An Interview With Nina Beardsley Of is a lovely little site selling felt playthings for kids. The mummy in question is Nina Beardsley, who took voluntary redundancy from her job at a Magistrates Court and turned a hobby making felt toys for her son Alfie into a small business working from home.

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Did you always plan to work from home?

No, my plan was to be a ‘stay at home mum’ so I could do the school run and all those sort of things. But I have always loved to sew and make things so when my son Alfie got a play kitchen for Christmas I started making him play food. Soon friends were asking me to make things for them.

DSCN0252How did you decide to turn it into a business?

My friends loved what I was making and said I should try selling it. I came across the selling platform Etsy and decided to open a store. So Mummy Made It me was launched was launched in July 2012. The name came about because when anyone asked my son about his felt food in his play kitchen, he would reply ‘mummy made it me’. Now he is part of the team, when I am busy he helps me make boxes up, and both he and his sister are good ‘testers’.

What were the main challenges on setting up the business?

As I sell pretend play food toys, the main challenge was to ensure they were safe for children and that I was following all the correct safety regulations. I had to research into toy testing and apply the CE mark on all my products. This is a lot of work. And not long after launching, I became pregnant again so had to take a break after a successful first Christmas. My main challenge these days is time. WEith two small children and a house to run, I’m often up all hours answering emails and sewing.

How important is social media or word of mouth to your business?

I think social media plays a massive part in helping small businesses. I sell on Etsy, Not On The High Street and via mummymadeitme but my Facebook page generates a lot of sales due to customers sharing my page and products.

How else do you market your products?

Beyond social media, I haven’t had to do much. I am really lucky and have been interviewed in a number of newspapers and reviewed online. Obviously while I create products for children, its parents who buy them.


How important is Christmas to your business?

Christmas is the most important and busiest time of year for my business. There is always a ‘play kitchen’ on someone’s list for Santa and a play kitchen is no good without play food!  Although there is play food in the shops, I think my felt play food is different and a little bit special and therefore perfect for gifts.

How did you come across ParcelHero?

I tend to use Royal Mail but I received a special order from Lanvin in Paris which needed a speedy delivery. I had a look at Royal Mail but was put off with the costs.  I found ParcelHero on Google. To be honest when I first put the measurements in for a quote I thought I had done it wrong as the price was so cheap.

Nina & Luna-Jan 1

How would you rate the ParcelHero service?

Fantastic, I would highly recommend ParcelHero. The booking was really easy and straightforward, the collection was prompt and I also received updates as my parcel made it’s way to Paris.  Both the price and service were perfect.

As a small business, what are your frustrations when it comes to parcel delivery?

Waiting in to collect the parcel is also a pain whereas with ParcelHero I was given different time bands for collection. I also worry that the parcel will get lost or damaged so to receive confirmations on delivery is essential. A reliable courier service is paramount for any business whether small or large.

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