Today I’d like to introduce you to Wendy Wise who owns and runs Facilitutors, a French based company that specialises in finding local courses in France or courses you can take while on vacation including; cooking, jewellery making, yoga, ceramics, art classes and soap making. Wendy and I met via a facebook group and have been following each others business progress with interest. Wendy first blogged with us in April 2012 sharing her interest in and support for Mary’s Meals. Today I have asked Wendy a few questions about launching and running her business in France.
When did your launch your Facilitutors.com website/company?
What were your goals in starting the business?
We used to own and run a small gite complex and when we sold it in 2006 we decided to take our first holiday for years, in Italy. I wanted to learn Italian and tried to find a tutor, there was no help available, the tourist info offices were no help at all. It struck me that other people might want to learn things and be unable to find information, so I decided to fill that gap in the market and so Facilitutors was born in 2007.
I wanted to create a one stop shop for any kind of course in France from painting to patchwork, cookery to creative writing both vacation courses, local classes and distance learning. Most of the courses are for fun but some of my tutors teach subjects that lead to setting up small businesses or new careers such as teaching English as a foreign language, becoming a Kindermusik educator, starting a sewing business.
From the course providers’ and venue owners’ point of view I offer very reasonably priced promotion via my website, my blog, Facebook and other social media, writing for online magazines, giveaways. I also help them in any way I can e.g. finding a venue or a replacement tutor when someone drops out due illness, for example.
How many courses (if any) have you participated in?
I’d like to go on nearly all of them, particularly the craft and cookery courses but so far I haven’t been able to attend any. I’d love to see some of the venues which range from gorgeous chateaus to fabulous farmhouses.
Tell us about some of your more unusual course requests;
I have some pretty unusual courses on the site such as pig keeping and flying. I also search for courses if I don’t have what people are looking for. For instance, I’m looking for a floristry course at the moment for a lady who wants to learn French floral style and hopes to run courses herself in France. I was also able to advise her on qualifications or restrictions on her project. I’ve also found basic accounting (in English, in Provence) and furniture restoration (also in English in South West France). You won’t be surprised to hear that the most common request is to find a French teacher, usually within 30 minutes drive of the client’s home. This may sound easy, but French teachers can be very thin on the ground in some areas, but I usually succeed.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Finding just what someone wants in the right place. Getting students for my lovely tutors and clients for my venue owners.
How do you see your business changing or developing in the future?
I’m planning to write an e-book about running a venue for courses; it might take some time though. Otherwise I’m just hoping to find more interesting and exciting courses and students to attend them.
I love what Wendy does and hope you have enjoyed this short interview with her. I know she would love to hear from you with any course, venue or tutor questions and can assure you that she is very efficient with answering all enquiries! Thanks Wendy x