Hard working mums Lynne Rees and Pippa Miln from Chester have shown that dedication really does pay off.
After just two years, while both working full time and bringing up kids, they have not only developed a children’s toy but successfully catapulted it into the toy market.
The launch of their new website www.wannabees.co.uk is a reflection of how far they have come in just two years and supports their recent expansion into Europe. And they are not stopping here, with plans to roll the packs out into the USA too.
They have already won three awards and fought off major competition from household names such as Little Tikes. And if that is not enough they won the admiration of a couple of the Dragons in the Den with both Sarah Willingham and Deborah Meaden liking their product.
The imaginative role play packs in the Wannabees range provide everything children need to ‘pretend’ to be the profession of their choice. The packs contain forms, stickers and certificates that children can use to feel like they truly are ‘playing for real’.
The three packs on the market, ‘I Want to be a Teacher’, ‘I Want to be a Café Owner’ and ‘I Want to be a Doctor’, provide everything a child needs to play at being a teacher, café owner or doctor for real. The range is constantly growing and there are plans to roll out further fun and exciting professions.
Co-owner Pippa believes her drive to succeed comes from her son fighting off kidney cancer at just four-years-old. She said: “When Sam was ill it made me realise how life has to be lived for every day and that chasing your dreams is something everyone should do.
“Now if I think I would like to do that, I just get on and do it and when my business partner Lynne Rees came up with this fantastic idea and we discussed it over a coffee in Sainsburys, there was no stopping us.”
The support for the product extends far and wide with specialists in education promoting it too. Caroline Howett, a specialist leader of education and early years consultant, is keen to sing their praises.
She said: “I have used Wannabees role play packs at home with my own children who are aged 11 and 12 years, as well as using them with the children I teach at school. The packs provide a framework which enables children to develop their own ideas and play experiences.
“Imaginative play has many benefits for children of all ages. Emotional development, social development, language skills, self-esteem, empathy and the ability to take and manage risks are all supported through engaging in pretend play.
“Through using Wannabee play packs my children have spent hours engrossed in developing their own imaginary environment which has replaced sedentary play on digital technology.
“I strongly believe that through providing high quality role play resources, I am giving my children the best opportunities to develop into happy, healthy adults equipped with skills to deal with the demands of the real world.”
Check out the new Wannabees website at www.wannabees.co.uk .