Military wife Cheri takes leap into the unknown ...
A FORMER restaurant manager living in Emersons Green has launched her own business to fit in with her husband's military career.
Cheri Ghaibi found she was unable to continue her career because her family is constantly moving.
Husband Adam, who serves in the Royal Logistics Corps, has been posted to various locations which means the couple and their two children, Theodore, five, and Darcy, three, are never in the same place for too long.
“It's very difficult to get a job because as soon as an employer asks for your work history, they can see you've moved every two years,” said Cheri, aged 38.
“Who's going to employ someone when they know they aren't going to be there for very long? You can't just go and get a job as a restaurant manager when you're a military wife; the army has to always come first. That's the way it is.
“Adam's on 10 days' notice to leave, the same as any military personnel are. They could just phone him up and say you're going to Afghanistan or Iran in ten days, pack your bags. There's nothing you can do about that because it's his job.”
Cheri first got the idea of hiring out inflatables when the family was posted to America. She was impressed after visiting a giant warehouse full of inflatables.
“You show up, pay your money and lose your kids for a few hours while you sit in a cafe and have coffee! I thought it was great.”
Cheri realised it wasn't quite the practical solution she had been looking for: “I can't just get a warehouse and fill it with bouncy castles because if Adam has to go on a two-week training exercise, how am I going to run the business? Who would look after the children? It's ok if you know your partner can maybe do a pick up or drop off to help out but when they get called out of the country, what do you do then?”
Cheri decided the best way forward would be a career where she could set her own hours and take her business anywhere with her. Staying with the idea of inflatables, she decided to set up her own business hiring bouncy castles for parties and events.
“It means I can follow my husband around the country and set the business up wherever we move to. If I know he's going to be away on a training exercise for the weekend, I don't have to take a bookings for then.
“It will enable me to bring in an income whilst maintaining flexible working hours that suit our family's lives.”
Releasing equity on some of the houses the couple rent out, Cheri bought nine bouncy castles and will launch her business officially on July 1.
Cheri has also purchased a van, sorted a unit, set up a website and Facebook page and is ready for business, covering the north and east of Bristol.
Cheri said: “I'm really pumped up about it. I'm 38 and feel like I don't want to work for anyone else now. I'm a company director of my own business and I think that's brilliant. It's something I can say to my children – if you want something badly enough you can achieve it.”
To find out more about Cheri's business visit www.bounce-about.com
Cheri and Adam with their children Theodore and Darcy