husband’s shifts, plus the guilt of leaving my youngest child before school age, was too much. I had to find something else.

Other mums I knew had tried direct selling; children’s books and pampering for mums were popular, but I wasn’t inspired. Then suddenly, one day, I found it, sitting in my magazine rack where it had been for over a year! It was a copy of a free magazine I had picked up at a friend’s house in Cheshire. It was perfect! How hard could it be to produce this for my own town? It definitely needed it; I knew that from my own experiences, but could I do it?

The first issue of The Scallymag took about six months to produce. It was a very steep learning curve to get there, including talking to as many people as I could, learning about the whole industry from scratch and trying to sell a completely unproven idea. When the magazine did appear, in the Summer of 2003, it was thin and mainly in black and white to keep costs down, but I had sold the idea to enough local businesses to cover my costs, with a tiny amount to spare. The next issue was easier to produce; I sold more advertising and got my costs down further, so I made a little more money. And so it went on, getting a little bit easier and a little bit better every time.

When I started getting phone calls from neighbouring areas wanting their local activities to be included, I resisted. I didn’t want to dilute my magazine’s focus by blurring the boundaries of the specific community it was currently targeting. However, I was very interested in helping someone set up a similar magazine, specifically for their own community.

 

Tracey

My story is similar to Hazel’s and to many other mums out there. Prior to having my first child I knew nothing about the area I lived in, as I was always travelling around. So, when my eldest son was born I soon grew tired of walking the streets looking for parks and toddler groups. My Health Visitor tried to help, but often the information was out of date; the local newspaper was useless – I felt so alone.

When my Maternity leave was over I was undecided whether to go back to work or not. Even though our family finances were tight I decided to give up full-time work and look for part-time work locally so I could spend more time with my child. However my hunt for work was not successful. I was even rejected as a night shelf stacker in the local supermarket! Then my local Jo Jingles Franchisee, seeing a great opportunity to advertise her franchise more widely, put me in touch with Hazel.

I have no journalism or publishing experience. In fact I have only a minor qualification in English Language. I did have a lot of experience of sales in my earlier career, but only products, never “space”. But the simple and unique formula that Hazel had devised looked easy to follow so I decided to give it a go. That was in 2006.