TWO busy mums decided to quit their professional jobs and launch their own business to spend more time with their families.

Friends Vicky Matthews and Caroline Gowing met at their daughters' swimming class and often talked about the idea of becoming self employed.

"We wanted something a bit more flexible," said mum-of-two Vicky, 48, who was a senior finance manager. "We both had corporate careers demanding long hours and business travel which didn't fit in with family life.

"I was offered voluntary redundancy from the bank whilst I was on maternity leave. No one else would offer me this opportunity so I grabbed it.

"We were both in a position where we could take a leap from paid employment, try something new and see if it worked. We haven't looked back since."

The pair set up a personal and virtual assistant business, Pink Spaghetti PA Services, 10 years ago and now run 45 franchises across the UK from their HQ at Winnington Hall.

"We worried about where our first £100 would come from," said Vicky. "We never envisaged we would have such a large team and be hitting a million pound turnover with franchising this year."

The duo support small businesses with secretarial, organisational, bookkeeping, social media and admin.

Whether it is building a database, designing a newsletter or sorting out receipts, they offer a fast, efficient, cost-effective service.

The pair can also make home life easier by running errands, finding tradesman, booking holidays or researching the best utility deals.

"We are both highly organised and love a list," said Vicky. "We are the 25th hour busy people need. We do anything and everything, the tasks that people don't have the time or knowledge to do, such as managing their social media accounts. "

Their model proved so successful, they have now given mums across the country the chance to follow in their footsteps.

Caroline, whose has two daughters, Charlotte 15, and Imogen, 13, said: “Our services were very much in demand in the local area and we felt that by following a franchise model we could extend the reach of what we were offering across the UK.”

Vicky, who has a daughter Holly, 15, and son Tom, 11, said: "We knew that there would be many women who were caught in the same corporate trap. Professionals who wanted a career but wanted it on their terms and wanted to build their own business.

"People can buy a business in a box. They get lots of training and support from us.

"The flexibility it has given me has meant that I haven't missed out on things with the kids as they grew up. I can still make the school runs and be there for them now."

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Their business is the only PA services company to feature in the Elite Franchise Top 100.

Pink Spaghetti was also named as winner of the Working Mums Franchise Award for Innovation 2018.

"We feel quite passionate about our own business," added Vicky. "We have worked really hard to get a good structure and good model. We have invested in systems and process to continue to grow. It has been a fantastic journey. We have real confidence for the future and to continue to grow in the same vein."