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Here at Happity HQ we love to shout about great new products for little people! This week we’re shining a light on Becky who is the founder of Rumpuspuss – creators of unique personalised wooden jigsaws. After spending many hours making fun jigsaws from paper with her little one, she hit upon a great idea and as they say the rest is history!!

Rumpuspuss jigsaws are beautifully designed, laser cut and crafted from wood. The website allows you to preview your own personal jigsaw before purchase, with a different selection of illustrations for each child’s name.

** And you can WIN a Rumpuspuss jigsaw in our latest competition! Enter by Sunday 21st July. **

We caught up with Becky to find out how she got started and went from idea to launch.

Hi Becky! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Becky and I am the creator of Rumpuspuss. I make beautifully illustrated personalised jigsaws for children where their name features in both the illustration and the shape of the pieces, so it is integral to solving the puzzle. I live in Bristol with my husband, 2 children (6 & 4) and 3 cats. I’m originally a Lancashire lass, but have been in Bristol for 15 years.

Why did you start your business?

Rumpuspuss came about after I discovered that my eldest child, then aged 3, delighted in finding anything with his name on. He also loved jigsaws. After spending many hours of my maternity leave cutting his name out of paper from the recycling pile and making our own jigsaws, I had the beginnings of an idea.

I went back to the job that I had been in for 13 years, and realised that it was no longer for me. I was an epidemiologist, working in cancer research. My research had hit a brick wall, and I realised that I no longer had the love for the job that is needed. I desperately wanted to give “the jigsaw idea” a go, so I handed in my notice to see if I could make it into a business.

What is the best thing about having your own business?

The best thing is that it has provided an outlet for creativity. I have always had crafty projects on the go, I sew, knit and crochet, and love making things for the kids. I haven’t written anything that wasn’t sciencey since my A-levels (I did maths at uni) so I am really enjoying reawakening parts of me that I had forgotten I had. I love the flexibility too. World Book Day costume? No problem*. School event? I’m there. Sick child? I can collect them straight away. I have also met some brilliant people who I never would have crossed paths with otherwise. The small business community is fantastically supportive and interesting.

* My husband might dispute “no problem” after being forced to help me sew wolf ears onto headbands until nearly midnight the night before Halloween…

… and what are the biggest struggles?

The biggest struggle is also one of the best things – that everything comes back to me. All decisions, all responses, all of the things that I am no good at…. It is a steep learning curve, and I love it, but sometimes it would be so nice to delegate. After 13 years as a researcher, I can over-research anything as a form of procrastination. Not having anyone to answer to, and only self-imposed deadlines, means that I can disappear down a rabbit hole. I have to remind myself that good enough is good enough, and that usually there is no “right” decision – getting something done is more important than making no decision.

Finally, who is your Happity Hero – a baby or toddler class you always recommend?

When my eldest was little, baby groups were a saviour for me. I was so tired that leaving the house was a struggle, but having somewhere to go to where people were in the same boat was great. Sing and Sign was interesting as my son really picked up on it and used it to communicate with us. I really enjoyed Creation Station too – babies and paint, brilliantly messy. Once they were a bit older, they joined a local gymnastics class which has been fab for them. My eldest does aikido now. My youngest is too little but I suspect will want to join in as soon as she is old enough.

About Rumpuspuss

I make beautifully illustrated and beautifully made personalised puzzles for young children. Our jigsaws transport the child to a magical land where their own name – features in clever whimsy pieces – is integral to solving the puzzle. Each one is printed and cut, on demand, by me in Bristol.

Follow Becky and Rumpusspuss on:
Website: www.rumpuspuss.co.uk
Instagram: @rumpuspuss
Facebook: @rumpuspuss
Email: [email protected]

Competition time!

We’ve partnered up with the amazing Becky of Rumpuspuss – this is your chance to WIN a bespoke animal carnival jigsaw worth £30! We all know how much our kids love stuff with their name on, and a beautifully crafted wooden jigsaw made from your name – wow. 😲

We absolutely love the quality of what Becky has created. These unique puzzles are tactile for kids who will obsess over those letters, and is sure to be something special they’ll treasure. Parents will enjoy it too, as it makes for a great keepsake. Plus, if your baby is still little, you can use the beautifully illustrated puzzles for interior decor until they’re old enough to play with it!

Becky started creating her amazing Rumpuspuss personalised jigsaws after discovering her eldest child delighted in finding anything with his name on and also loved jigsaws! Read our Spotlight on Becky to find out more about her story and how she got started with her business.

If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a unique personalised jigsaw, read on for your chance to win!

How To Win

It’s super easy to enter! Simply head over to the competition posts on our Facebook page or Instagram. Tag a friend in to enter the competition. Each tagged friend in a new comment on either posts counts as an extra entry, so enter as many times as you like.

We are also looking for where to launch Happity to next, so pop in your postcode here to give your town a vote! We’ll let you know as soon as we’ve arrived near you. 🙂

Competition closes midnight on Sunday 21st July 2019.

The lucky winner will be announced on Tuesday 23rd July on our Facebook page. Terms and conditions apply.

About Happity

Happity is a website that helps you find local baby and toddler classes. Fast. When it’s a race against naptime to escape the house, our handy filters help you find drop-ins and community-run groups that cost under £2. It’s all handily plotted on a map and you don’t need to download anything to use it!

As a team of parents, we get that it’s all-important to find something that’s fun for you too – so we’ve also added a filter to help you find baby-friendly activities that are really For Parents. Use this filter to find yoga, fitness, photography classes, life drawing and more. Our own founder even attended a bring your baby coding course at the start of her journey building Happity.

We currently cover  areas within and around the M25 but our coverage is growing daily. We are now looking for which area to expand in next, so sign up now and let us know you’d like to see Happity in your area!

Competition Terms & Conditions

  1. The prize is for one personalised puzzle from Rumpuspuss and orders must be completed by 31st December 2019.
  2. UK entrants over 18 only. UK delivery only. The prize will not be valid for addresses outside of the UK.
  3. Employees and agents of Happity and anyone professionally connected with the administration of the Competition are not permitted to enter.
  4. To enter the competition, you must tag in a friend on either the Facebook or Instagram competition post.
  5. Each individual comment tagging in an extra friend will count as an additional entry
  6. Competition opens on Monday 8th July 2019 and closes Sunday 21st July 2019 at midnight
  7. The winner will be randomly selected out of all valid entries.
  8. Competition winners will be announced on social media channels and notified directly on Facebook or Instagram on Tuesday 23rd July 2019. You must provide accurate contact details on notification within 72 hours (through a private message). Failure to respond to this message means an alternative winner will be selected from all valid entries received.
  9. All entrants agree to their names and comments being used for promotional purposes. Copyright in all material submitted as entries rests with the promoter.
  10. 10. We will not pass on your personal details to any other organisation without your permission, except for the purpose of awarding the prize.
  11. The Competition will be run and the Prize will be awarded at Happity’s sole discretion. Happity’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  12. We reserve the right to refuse entry into the Competition
  13. We reserve the right to change the Competition rules and these Terms and Conditions from time to time. If we do so, we will always have the most up to date terms and conditions on this page
  14. The Competition and these Terms and Conditions are governed by English Law. England & Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim that arises out of or in connection with these Terms and Conditions.
  15. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to Happity and not to any of these platforms. By participating in this promotion you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any claims. Participation in this promotion is subject to the official rules.

Why should you use an online booking system? And when is the best time to start?

When you’re in the early stages of your setting up your kids activity classes, an online booking system can feel like a big investment. But an online booking system can give your business a strong foundation to grow from – it can do so much more for you than ‘just take bookings’.

It has the potential to transform your business, allowing you to grow faster, with less effort, and at minimal cost.

Here are some tips and tricks on how you can make the most of online bookings and supercharge your business.

  1. Build your list
    Your booking system can seamlessly capture email addresses from all customers with a GDPR compliant opt-in. It makes it easy to send out info to your existing customers and remind people to come back to you. With online bookings, you’ll find your email list quickly builds up into the hundreds and thousands – with no extra effort! You can then use your list to announce the start of a new term, projects you’re working on, special events and offers – or even on a more regular basis whenever you’ve got spaces available.
  2. Be efficient with marketing
    By taking bookings in advance, you can easily track at a glance which classes are undersubscribed or selling more slowly than you’d expect. It gives you an opportunity to focus your marketing efforts on the quieter classes and make sure they don’t operate at a loss.
  3. Do a priority pre-sale
    Give your existing customers a priority booking period before the start of term with a secret booking link. Send three or four emails to drive early sales – first to announce the pre-sale and when the booking period will open, the links on the day of opening, and then 24 hours before the priority period closes.
  4. Create social validation
    Use the opportunity to publicise whenever classes are ‘sold out’ and when you’re down to the ‘last few spaces’. This has the effect of creating more demand, because it shows your classes are popular and that other parents like them. Social validation and scarcity helps to encourage parents to book quickly and early.
  5. Know what works
    Your booking system should help you track and analyse how your customers found you. This helps you know which marketing channels are working well for you and where to spend your marketing budget and time in future.
  6. Review your business
    Use your booking system periodically to get an overview of the sales for your classes. How is each one doing? You can see which are profitable, and which ones have been a struggle – as well as track what type of tickets your customers are buying. A good system will also give you data on how old children are when they start with you, and how long your customers stay for. Armed with this knowledge, you can find ways to improve your timetable or change your marketing strategy.

Besides all this, a booking system will save you many hours in admin, as well as £££s in lost payments and customers.

Parents are able to purchase quickly and easily at the time they’ve heard about you. It reduces the risk of a no-show. And in particular for the under-5s sector, this can be important for a mum’s mental health. Booking allows her to make a commitment to get out of the house.

Skipping on using an online booking system might save you just £15 per month – but costing many times that in potential lost sales and time. There are extra features a booking system gives you too – like automated reminders for your customers, and a quick easy way to contact everyone in the event of last minute changes to a class.

It’s worth bearing in mind not all booking systems are equal. The best system for you depends on the type of classes you run, and the kind of tickets you want to offer. Some systems might be better for appointments, whereas others are better suited to summer camps – or classes at a single location.

We built Happity Bookings for baby & toddler classes. It can handle trials, sibling discounts, drop-ins, term bookings and much more. It gives parents a personalised map of your locations and seamlessly integrates with Happity Search for free marketing. Our booking pages are optimised to appear top of Google for things like ‘baby classes near me’.

Whilst you might not need an online booking system in your first couple of months of your business, it is a good idea to introduce one sooner rather than later. Without a system in place, the admin overhead can quickly get out of hand. You may find yourself keeping days free just for admin when you could have been running classes – or spending time with your family.

If you’re already in this situation, we can help. Our affordable concierge service can get you set up and ready to take bookings within 24 hours.

If Happity Bookings isn’t the right one for you but the choice is overwhelming, check out our blog on what to look for in a new booking system. 🙂

Christmas is well and truly on it’s way!🎄And with the cold weather arriving, now is the perfect time to try out new baby classes. If you’re a new parent and not sure where to start, then come along to one of our Happity Little Christmas events and take your pick of FREE baby & toddler taster classes!

Come along to selected Mothercare stores from 3rd-6th December and discover what baby classes are all about.  With over 5,000 classes listed on Happity, we are the nation’s experts when it comes to baby and toddler classes!

We’ve handpicked a selection of our favourites to showcase the range of classes available, including baby signing, sensory play, postnatal fitness, music & movement and baby massage. We’ve got something for everyone. Choose your free taster session from one of our fantastic event partners – including Sing & Sign, TinyTalk, Jo Jingles, Monkey Music, Boppin’ Bunnies, IAIMs Baby Massage, Sling Swing, BusyLizzy and Hartbeeps.

Read on to find out more about each of our partners and session dates. Pregnant mothers are also welcome to come along and watch. 🙂

Welcome to our guide to baby franchises! If you’ve been enjoying attending baby & toddler classes and are thinking about starting your own, then a baby franchise opportunity might be right for you.

Read on to get the inside track on the best baby and toddler franchise opportunities available throughout the UK. What they are, how to find them, and how they work.

Got a baby franchise opportunity you'd like to add to this list? Apply to be included here.

From Maternal Unemployment, Comes New Beginnings

Heavily pregnant with my second child and facing redundancy, I was at a loss. I love being a mum and thought I was looking forward to time off, but work was a big part of my identity. I struggled when people assumed I’d stop working (that thought made me want to run in the opposite direction!). But I didn’t know what I wanted to do, or what I could do to fit around my kids. With over a decade’s experience in strategy and business development, the roles I was finding on ‘mum job boards’ weren’t quite cutting it.

I got thinking. We’d just moved house with our two-year-old and I was looking for local activities. A mum near our old house had put up a simple website that listed activities for under-5s, but there wasn’t anything like that for our new area. Why were there no modern websites for mums? Why are parents stuck in the ‘90s with old-school message boards and desktop directories that don’t work on our phones?

I started to wonder just how much the world was missing through a lack of female entrepreneurs and women in tech.

As much as I wanted to create a modern website for mums, I didn’t have a clue about technology or startups. It struck me that there hadn’t been innovation for mums, precisely because mums like me don’t have the tools to make them happen (plus we’re busy with our babies!). I started to wonder how much the world was missing through a lack of female entrepreneurs and women in tech.

I decided to turn down that attractive offer of being a stay-at-home mum. I was going to start something.

Nicole Freeman always had a love of food and cooking. But it was her own fussy eater that prompted her to set up The Kids’ Kitchen, her multi-award-winning cookery school for kids.

She aims to show kids how much fun cooking can be, and encourage them to try new foods, by involving them in preparing and cooking their own meals.

Here she explains why the effects of sugar on child health may not be as bad as you think…

So, you’ve had a baby, you’ve made it through the early days and sleep deprivation with plentiful caffeine, supportive friends and lots of googling.  Now it’s all baby massage and baby singing, which is great for development and heart-warming giggles. But what about you? Is it OK for you to have fun too? Even to poke fun at the crazier aspects of parenting? 🤔🤔

Luckily, stand-up comedy for parents is a thing! And Alyssa Kyria, co-founder of Bring Your Own Baby (BYOB) Comedy has been telling us about what to expect at a parent and baby comedy show.

How BYOB was born

Alyssa experienced post-natal depression and was initially nervous about getting out and about with her baby. Then she and fellow professional comedian Carly Smallman had a lightbulb moment over a glass of wine and, hey presto, BYOB Comedy was born. 💡🍷💡🍷

Their day-time spectaculars bring together top comedians in child-friendly venues where no-one will judge you for having to pop out to deal with a poonami mid-show. Phew. Over to Alyssa, who’s been kind enough to give us a taster of what’s in store at one of her shows. 

Fitting work around family life can be a real struggle. Add in a long, expensive commute, and it can seem like an impossible balancing act. This was the situation Lucy Elkin faced, before she started to work from home.

Lucy went on to found myworkhive, a job-board specialising in remote careers. myworkhive is also a social enterprise, developing free projects to support Mums — and others — to return to work.

Working from home inspired Lucy to start her online business. At Happity our whole team of parents also works flexibly from home, so we’re living proof that remote working can really work. Read on to find out Lucy’s top tips on working from home; and how you can decide whether it could be the flexible solution for you.