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Over 3,000 miles away from the franchise’s base on a cobnut farm in Kent, 35-year-old mother of two Cristina Mules will be offering children’s yoga classes to residents in Doha.

Cristina, Romanian by birth, has lived and worked in Qatar’s capital city for 10 years.

Like many of her counterparts in the UK, she felt her full-time career wasn’t allowing her enough time with her children, so she left employment in November 2011 in search of a better work/life balance.

“I knew I wanted to run some sort of quiet, calm, after-school activity club to counteract the frenetic, noise filled world we live in today, but had problems getting it started,” Cristina explains.

“One day I Googled ‘children’s yoga’ and Tatty Bumpkin came up.

“After many months of conversations with company founder Sam Petter and the team, I made the decision to buy the franchise for Doha.

“Sam and the team have been so flexible, working with me to make this a success.

“I get the sense they are handing me their baby and I will do my best to look after it for them.”

Cristina’s franchising training took place in the UK and the Tatty Bumpkin team will continue to communicate with her through email and Skype.

She plans to translate the Tatty Bumpkin programme into Arabic, but with the majority of the Qatari population and ex-pats speaking English, she does not see this as an immediate need.

Sam Petter is delighted to have the company’s first overseas franchisee on board.

“In 2014, being 3,000 miles away simply isn’t the issue it once was,” she says.

“We’ll keep in touch with Cristina regularly through Skype and email, as we do with many of our busy UK-based franchisees.

“We’ve worked closely with Cristina during her visit to the UK to make sure the model will work well abroad, taking into consideration religious and cultural differences, and will keep adjusting it if necessary.

“We’re sure Tatty is going to love living abroad and we hope this will be the first of many overseas franchise opportunities to come.”


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