Some people find their perfect job later in life, but for New Zealand-based Bricks 4 Kidz franchisee Lorraine Yu, building is in her blood.
The daughter of a famous architect, Yu was born in China and learned the value of education at an early age. The skills Yu learned as a child allowed her to move to New Zealand at the age of 17 to attend university. While there she studied business information management and marketing, ultimately earning a master’s degree in international business.
In her master’s thesis Yu explained how to manage an international brand in a local market. She didn’t realize it at the time, but this strategy was a perfect building block for her future Bricks 4 Kidz adventure.
But she wasn’t even aware of such an opportunity at that time. Instead, before finding her Bricks 4 Kidz calling, Yu worked as a marketing manager for an international importing company. She handled database management, packaging, branding, advertising and the development of the company’s website, email and conventional marketing materials. Yu was successful in her work, but as her life changed and her family grew — she and her husband have two children, ages 5 and 2 — she became interested in finding something more.
An exciting opportunity
Yu described her shift from marketing manager to Bricks 4 Kidz owner very simply. “It’s like destiny,” she said. Her interest in such an idea was first piqued by speaking to a friend in China who told her education with LEGO Bricks had become a big hit back home. Yu did her research and found a large number of Chinese families had moved to Auckland, creating a natural market with no local resources to meet it. She continued researching how to bring the love of LEGOs to these people and there she discovered Bricks 4 Kidz.
It was a perfect fit.
“At my daughter’s school there are classes for sports and music but nothing like Bricks 4 Kidz,” Yu said. She left her job to open her Bricks 4 Kidz franchise — offering quality children’s education, logical thinking and hands-on S.T.E.M. learning — and she hasn’t looked back. In fact, she’s looking forward.
Focused on the future
Yu has big plans for the future of her Bricks 4 Kidz franchise. In addition to other opportunities, she’s working to open a creativity center in Auckland with a LEGO-themed playground and café. This will allow her to host birthday parties as well as weekend, evening and after-school classes during school days and even Kidz Night Out. She also plans to feature numerous Bricks 4 Kidz after-school classes throughout the city, offering children the ability to create and learn at the same time.
The plans are already underway for the Creativity Center — slated to open in May or June — and Yu has hired a communications manager to help her promote the program in area schools. She’s on her way, and committed to building her Bricks 4 Kidz franchise into everything it can be.