Pride Road architect Sandy Hickey offers her story about how she joined the company as an experienced architect looking to reignite her career as an architectural franchisee. Read her testimonial below.

What’s Your Name And Where Are You Based?

My name’s Sandy Hickey, I am a Pride Road architect based in Leamington Spa, Warwick, and the surrounding area.

What Were Your Challenges As An Architect Before Pride Road?

When I started in architecture, I worked for British Waterways, looking after the canals, and I enjoyed it. I loved the wide range of things I did– not just designing buildings, but carrying out surveys and analysis of the canal environment, creating Master plan ideas, and commenting on planning applications by third parties. We often working closely with local authorities. We were on a mission to change peoples’ negative views of canals – which I found inspiring – but I left after I had a daughter.

I had always thought an advantage of architecture as a profession was that it could be undertaken working from home. My first job by myself was designing and building a house for my parents, after which I picked up some local and national clients.

But the challenge of running a business by myself was daunting. I hadn’t had experience in running a small business, and felt I didn’t have all the necessary systems in place, which made operating uncomfortable.

As my family responsibilities grew, my time was squeezed to tackle these hurdles, so I decided to give up architecture for a while.

Why Did You Join Pride Road?

COVID came along , and I was keen to get back into architecture after some time away. It was serendipitous that I met Lisa (Pride Road founder) while attending a zoom meeting from the Birmingham Architectural Association.

I was inspired by her dynamism, her story about the franchise , and of course about her canal boating experiences!

I decided to send her an email telling her how impressed I was, and we stayed in contact. With my Drive for architecture rekindled, and my daughter about to fly the nest, I decided to join Pride Road as a franchisee!

What’s the Best Thing About Working for Pride Road?

I enjoy that I’m not alone at Pride Road and there is an underlying structure behind the franchise that helps me take care of the administrative side of things. I also really enjoy being out and about – visiting clients houses, meeting people, and chatting with them.

I’ve learned a lot about how new technologies and equipment work, networking, and social media. Pride Road is a comfortable environment full of positivity where you feel free to work without pressure. You can always ask someone else for a bit of support, and I can offer my help and experience to others!

Working for Pride Road is an entirely different ball game compared to how I was working for myself before. The camaraderie, the drive to succeed, the team, and the encouragement here are some of the best things about working for this franchise.

All the challenges of running a small business are made much more straightforward by Pride Road. There are systems in place, clients, and the ability to ask questions to the team if you don’t know the answer.