Recently a winner of Theo Paphitis' Small Business Sunday #SBS My Mood Stars are a simple but oh so effective way for children to immerse themselves in imaginative play, by themselves or with others and offer a fun opportunity for children to talk about how they are feeling. Founder Wendy is receiving high acclaim for My Mood Stars and quite rightly so. In a world of technology and throw away toys, My Mood Stars bring comfort and conversation from toddlers right through to year 6. I caught up with Wendy to find out more...

Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?

I’m a retired child minder of 20 years. Three times graded Outstanding by Ofsted, so I thought I’d quit while I was ahead!

It was my last Ofsted inspector who suggested that there was a market for My Mood Stars; at that time, hand sewn felt stars onto which I embroidered expressions of emotion. I took his advice and haven’t looked back!

What were your motivations for setting up your business?

An abused child myself, mental and emotional well-being is close to my heart. I want to be able to help and encourage all children to voice their emotions effectively and open up about issues that they may have or want to talk about negative and/or positive issues.

How do you manage your business around family and childcare?

That’s an easy one! The children have left the building! So apart from a very needy cat, I manage very well. Of course one’s children always need their mum, so there are times when I have to down tools to put on a newly delivered pile of washing!

What’s your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?

Believe in your product!

Don’t be afraid of making yourself visible.

Watch your spending initially – shop around for services you may need from printers to web designers.

Get recommendations.

Don’t take your work to bed. Finish at 5 and turn off your phone!

What has been your biggest challenge?

Being pragmatic! Not everyone is going to love your product. I’ve had to grow quite a thick skin and remain resilient in responding to “I’m afraid these aren’t for me.”

What’s next, any exciting plans ahead?

Oh yes – very exciting! I have written a children’s story book about each of the 8 Mood Stars and will be publishing them through Wendy Woo limited at the end of the year.

Recently I was one of 6 winners of Theo Paphitis’s “Small business Sunday” where he chooses 6 small business as winners of his weekly competition where you extol the virtues of your business!

On March 20th & 21st, Wendy will be exhibiting at the Childcare Expo and Education exhibition in London.

You can catch Wendy talking about My Mood Stars when she joins Marlow FM's Pat Capp on her morning show on 5th May.

If you would like to trial My Mood Stars, Wendy is offering a free trial to any owners of early years settings in the area and is offering a 15% discount to parents & carers. Use the code STAR when checking out.