Tell me a little about you & your family, what your business is, and the inspiration behind getting started…
I was a single Mum to Arlo when I first noticed how badly represented we were in children’s books. He started to come home with ideas about what a ‘proper’ family looked like. We’re a blended family now and I’ve only seen one positive, incidental reference to a stepdad in all the thousands of children’s books I’ve read. This prompted me to find more inclusive books. It was really difficult. I realised how few children saw their ethnicity, their family make up, their socioeconomic background in the books they read. I saw the need for someone to curate inclusive and representative stories and Little Box of Books was born. Every month our subscribers, aged 0-7, receive a carefully curated box of inclusive stories, from top publishers, along with with learning guides and free gifts. We also do one-off gift boxes and we’ve just started supplying books for schools.
How did you make the leap from idea on paper to reality with your business idea?
Passion for the business really encouraged me to move quickly. With investment from family we got the website built and started meeting publishers.
How did you get your first sale or client?
Coincidentally, on the day we launched, the CLPE released a report about the lack of diversity in children’s books. I’d done some gentle, very shy marketing amongst friends when Sky News got in touch and asked for an interview. The website had barely been tested when we took our first orders.
What ‘lucky breaks’ or helping hands have you had along the way that have really boosted your progress?
As mentioned, the luck of the CLPE releasing their report in the week we launched our business has had a huge impact on our PR. We’ve got numbers to evidence the scale of the problem and that has helped immeasurably.
What do you LOVE about your business and working for yourself?
I love that I get to work on something I’m passionate about, that I get to change things for kids. We’re always being told that reading to children is the single most important thing we can do for their development. I’d argue that the benefit of this can be increased or diminished, based on what is being read. Representation is crucial.
What’s the scariest thing you’ve had to do since setting up on your own?
Quit my job, manage a business alongside a baby, who arrived 3 months after launching!
Who is your support network that you simply couldn’t manage without?
My boyfriend and business partner Neil. My family who are huge cheerleaders and friends who have bought boxes and given us honest feedback.
What exciting plans do you have for your business over the next 6-12 months that you’d like to share?
We want to reach as many children as possible with representative books. We are intensifying our focus on school provision, targeting teachers, school governors, concerned parents, who see the opportunity for their kids to learn more about the world through books.
On your own start-up adventure?
Drop me a message if you’d like a free 30-min clarity call to get a handle on how you can grow your own ideas into a purposeful, profitable business that both FEELS good and DOES good: