This week I’m delighted to introduce Sophia; the founder and CEO of Munchy Play to my Parents in Business series. Sophia has designed and created an exciting children’s tableware range to help overcome those toddler mealtime battles. I’m sure that many parents would find this really useful, and I know that my son would love it and definitely encourage him to the table.
Once Sophia had this lightbulb moment at the time of being made redundant, she decided it was the right time to start the business and a stepping stone for making it happen. Since launching the business which Sophia has juggled alongside family life, she has received brilliant feedback from other parents who have used the plate, which must make it so worthwhile and is one of her points of success. Have a read of Sophia’s story below…
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
I’m the founder and CEO of Munchy Play, the first-ever kids’ plate with a built-in track. Like many parents, I was exhausted with mealtime meltdowns and struggling to bring my (then) toddler to the table. One day I reached out for his favourite toys, fashioned a track around his plate, and I literally heard the lightbulb ding above my head! It was a total game-changer. In that moment, I instantly knew that I had to make these to help other families.
Of course none of this came easy to me. My background is in PR and marketing, having held senior roles at British Airways, Red Bull, Ask.com and Barclays Bank, before deciding to take my learnings and launch my own business.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
I loved working in communications. It was never in the plan to start my own business. However, when the kids’ plate and track idea presented itself to me, I absolutely could not pass it up. It was such a great idea, I couldn’t believe no-one else had invented it. Obviously, three years in research and production taught me why – it’s so hard creating an idea from scratch. Don’t let the simple design fool you, it was nothing short of an engineering feat!
It also came to me at a real crossroads in my life. I had just been made redundant, had recently had my son, and was looking for a better work-life balance. If there was ever a moment in my life to take the leap, it was then.
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
It’s not easy and I always say it’s ‘work in progress’. The 9-5 has long gone, so I try and fit in working in every spare moment I have. My husband has his own successful business too, which means that we both have demanding lives. We try and devote as much time as we can to our son, but it’s not always possible, and that old friend ‘mum guilt’ often creeps in.
Since setting up your business what’s been your biggest success to date?
I’ve always loved telling stories and listening to others, so social media was always going to be a natural platform for the business. In the short time we’ve been around, we’ve gained quite a following on social networks, particularly Instagram. I think the key to this is engaging with others and actively listening. It’s one of my favourite parts of the job, meeting other parents and hearing how our plate has often changed their lives.
What are your top tips for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
Never underestimate the value of British quality – use local suppliers and manufacturers if you can. The world has changed and will continue to do so – even if it costs you more, it is worth having the comfort of a local supplier you can chat to. Plus, it also means you won’t have to worry about shipping delays or restrictions.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly – parents trust the British stamp of manufacturing, and it’s great for our economy too!
Thank you so much Sophia for being part of my series. I have loved featuring you and I wish you the best of luck with Munchy Play in the future.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Organised by Charlotte, Raymont-Osman, and Cuzena