Mother who created a football card game to keep her three sons active over lockdown is set to turnover £180,000 after using £5,000 in savings to turn the idea into a business
- Gemma Coles , 39, from Bournemouth created Shuffle Up during first lockdown
- The gymnastics coach designed the new game to occupy her football-mad sons
- Used £5,000 she and her husband had saved up for a holiday to launch business
- Now is set to turnover £180,000 and Gemma is working on expanding the game
A mother-of-three is set to turnover £180,000 this year after turning a family football game into a fledgling business.
Gemma Coles, 39, from Bournemouth, was forced to furlough herself from her gymnastics coaching business in March and was ‘tearing her hair out’ trying to find a way to keep her boys off their phones and video games all day.
She created Shuffle Up, a £19.99 card game that contains instructions for 14 games and more than 70 football activities, complete with informative photographs so young players can master the technique at home.
After seeing how much her boys enjoyed the game, Gemma decided to use the £5,000 she and husband Neil had set aside for a dream family holiday to turn Shuffle Up into a business.
Entrepreneur: Mother-of-three Gemma Coles, 39, from Bournemouth, was forced to furlough herself from her gymnastics coaching business in March and was ‘tearing her hair out’ trying to find a way to keep her boys off their phones and video games all day
Family business: With the support of her husband Neil (pictured with Gemma and their three sons), Gemma decided to use the £5,000 holiday fund to design and create the football card game she had been playing with her boys
Simple but effective: Shuffle Up is a £19.99 card game that contains instructions for 14 games and more than 70 football activities, complete with informative photos
‘The response to Shuffle Up has been staggering,’ Gemma told FEMAIL. ‘After my initial investment of £5,000 I am now on track to end the year financial year with a £180,000 turnover.
‘I’ve just had my record sales month in November, turning over £40,000 and December is set to double that with Christmas on the horizon.
‘It’s been a very pleasant surprise, although there is very little in the way of activity-based games that are great for all the family, so I knew the demand was there.’
Explaining how she came up with the idea, Gemma said: ‘I was tearing my hair out in lockdown trying to keep my three energetic boys, aged 14, 11, and nine, entertained and happy, as well as trying to home school them!
The cards let young footballers practise and improve their game with garden exercises
Gemma was was ‘tearing her hair out’ trying to find a way to keep her three boys (pictured) off their phones and video games all day. Pictured L-R Spencer, 9, Harrison, 14, and Elliot, 11
‘I didn’t want them sitting looking at their iPads all day or playing computer games, and I could see that not being able to attend their usual sport and activity clubs was impacting their wellbeing, both mentally and physically.
‘I knew I needed to be creative and come up with a way to mimic their clubs that I knew they missed so much.’
Gemma used her experience in gymnastics coaching and teamed up with qualified UEFA coach Dan Smith to devise the games and exercises in Shuffle Up.
Gemma wants to continue helping parents across the UK who struggle to keep their kids exercising by focusing on developing more sporting games and resources for them.
The businesswoman was forced to furlough herself from her gymnastics coaching business in March and so was looking for a way to keep her children entertained
‘I had no idea what would come of me and my boys having some fun in the garden last April,’ said Gemma, ‘I now have a new business model which has proved to be a huge success.
‘It’s been a real family effort getting this game off the ground, from the design that me and my husband put together to my boys being the models, we’ve all come together and created something special.’
Thanks to the unexpected success of the Shuffle Up game, Gemma has decided to completely change her business focus for 2021, insisting that the thriving business has ‘changed her life’.
Gemma has insisted that the thriving business has ‘changed her life’. Pictured, Elliot playing Shuffle Up
‘I used to wake up early to coach gymnastics and then get home from after school gym clubs and my boys would be getting ready for bed, I’d barely get to see them.
‘Now, we have collaborated and built a successful business as a family, lockdown has changed our lives, making us realise there is nothing more important than family!’
Gemma is now investing her profit back into the business and is designing Shuffle Up games for gymnastic, rugby, cricket and boxing.
She is also speaking to schools across the UK about introducing the game to teachers to inject a new and fresh way to keep Physical Education classes fun and engaging.
Gemma is now investing her profit back into the business and is designing Shuffle Up games for gymnastic, rugby, cricket and boxing. Pictured, Spencer posing with the game
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