Hard working Cheshire Mums Lynne Rees and Pippa Miln have shown their own children that dedication really does pay off. After two years of managing full-time work whilst bringing up their young families, the two mums have not only developed a brilliant new positive role-play toy for children, but have managed to successfully catapult it into the national toy market all on their own with a very limited budget.
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 later this year.
Wannabees have already won three awards fighting off major competition from household names such as ‘Little Tikes!’ and if that is not enough they won the admiration of several of the rather intimidating ‘Dragons’ in BBC2 TV show Dragon’s Den’ with both Sarah Willingham and Deborah Meaden really praising their product.
The imaginative role-play packs in the Wannabees range provide everything children need to play ‘let’s pretend’ to be the profession person 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 available include, ‘I Want to be a Teacher’, ‘I Want to be a Café Owner’ and ‘I Want to be a Doctor’ and they provide everything a child needs to play at being a teacher, café owner or doctor for real whether it be school reports or registers for the teacher or realistic patient records and ward plans for the aspiring doctors in the family. The range is constantly evolving and there are plans to roll out further fun and exciting new professions.
Pippa Miln, co-owner of Wannabees, is clear about where her drive and determination comes from after her son fought off kidney cancer at just 4 years old.
’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 Sainsbury’s, there was no stopping us’
The support for the product extends far and wide with specialists in the Education sector promoting the products too. Caroline Howett, a Specialist Leader of Education and Early Years Consultant has been keen to sing the praises of these innovative new products:
‘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 Wannabees play packs my children have spent hours engrossed in developing their own imaginary environments 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.”
Packs are available at the new website at www.wannabees.co.uk