Lynsey Pollard, Little Box of Books, sells inclusive and representative children’s story books to families, schools and businesses.
Lynsey curates, rather than creates, her products. This is a great look at a different kind of products business – and one that’s really making a difference.
Listen in to hear Lynsey share:
- What inspired her to start her business (1:26)
- How children learn from books (4:00)
- The importance of children seeing themselves in stories (5:21)
- How she set up her business (6:30)
- The importance of taking risks (8:40)
- Recognising your strengths, outsourcing and asking for help (9:45)
- How to keep going when setbacks get in the way – which they inevitably will! (12:43)
- How she grew her business (13:40)
- Sourcing and curating products – and why a clear vision is important (16:35)
- Save the Children’s Save with Stories (19:12)
- How her subscription service works (23:19)
- How the business works around her family (25:15)
- How Coronavirus has affected the business (26:39)
- Book suggestions to diversify your family’s bookshelf (28:30)
- What she enjoys about having her own business (30:14)
Creating a products business by sourcing and curating - with Lynsey Pollard
Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas to Life podcast, practical advice and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products. He is your host Vicki Weinberg.
Vicki Weinberg (00:00:22):
Hi, welcome to today's episode. So today we have a fantastic interview with Lynsey from the Little Box of Books umm, and Lynsey, goal ways to help more children to see themselves in the books they read. So I won't make to make anymore. And he is an interview with Lynsey. Okay. Hi, Lynsey Welcome
Lynsey Pollard (00:00:39):
hello, thank you for helping me.
Vicki Weinberg (00:00:41):
Oh, so if I were to come, thank you so much for being here. So I just want to start off by why did you first, first, first of all, for everyone who's listening, who doesn't know who you are, can you just tell us, tell us who you are and a little bit about your business please?
Lynsey Pollard (00:00:54):
Yeah, I'm Lynsey Pollard and I run Little Box of Books I set it up two years ago and we sell inclusive and representative of children's books. So all that means is we find books that he was going to the characters reflect real life. So we see a lot more single parents. You see me and characters have all colors, all races, you see maybe two moms, two dads in Stories. So it's just there. They're just books that reflect what our society looks like. That's where we go from a
Vicki Weinberg (00:01:23):
fantastic. And so what inspired you to start this business?
Lynsey Pollard (00:01:28):
Well, and when I had my eldest son, who's now six and I was a single parent with him and I went to plenty of shops to try and find books that showed our family unit. All I wanted to see was us going about our business in the background. It didn't want more books about my single mum, the superhero on my, my brilliant, my own, any of that stuff. I just wanted a Story where we would just ever do, because he was taught like, as he got older, who started talking a lot about how it wasn't, we weren't normal and you wanted a proper family. And I just want it to kind of send home the message to him that he was, that what we had was as valid as anyone else's, but I couldn't find them. And you know, it was down two, my privilege and white middle-class.
Lynsey Pollard (00:02:10):
And so when I was growing up, I saw myself and Stories a lot, but the children's stories are extremely on representative. And once you start looking, once you see it, you never, you never wanna see it. And you know, so it's something that is only 4% of children's books published in 2018, had a black, Asian, or minority
ethnic main character. And that's when 33% of our school children are of black, Asian minority ethnic origins. So it's, it's a real problem. And once, once I saw it, you know, for myself and once I was trying to find books from my family, like I couldn't and see it, you know, and I have to do something about,
Vicki Weinberg (00:02:48):
okay, fantastic. Well, and yeah, I have to do that until I came across to you. I haven't met anyone else. Who's doing what you're doing. So I think that's fantastic. And I guess, because I spend, you sort of have to, I guess you have what's my Trying to say Lynsey so I guess the reason that you started this business, it was centrally to meet a need that you had, but I'm sure you'll find it. It didn't it lots of, of, of people that are really benefiting from enable to come to you to get the books that they need.
Lynsey Pollard (00:03:12):
Well, once I had to kind of done the searches and found all the books that I could possibly find that just two of my child, what the world looked like without him being, you know, we, I mean, we live in, we live in, in a city where we live in Brixton. So I'll say that to, you know, we live in Brixton. So I wanted Books that showed why he was seeing every day just to tell him that everybody might have done and everybody was equally important. And I think that that was what was it? That was what was really important to me. And then there are many people doing it, but actually when I started to search and how long it took me to get to like have a bookshelf that I was happy with, you know? And, and there's still a huge gaps. Then I realize that this could be a service that we could offer.
Lynsey Pollard (00:03:52):
Lots of people 'cause, you know, it's so hard to find the publishers don't publish very many of them, but you know, school's, don't have them, families don't have them. You have to kind of point them out and also tell people because subconsciously that kids are taking in a lot of messages all the time, when all is aware of what the topic. And then, so my, my son is a, in a class was majority, probably a, most of us have kids in his class at a black. Here is one of those few, a few white kids. But the bookshelves with him that he was more like the bookshelves didn't have like representative, sorry, I can't get my words out today. The bookshelves that he had weren't representative at all.
Lynsey Pollard (00:04:33):
So we, you know, we spoke to the school and you know, they didn't really switch things up now. So it's much better because then you can see that everybody, mine is equally and he is not more important. Cause he's a white boy go on about his business
Vicki Weinberg (00:04:44):
Because it was hard to find Books represented what his situation was. Yeah. And I think Coming back to what you said about how much time it took you and how a few books you had initially. I'm guessing that's probably a reason as well by why some people do, You don't have one reason why people don't have the
shelves that aren't particularly inclusive because it sounds like it's a lot of hard work to, to find these kinds of books to represent your family and your situation.
Lynsey Pollard (00:05:11):
And lots of people just don't realize it. You know, if you want, if you have a husband and you have a man and a dad and we have two kids and you probably see yourself all the time in Story, so that's the way it, it is you don't do, you know, don't necessarily think about this, but once you kind of see that stories can be different, I've had a lot of parents come to me, like totally not. Haven't seen the problem. And then suddenly being overwhelmed by the scale of the problem because they want, they realize that the children's books can be written differently. They don't have to be written how there were written 50 years ago. But these conversation has been going on in children's publishing for 50 years. So like publishes, there are some publishers out there who's got a real appetite for change and are really, really working hard to change things and to kind of balance it and make, make for a more equal representation.
Lynsey Pollard (00:06:01):
But it's such a slow move in business. There's no, you know, like for TV, you've got off comm, so there is no regulation. So it's, it's just quite hard to shift such an unwieldy machine into doing something that is much more beneficial for all children. Yeah.
Vicki Weinberg (00:06:18):
Yes. So let's just a little shifted that was okay to talk about it. So obviously this was something you had a need for your family to find a more inclusive Books. So how did you go from that to turning it into a business?
Lynsey Pollard (00:06:30):
Well, I think any, anytime, you know, like when you, when you start a business, if money is the first thing, and luckily for me, we had a guy that we had a investment that was quite, somebody was quite happy to invest immediately. So my partner put up the money to begin with and was just quite happy to start that. And from there, it was a case of, well, I'd never run a business before and I'm notoriously terrible with money. So I just suddenly I had to shift gears and gather all the books that I could think of and start setting up deals with publishers, packaging, website, like everything is like a whole avalanche to things.
Lynsey Pollard (00:07:11):
When you sell a business, you think is going to be hard because I don't think anything can prepare you for how much one task leads onto a a hundred or the tasks to, and I was pregnant at the time. So I'd set it up. Like I had started this business when I was, I don't know, it must of been about four months pregnant when I started like setting it up. And then when we had our first sale, it must've been seven or eight months pregnant. And it was just a lot like, you know, Book, I'm so passionate about it. And I knew we were doing something that was important and that's what kept me going on. Really. So, you know, it was all the logistics cash was the main thing. You know, it was a huge privilege to have somebody who's just willing to be able to
fund something like this is not as it's important, wants to put the money there and get started is because so many of us have to like juggle everything to, you know, we have to, we have to be able to earn money to keep going.
Lynsey Pollard (00:08:02):
And I've just been in a really lucky position for the last couple of years where it had been able to work on it until it's profitable, which has been great. Yeah.
Vicki Weinberg (00:08:11):
That's fantastic. And actually just coming back to something you were saying before about how you'd never run a business before, because when I did a little bit of research on you, your background's completely different, isn't it? So you had no experience in retail or publishing or anything at all. So I, so how did you, yeah, so I think that's fantastic because often I hear people say, well, look, I'm not qualified to do this. So I think it's fantastic that you qualified yourself and said, yes, I can do that. So what do you think other than passion, how was it that way You were able to sort of figure it all out really
Lynsey Pollard (00:08:43):
well, I'm a big risk taker at the best of times. And you know, I, I can't, I can just turn it off from the world and go on adventure's anymore. So I have to find that adventure closer to home or the thing that's like, that was very much of my personality. Just finding something that will put me out of my comfort zone, his very much where I, where I'm happiest. And I forgot the question.
Vicki Weinberg (00:09:06):
So she's saying, so what do you think of it? And so having that passion, so How how I was practically, do you manage to do it because as you said, you came from a different background. Did you find some of your skills are transferable? Did you have to act, so it was parts of it How sort of talk us through how you managed it?
Lynsey Pollard (00:09:23):
Well, every little stage had me in like, you know, like it was punished because at every stage have like, will it be able to, to do this? The first one is getting your website made, I must have spend about six hours. And I'm one of those making your own websites platforms, trying to work out what to do and feeling really frustrated that I couldn't ever master it. But then I enlisted a web developer who did it in a much nicer way than I could've ever done. And so it was recognizing what my strengths were and my strengths are like right in there because I was a journalist and I was like, I was in comms before I did this, so I can, right. And I can, I've got lots of friends that are like, I do PR.
Lynsey Pollard (00:10:04):
And so that I knew that side's would be fine, but it was just the kind of constructs. And, and like, how do you,
like things like a user journey on a website. So what does the customer see every stage of the journey? Like how do they engage with your brand? What, what sucks? I mean, what, what, how, how do you do, like, how do you set up, like e-commerce and then how do you fix it when your website goes down? And most of those things I've just had like panics and then thought you've got to do it. Luckily for me, my partner is really like, he's technical. So he's It person, but not, not like e-commerce stuff like big business stuff. And so that's great. And he's also is kind of my impulse control.
Lynsey Pollard (00:10:46):
So one thing that we did pick to begin with had to get a load of boxes, flat pack, and I can get them cheaper if I'd had five selves, if it's something that we've got a small LinkedIn flat. And then I was like, Oh my, and we'll just go to 5,000. 'cause you know, like that it makes it really cheap. And he was like, maybe going the idea of a thousand flat pup boxes looked like, and it was like, call me up big is flat fine though. It was about to press send. And he was like, I think we just need to get the measurements. I found, goodness, we're dead because it brought them in. And it literally there took like that when I ordered a, a thousand, it, it literally took it one more. One of our flat, we would like sitting around them and like, they were at the, became all the benches, like, Oh, we had to protect them and just use them as for the check, because it just took over our whole fleet. We had 5,000 I'll be sleeping on him.
Lynsey Pollard (00:11:29):
So, yeah, that was a, still a flight has been, you know, every step of the way it's being very much trial and error and using every single contact that I'd ever met it work ever before. Just bringing people up that I hadn't spoken to him for a long time. I've got to think you could just help me with this or how do I do This and that's been brilliant So, you know? Yeah. So its kind of, and it is I think what you need when you send something that was just like yeah. The belief in what you do and that tenacity. So like the ability to just keep, pick yourself up and go again and go again, go again.
Vicki Weinberg (00:12:01):
Yeah. I think you're absolutely right. 'cause you know, it is tough and there's always things that you've got to figure out with anything new, but if you just keep going and put one foot in front of the other, I'm a big believer and just making a mistake, do it make your mistakes, learn, keep going. I do think that it makes a huge difference to how well you did, you know, if you could just keep it in one foot in front of the other and just keep showing up, you're going to get a lot further than if you let everything sort of stop you in your tracks, aren't you?
Lynsey Pollard (00:12:26):
Yeah. And it's hard if, you know, look at in times when I remember when we were one of the early times when the website, it went down and I had to like take myself away and sit there, like knowing that this was the only way we can make sales and it was closed and it wasn't working and, and panic and that these people, you know, this was when we were about when we had like 10 customers and I will be panicking
thinking like number 11, trying to get on in the car and you know, and as we grow old, those things become more manageable because you've dealt with them like 10 times already. And you can, you know, you just develop the ability to like put your fixers in place and move on, but it's intense. Yeah.
Vicki Weinberg (00:13:03):
Yeah. It, it definitely is. So, so you start, start looking for books for your family. Is that the, what came next? Did you decide that you were going to sort of curate and provide these books for families or schools? Or was it both at the same time? It was when you, when you start it out, right?
Lynsey Pollard (00:13:19):
Oh, that was it. When it started out, we had our eyes of families predominantly and we knew that there will be a, there'll be lots of families of color who have not been able to find books where their children see themselves. We knew there'd be lots of, we kind of targeted busy work in a work in families where both parents were working. Don't have time to like sit and read with the kids so much, but wants to know that they're getting good stuff. So we targeted kind of professionals and the kids. And yeah, just to make sure that, because, because I knew that the, the, the frustration was that I know I'd been in that situation and our hadn't been able to find them.
Lynsey Pollard (00:14:00):
So we were kind of looking for people who are time poor. And so we were talking and families and as they grew and it, it just so happened that the day we launched and, and, and this was the total coincidence, even though yes, because there was no way I could've found out, cause now I'll look back and go, how did that happen on the D we launched on the wall. It wasn't even on the day of loans when we opened up our website and we're going to go in for a weekend of testing. And that was a, a, a, an organization called the center for literacy and primary education who released to the very first time in the stats about how M how many books had been published with black, Asian, or minority ethnic men characters and, and start to about representation and children's books.
Lynsey Pollard (00:14:41):
And I haven't done the same day. So I haven't had to put out a message on Facebook, go on our websites live. And one of my friend who worked for Sky gone to a two, one, we are just doing it. We are doing something on this today. Could you speak to Sky?
Vicki Weinberg (00:14:55):
Lynsey Pollard (00:14:57):
So is it within the first, like, and then we had an tested the website. We didn't know if it all worked for that and finished, you know, it, if it hadn't been finished, which is literally, this was going to be the test and when
people start to use it. And so now it was live on Sky, just a talking about books for the first time in your life. And obviously the way I see your books is hilarious because it was, it was about five because of my accent. So that was the first time. And then from there, and we got like, remember the bit, which is really exciting. It was when we got our first, like customers, like our first person who wasn't somebody we knew, you know, it's not on Anne. It's not like it's like Jim from down the road. And it was like, somebody will like me to, all of us knew. We were like, does anybody know who this person? Because we don't. And that was, that was a really big moment for us
Vicki Weinberg (00:15:39):
is really exciting. That's when your business, if it was real, it doesn't it when someone you ever had of, yeah.
Lynsey Pollard (00:15:45):
It's a lovely, isn't it it's really nice feeling. It is.
Vicki Weinberg (00:15:48):
So obviously you go to this podcast is for people who want to sort of start creating and selling their own products, but I wanted to take the reason why I teach you on it. So I think what you do is really different and it really, yeah, it is. It's a different approach of having a product business in that you create products. So I like to talk a little bit more about how, sort of the mechanics of how you go about first of all, selecting, which books go into your store and sort of how you go about finding Sourcing and finding them now I'm hoping and assuming and hoping that it's easy and now for you than it was at the beginning, but maybe not, but I'd love to hear it is,
Lynsey Pollard (00:16:24):
it is dramatically easier than it was at the beginning. And I don't think my business could have existed if published and where it was, where it was like 10 years ago, even it could be maybe even five years ago. So there's a definite, like there is a trickle-down of like, Books that represent the more people, which is great, so we can finish. But as you probably have a question is how long has your business been running for now, just to give us an idea at the time scale, it will be the first sale we made will be two years in July. So not very long or too long, and things have changed a lot in two years, so much. Yeah. And, and, and, you know, some of it is my familiarity with the, with the business and with publishers and people come to me with them, but like, you know, they have the volume of like, there was stats done in 2017 for how many books have been published in it.
Lynsey Pollard (00:17:12):
It was something like a 1% of Books fitted a blockage on a minority ethnic main character into a 2017. And in 2018 it had gone up to 4%. So let me start the slow movement in the right direction. I mean the whole number, but yeah, if there is anything that's good. Yeah, exactly, exactly. That's it. So when they, so, so those stats, like, you know, the dues show that things are at a slightly better, but it's still a lot of me getting
catalogs and have an a, so I get samples from the publishers and then basically read all the stories and I read through. And because sometimes it's not really it, we definitely don't do it about what the story's about.
Lynsey Pollard (00:17:53):
So it is, it's just the illustrations, or it will be just a line in the book, which says, Timmy goes home to his dad and his dad like a single dad, you know? And, and so there's things that, so I have to read them thoroughly. And, and, and so it's about reading them to already find in the points of a representation that are important. So when we look for diversity in family, set-up in recent culture in relationships, gender roles. So we look for like, you know, men do childcare of women going out to work. There was not very many of them. What else
do we look for representations of disability? Because quite often the only representation as a disability, children will say in children's books or a pirates.
Lynsey Pollard (00:18:35):
And of course it always a negative representation. So that's where we look for. And then when we see the samples and they always have to be so a lot of self published authors got in touch with me, which is amazing, which means that we can give people amplification, you know, we can send the books to different audiences. We've just done a big project with save the children where I've taken lots of self-published authors and give them the books to a celebrity's for some of the children's appeal that's gone on at the moment. So it was for Coronavirus to help and families all over the world. So we, so we, we look for, it's like a quality check.
Lynsey Pollard (00:19:16):
So we have to make sure that because there's so much, there's so many different levels of self-publishing and you'll have to spend a lot of money to make it look good. And we have to, we want the books that we provide to be as good quality as anything that you'd buy on the shelf in the bookshelf you can in the bookshelf, you know, they have to be bookshelf commercial quality, mainly because we don't want diversity to be some kind of a knockoff, a cheap version of like, Oh, the real Books. Do you know what I mean?
Vicki Weinberg (00:19:43):
Yeah, exactly. And that's, I have to be me.
Lynsey Pollard (00:19:45):
Yeah. So the stories have to be really good. So it's good storytelling, beautiful illustration, really good quality or quality publishing. And then this, these, this diversity that we, we always look for.
Vicki Weinberg (00:19:58):
Oh, so it sounds like you got Really clear vision of the kind of books that you're after. Lynsey Pollard (00:20:05):
So we have to check in, because I obviously arrived with my bias and I think that's one of the key things I've learned as I've gone, along as it often I've got my own come from the background of the very specific background, but I do come from, and I have to check in. So we check in with a local school who I just hit the road to see that what we were dealing with is authentic representation. And that people feel seen by the books that we read. So, you know, like we do, we put checks in place to make sure that it's not just me going, Oh, I like that one. I do it like that, you know, because yeah. And, and we hope to expand that as we go, as we, as we grow up. So yeah.
Vicki Weinberg (00:20:43):
And do you get requests from customers for a specific Books? Do you get customers contact and you say, and I like book that represents this situation, or do you get service?
Lynsey Pollard (00:20:54):
We did. Well, we do that kind of a freight because, you know, like if somebody gets in touch and says, like, I need to Book for anxiety. So it was a did BBC breakfast or a few weeks ago. And one of the girls wanted to explain that a dog had died to our niece, and she needed books about bereavement and grief and, you know, like really nice wants to like help them all through that process. And because I'm exposed to so many books, I've got to listen, like I can immediately with a supplier list. So I do try to, because it's also a good, it's just a, really a good thing to do. And I know things have helped us talk or loads of stuff that you probably find that yourself it's like, you know, you just get the chance to talk about it. Lots of things. If you'll have a good book.
Vicki Weinberg (00:21:32):
Yeah, you're right. That was a, it's a, it's a lovely way. Is it off your service you provide in your mind? It is, yeah, it is so useful. I remember the own example that comes to mind to MI off the top of my head. And I'm sure there were others is when I was expecting my second child and we got lots of books about having a baby in the baby coming, or we try to get Books where it wasn't all necessarily going to be lovely. If that makes sense. Do we have some books where babies Pride's, a lot of them were genuinely quite, you know, quite just to show you that having a bit of a little baby brother or sister might not be well yeah. And entirely positive there, but you know, trying to show the reality is that if we have basically yeah. And I'm sure there were other experiments. I mean, I I've, I've quite fun to set up quite often and for sharing things with my children, if I'm Box because I think books are so relatable a ren't they?
Vicki Weinberg (00:22:20):
Well, they should be. And then
Lynsey Pollard (00:22:22):
You can, it's just another to listen to it. Like things are, when things get tough, like you, you got to be able to be there. It helps them to find somebody who's gone through something similar. I remember that when I was
growing up, Judy bloom was like, she was everybody's Bible to like grow up to like, she heard Books was so brutally honest about everything that teenagers are going through. I love her. She, she just explained things in a way that other people hadn't
Vicki Weinberg (00:22:49):
Me to actually, it felt like she really understood sort of been a young teenager. You still going on as what else was amazing. So I know that as well as selling a lot of individual books, you will also have a subscription service. So how does that work?
Lynsey Pollard (00:23:07):
You know, we only sell books in boxes, so we, we always sell them in boxes. And just from a business perspective, it's really difficult to sell single Books to have them in stock or in our house. And also it doesn't make sense with like, with what we're trying to achieve. So we sell it in boxes of two, three or four, and you can get that for the family, family Box, as we call them, you can get them a gift boxes on a subscription. So we can get one off of gifts, which is great for like birthdays and Christmases. And Chris needs a new baby presents, all that stuff. We do. We get quite a lot of that. And then we do subscription packages of like amongst months or six months with two or three or four books in them.
Lynsey Pollard (00:23:49):
And they all come with a gift and, and the first one comes wrapped and a This puzzles and activities in There. And we gave a book to the doorstep library at our charity partner. Every time somebody buys a box. So we are because one of the things, as well as we don't want inclusive and representative of children's books, just to be for people who can afford them. So we try in everything we do to make, to reach further and, you know, affect more children, you know, have more impact is essentially which I had to do to get more books up there. Yeah. So we do that. And then on a school site, we do boxes of 10 or 20 think it's 50 and a hundred, maybe.
Lynsey Pollard (00:24:33):
So like big boxes so that teachers don't have to spend loads of time, like thinking I need this kind of book. You can just diversify the libraries in, in a few Books and you know, B on the right track.
Vicki Weinberg (00:24:44):
That was fun. Fantastic. So, okay. Just a few more questions before we wrap up. So I know that you've mentioned that you have two young children now. So how does this business work around your farm and does it work for them, Your family, or I'm assuming it does, is it that does it, b
Lynsey Pollard (00:25:01):
and you know, it's everything you have to compromise loads. And there is a temptation, I've certainly found a temptation with having my own business to work more. And it's a constant battle to bring myself back to
family life because I love what I do. And especially during this nine weeks of lockdown, its been really hard to work around the business. Hasn't stopped in front of it. It kind of take on more than we've ever done before and that's with no childcare and doing it all. I got to put five, I've got better at midnight and you know how it works, but in real life we have childcare. But again, I'm really lucky with that.
Lynsey Pollard (00:25:41):
Back when the children went to school, one of them is in school. The other one's got somebody who comes around three days a week. So I try as hard as I can to like keep those two days separate for the baby because he's only 13 months. And basically this is all he's ever known. I give it to him in the November. And then we had our first Christmas as a, as a retailer three weeks.
Vicki Weinberg (00:26:06):
That's right. Is he tired?
Lynsey Pollard (00:26:08):
Oh, it was awful. But you know, we, we, we, we survived.
Vicki Weinberg (00:26:12):
Yeah. So other than it sort of like having two children at home, how has the situation of corona virus affected your business at all? Or has it affected how you have to operate? How I have to ship for example
Lynsey Pollard (00:26:25):
Why do we follow all the regulations for packing and making sure that everything is clean and disinfected? And then we've one thing that we've had to stop doing. We used to wrap every single Book we sent, but there are a couple of things we couldn't get the wrapping paper that we would usually get. So we couldn't, we couldn't get all the supplies and we'd been thinking about, we do sell it impact on the environment. So came in at a really good time for us to just think about how we spend our time and our resources and making sure that we're not yet creating waste. So that has changed from a practical perspective and from a business perspective, I've just, I've had quite a lot of press I've been in red magazine and stylist and a couple of others independence because we started doing little letter inside.
Lynsey Pollard (00:27:13):
So we gave a stamped addressed envelope to every subscriber in when Corona virus kind of took us, you know, stopped basically the care homes stay up there and visit as in, so we've put stamped, addressed envelope and all of our Book boxes so that kids could write letters or draw pictures and send them to all people who will keep your chronically ill people who couldn't go out or have visitors. So that, that created quite a bit of interest. And we just, we were really busy. I think people want it to read really good books. And we did a couple of posts about making sure that your kids just aren't immersed in their own culture, that they remember that big of a normal outside and that everybody's normal is valid.
Lynsey Pollard (00:27:56):
And to keep reminding the children of difference, even when you're in lockdown
Vicki Weinberg (00:28:02):
And I'm not going to do things. And so all of their books, or if someone is listening to this and they're thinking, Oh, actually I should probably diversify my bookshelf a little bit. Are there any books that you recommend that a good book is to start with or Books do you think everyone should have on the side?
Lynsey Pollard (00:28:17):
Well, if they, I mean, I'd recommend the key to our website and stuff like buying from us. Absolutely.
Vicki Weinberg (00:28:24):
And then will be a link. That'll be a link to your website in the show notes.
Lynsey Pollard (00:28:27):
It's the people that I would recommend what will be my favorite books, but there's one called arrows garden, which is about a little boy. It was a black boy and he lives with his dad and his sister. And they lived in a high rise and I read it in a school and loads of kids who were like, that's my house. And then never seen the house in the story Book before. And I love that one. And that was one of the first ones we ever set out. And it's still a fan favorite here. And another one is the queen engineer, which is by a lady who lives in South London. She self-published it. And it is about a little girl who wants to be an engineer. The dad wants her to Murray and be the queen.
Lynsey Pollard (00:29:08):
She's got other ideas and it's got a little Philly twist in at all and spoil it, but it's absolutely brilliant. And we just had Cara Delavinge, I've been reading it for Save the children's campaign. So it's always that little, literally one of the most perfect children's books. So yeah, those are
Vicki Weinberg (00:29:24):
Actually, we have the author of that book on the podcast in a future episode, we tried it, I think you knew. So that was a really long time know that as you mentioned that. Yeah. So yeah, we have an interview coming up in a few weeks, so that's fantastic. Oh. And she will be so thrilled with that. You mentioned the,
Lynsey Pollard (00:29:38):
You know, a big fan.
Vicki Weinberg (00:29:42):
Fantastic. Hey, okay. So just a few questions to finish it up. So what do you enjoy about having a products
business? What things, you know, make it worthwhile for you other than of course, you know, the work that you're doing.
Lynsey Pollard (00:29:57):
I like being able to do it. I love being my own boss. I like being able to plan my own time and be able to move on things really quickly after I've worked in a massive companies and I've been at the whims of like a lot of people and sign off is horrendous and all that in. And literally I didn't have an idea of and just do it. And I love that. I love being part of a new industry that, that I get to the end that, you know, like we get the chance to make a difference in what, with the work that we do. So I really liked that. I like that if it's around family life and we can do whatever we want, I could go on holiday when I want to, except except at the moment and when it goes, but in normal life. So yeah, all of that, I just absolutely love.
Lynsey Pollard (00:30:39):
And I like just being able to be creative and having an impact on want children get to read a
Vicki Weinberg (00:30:48):
fantastic. And what is your number one piece of advice be for someone wanting to start the main products business, whether they're looking to create a product themselves or whether they're looking to do more, like give her that she curated products, what would you say having passion helps?
Lynsey Pollard (00:31:05):
Like, if you want it to go far, like you can, you can do what you wanted to come here for what you want. And that passion kind of drives passion certainly drives me too, like get it to the more people and you get more exposure. And in doing that, I think, you know, my main advice is to look after yourself and your well-being and your, your own mental health, because the, so the thing about having to pick herself up and go again and be like, I mentioned it earlier, like you have to be tenacious and you have to like dust yourself off and make connections and network and keep pushing your business because you believe in it. And I think one of the things that's really helped me is like having therapy and counseling and support as they go along. So I can remain robust. It's kind of like a, is it like a protective thing to just make sure that, you know, you take a lot of knocks and do you don't do something it's sometimes very uncertain and it's really good to check in and just keep yourself strong mentally as you go along.
Lynsey Pollard (00:31:60):
That's my biggest thing. I think that,
Vicki Weinberg (00:32:02):
and that's fantastic advice. Thank you. Because I don't think anyone's set that yet. And that is true. That is brilliant advice. Cause I think, especially when you're passionate, it's really tempting to just push, push, push, keep going and keep working. And I'm like, yeah, you can easily get yourself burnt out, which doesn't do
anyone any gets in the long run. Yeah. And the end.
Lynsey Pollard (00:32:18):
And also it sends me on a roller coaster as well. Cause you're passionate and you show it and about it. And then, you know, if nobody responds, you're like, Oh, I'm going to have to stop now. Or you're going to personally take a bit of a hit, you know, like what, what's wrong with this white, you know? So we have to keep checking in with yourself and keep like, making sure that you're all tough enough to keep going.
Vicki Weinberg (00:32:36):
Yeah. I think that's hard as well because the thing is, if you do get any source of whether it is a criticism or you know, a bad feedback or you're not getting on the sales that you want, it is really hard when it's your thing, not to take your person. And I know that and he found that and I think having to sort of separate yourself from the business is hard, but kind of necessary, I think, to protect yourself.
Lynsey Pollard (00:32:56):
Yeah. So hard. Or like, you know, it's like, for me, it's like my third baby or sometimes my first baby, depending on how we feel about my children. But like, it's really hard to just keep it like yeah, it is to feel protective over it. Yeah. It was really hard.
Vicki Weinberg (00:33:12):
Thank you so much for everything you've shared, you get so much out of you. Thank you so much. And so where can people come and find you if they want to find out about, more about you and your books and hopefully get a box or two?
Lynsey Pollard (00:33:24):
So our website is LittleBoxofBooks.co.cuk That's with two o's So LittleBoxofBooks.co.uk that you care is our website I'm on Instagram @LittleBoxofBooks on Twitter, which is a littlebobooks. Like, bo Books. And I think that all of the places that I'm on Facebook as well, so we're in all of the usual places and yeah, so I always respond to the DMS and messages and emails from the website. So when people get a hold of me for the one,
Vicki Weinberg (00:33:59):
fantastic, thank you. And for anyone who's of driving excising, call it like the style and I will link this all up in the show notes as well. So if you go over to the show notes for this Episode wherever you listen to it, you will be able to skate straight to Lynsey's website for that as well. Okay. Well thank you so much. It was lovely to talk to you.
Lynsey Pollard (00:34:16):
Thanks very much for having me.
Vicki Weinberg (00:34:19):
You're welcome. Hi so thank you so much for listening. I really hope you found this interview useful. If you have any questions for either Lynsey or myself, please do you get in touch? You can email me on Vicki@tinychipmunk.com and just another reminder to please rate and review the podcast. If you have time I'm I really appreciate it. I'm just going to read it. Actually, I have a view that I had a back in April, which says it was a five star review, which is lovely. And it says, I found this podcast to be concise, clear answers to the inspirational definitely worth listening to well, that's nice. Isn't it? So thank you so much at home to whoever left that. And if you've enjoyed this episode, please do consider leaving a review. It's you know, I've said it a lot. I'll probably say in this for a while, but I'm still on a new podcast and apparently reviews of what help other people find out about the show and you know, whether it's right for them to listen to.
Vicki Weinberg (00:35:09):
So they are really appreciated and that is all. So see you next week.