Archive | September, 2012

Mumpreneur 2012

30 Sep

ToyBoxLive MD at Mumpreneur Awards 2012

Well as some of you might know were a finalist in the Mumpreneur 2012 awards for best green business and today was the day of the Mumpreneur Awards and Conference.

Unfortunately we didn’t win, obligatory sad face :-(.  On the plus side the speakers that were there were great and I really enjoyed talking to other mums in business and hearing about them all.  The day started at 9am at the Heart of England Conference centre although we were a little late and missed the morning seminars we did get there in time to hear Claire Young from the apprentice as well as the author Liz Fraser and Kate Wilson from Nosy Crow.

All the speakers were great to listen to and I really enjoyed their no nonsense approach to telling it how it is.  Having your own company is hard and there are sacrifices you have to make and that includes being something to everyone.  As well as chief marketer, business planner, book keeper and MD you still have to be mum, wife and organiser and having your own business to look after is some task but one that is fulfilling rewarding and I think gives children something to aspire to.  I really want my daughter to understand that with hard work and determination you can have the houses, the cars, financial freedom and be known for doing something good (Todays fame culture seems to consume some of todays youth as the only way to achieve success).

What really inspired me today was how many women were embracing working and running their own businesses many to help other parents like ToyBoxLive‘s online toy library.

The Mumpreneur team did a fantastic job and the goodie bags given out were huge….the contents of which have now been sorted out on my kitchen table.

I met some great people and really feel like I need to share a couple of them with you.

Jennie Browne is the owner and developer of Mumderground an iPhone app which helps you to navigate the London Underground with a pram.  I thought this was a fabulous idea as it reminded me of a predicament I found myself in when I first had my daughter she was only 5 months old and I really wanted to go to the Grand Designs Live at Excel but couldn’t take her with me because both myself and my friends had no idea how to navigate the underground with a pram.  I’m from Lancashire so there wasn’t much hope for me but my friends were Southerners so if anyone should have known it should have been them but even they didn’t have a clue.  I really felt like I should share this with you as hopefully it will help other mums visiting London with prams.

I also met Naomi Bloomstein from Little Birdwho’s website sends you family deals on days out and things for kids that you can buy at a discount.  There were so many other people that I met but it would take me forever to write about them all.

The feedback form asked if there was one thing that you would change what would it be? Having had time to think about it – it would be that we would have won an award!

Big congratulations to all the 2012 winners and good luck to all the Mumpreneurs and Dadpreneurs that were there today and those that will be setting up in the future :-).


Less spending more e-lending

25 Sep
toy rental

E Lending

Our culture has changed a lot in the past 10 years and the internet has seen the introduction of many services we didn’t even know we needed. who would have thought we would be buying our shopping online or through a device that was originally designed to make phone calls, or talking with our friends on social networks and seeing them live using web cams. Things really have changed

I remember my first day at secondary school and sitting down to my first ever IT class. We were taught about word processing software , how to type using the traditional type writer method. “Place your right finger over asdf and your left over jkl; and from here you can then type as quickly as possible” Said Mr Singh (Mansfield High School 1995). Each week we continued learning about the programs in the Microsoft Works Suite, there were spreadsheets to calculate and a presentation software tool. There was Encarta that had begun to replace the traditional encyclopaedia and then came the internet with Ask Jeeves (the main search engine at the time) and msn messenger(the equivalent to today’s facebook for chatting to friends).

You know that saying your parents used to say…You don’t know your born, all we had in our day was a black and white TV and a toilet outside for four of us if we were lucky, I was often guilty of thinking “whatever”.

It makes me wonder what we will be saying to our children in 10 years time, who would have thought we would all have a computer the size of our palm in our bag, that we just can’t live without and that you could choose toys and rent them all from the comfort of your own home. Times really are a changing…

E Lending of books was discussed tonight on the news and it’s no surprise that services like ours now fall readily into the E Lending category. launched in January 2012, and has rented hundreds of toys to customers throughout the UK.

The development of children in the early years is so fast that as a parent you want to educate and challenge them and accumulating toys as well as the unnecessary spending that follows can become challenging for even the most budget minded. Renting toys from offers the perfect solution.

For £24.99 families can rent their choice of three toys for a month, choosing to return them or extend the rental at the end of the month – in a system likened to DVD rental. If a child becomes attached to their new plaything parents can even buy it from at a discounted cost. All toys go through a three step cleaning process which includessteam cleaning, additional cleaning, followed by additional cleaning with an organic antibacterial toy cleaner and then finally being wrapped to ensure it arrives perfectly clean and looks like new when it arrives at your door is the UK’s first toy rental business with customers coming from acrosss the country, despite it being a new concept for many families.