Pride Road’s newest Lioness arrives in New Forest and Bournemouth

Lisa Raynes

by Lisa Raynes

18/12/2019, in Main Blog

Pride Road New Forest & Bournemouth opens for business 6 Jan 2020

Laura Simpkins is an architect with 20 + years’ experience, during that time she has had to juggle and compromise in order to continue doing architecture as her family grew.  “It was all fine while I could be ‘one of the boys’, however this became increasingly difficult as each child came along”, says Laura whose Pride Road New Forest & Bournemouth franchise opens for business in Jan 2020.

Lisa Raynes, Pride Road’s Founder and Director totally understands the challenges that female architects face “it’s why I developed an alternative that allows women in architecture to be in control of their work/life balance”.  

How a franchise business is the answer to the complex juggle and narrow choices available to mum architects

Discovering Lisa and Pride Road Architecture Franchise one night by searching ‘architect, mum’ was a critical juncture for Laura, who in the course of her career has experienced every type of architecture job short of opening her own practice. During her 20 years of practice she was very aware that she was missing a role model, someone whose life she recognised, and that there ought to be another way for her to practice architecture.

  • Why couldn’t her career be like her husband’s in public sector civil engineering, with better parental rights?
  • Why couldn’t she have the same career choices as her university friend of 20 yrs whose path in medicine had mapped out from the start the option to become a GP working part-time?
  • Why wasn’t there an alternative to opening up as a sole practitioner for a motivated and ambitious mum of 3 who was time-poor and valued the collaboration and support from being part of something bigger?

Despite feeling short-changed when she made comparisons with her own career, she was determined not to let go of architecture and she absolutely wasn’t going to sacrifice family life.  With her husband right beside her helping to raise 3 kids and supporting her ambitions, Laura kept investing in her architecture career working for several practices. Ultimately it is the work culture in the architectural profession that needs to change; individual practices are making the greatest strides on this journey.

By opening up a franchise Laura is benefitting from a business model more familiar on the high street, that means having a proven business model, with inbuilt marketing and business support.

And at its core Pride Road has a strong ethos of empowering women to have long-term architecture careers – something that Laura whole-heartedly supports.

If this sounds appealing to you read on at