Tia Sukenik is realizing entrepreneurial success as a franchise owner of Challenge Island, an educational program that brings fun to children while enhancing their skills in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM). By Rochelle Miller
Tia Sukenik is realizing entrepreneurial success as a franchise owner of Challenge Island, an educational program that brings fun to children while enhancing their skills in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM).
“I literally went crazy for it,” Sukenik said. “I love kids using their own intelligence to creatively solve problems.”
While COVID-19 forced the program to go online for the first time, Sukenik’s in-person classes got back on track in time for summer day camp as restrictions were lifted in the Dallas area. She looks forward to business as usual in September. Follow the timeline below for what a typical day looks like for this businesswoman when the school year starts.
Tia Sukenik / Challenge Island
17630 Davenport #103 Dallas, TX 75252
– Rochelle Miller
Workday begins: Sukenik arrives at her Dallas storefront. While most Challenge Island owners run their businesses from home, Sukenik opted for a brick-and-mortar location. She loves having a separate workplace to come – after she enjoys her coffee at home with her husband and children. “I don’t have to get up that early,” she said. “I take my time.”
Marketing focus: Mornings are dedicated to marketing activities, which include follow-up calls to clients to generate repeat business. She tries to book partnerships with various school districts six months in advance. “Advertising is huge. It’s so important. When you go to an elementary school, they are bringing the customers to you,” she said.
Gather materials: With the help of staff, Sukenik gathers up an assortment of materials needed for classes. Depending on the program, this could include anything from baskets of marbles and bags of straws to pool noodles. “If you want your class to be good, it is vitally important you organize your supplies,” Sukenik said.
Class time: Afterschool programs are in full swing, with multiple classes going on around town. Sukenik likes to teach classes, but she also hires and trains additional teachers to ensure the programs are available for more children.
Prep time: On some afternoons, Sukenik heads back to her store location to prepare for a weekend birthday party or to host the occasional Kids Night Out event. Most workdays come to an end around this time, and Sukenik gets to head straight home to spend time with her family and where she can relax after a day of activity and excitement.