Baby shower idea: when and how we started Little Sport Star
Have you ever tried looking for a present for a friend’s baby, and thought “where do I start and actually, there is nothing that I like?” That was me. I wanted to find a friend a gift for his daughter but there was nothing that appealed to me. I felt like an imposter going into the baby stores as most of them don’t expect to see men in there. Until I had kids, I think I met all my friends playing sport, so it only seemed fitting that I would buy them a sporty present when they had a baby.
Skip a few years, I launched Little Sport Star at the local baby show. “I can’t believe no one has made that before!” was the common reaction. I realised I had spotted a huge void in the baby market for parents like me, who loved sport and wanted to share their love of sport with their children. We all shared a common view that we wanted physical exercise and sport to be a big part of our children’s upbringing. We would rather our children grew up running around, or swimming, throwing a ball around, than playing on their screen all day.
I was definitely a doodler as a kid. I have wanted to turn inanimate objects into characters. I was also really good at it. It seemed only natural to draw a face on a tennis racket, and make it a cute little baby toy. I then made a golf club, and a football, a rugby ball etc. I thought this is easy and now I want to grow a family of fun baby and toddler toys with smiley faces and all with a sporty theme.
Our first break in the US was in 2015. I remember the day well. I flew into Las Vegas to meet a well-known toy company, who were exhibiting at one of the premier baby shows in the US. On day one of the show, I asked them if they would consider working with me, and was positively surprised when they agreed, straight away. They saw the potential and understood that sport is a universal language that most parents understand around the world.
From the sketches I made at my kitchen table in London to the conquering the US took about 4 years when my toys were rolled out across Toys R Us in the US. It was proof that mums and dads around the world loved what we were doing. Unfortunately, the initial euphoria was shortlived as Toys R Us went into administration.
After the initial shock that Toys R Us was going into administration, I realised that the future was online. We are now focusing entirely online – this website and Amazon. We now only sell online.
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