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Ruth Bussey founded Ink and Scribbles, creating emotional intelligence workbooks, journals and printable resources for children. She knows how influential parenting approaches and the conversations we have with our children about emotions is for nurturing future generations, and aims to support both parent and child through her products.

Listen in to hear Ruth share:

  • An introduction to Ink and Scribbles (1:14)
  • A really detailed description of her products, who they’re for and what they help with (2:33)
  • The inspiration for her first product (6:42)
  • When and how she decided to set up a business to sell her products (11:14)
  • Why she initially just sold printable (not physical) products (14:06)
  • A few of the things she’d do differently if she were to start again (15:18)
  • Starting to sell physical books and why she made them by hand initially (18:25)
  • The surge in sales in 2020, as children’s emotional needs were brought to the forefront (20:30)
  • How she found a trusted printer to make her workbooks (23:26)
  • The split between printable and physical product sales (26:27)
  • Why you need to put in the work to get your products found online (27:14)
  • The juggle between marketing existing products and creating new ones (34:00)
  • The Mama Haven (35:35)
  • How she designs and typsets her products (40:49)
  • What she loves about running her business (43:58)
  • Her number one piece of advice for other product creators (46:09)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Ink and Scribbles website 

Ink and Scribbles on Facebook

Ink and Scribbles on Instagram 

The Mama Haven 

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Transcript
y, Ink & Scribbles INTRO (:

Welcome to the, bring your product ideas to life podcast, practical advice, and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products. Here's your host Vicki Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Ruth Bussey is the founder of Ink & Scribbles. Ink & Scribbles creates emotional intelligence, workbooks journals, and principal resources for children. She knows how influential parenting approaches and the conversations we have with our children about emotions are for nurturing future generations and aim to support both parent and child through her products. So we had a really interesting conversation. We've sales, a combination of digital products and physical products, which creates herself. We haven't actually spoken that much about digital products before. So I hope you're going to find that aspect of it really interesting, and this business is still fairly new and she's going to talk about sort of the early stages and getting herself set up and then there's definitely lots to learn.

Vicki Weinberg (:

So I really hope you enjoy this conversation with her. Say hi, we thank you so much for being here. Hello. Thank you. We thought pleased by you telling us a bit about yourself and your business.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah, of course. So I'm Ruth, and I find Ink & Scribbles, which is an online shop where you, where I sell activity books, essentially principal resources that support children's emotional development and awareness. I I've designed them and my resources to help parents. I basically get to give parents tools that will help them nurture and support their children and build a connection with them and sort of help them understand them and, and their emotional landscape.

Ruth Bussey (:

So it's kind of like a two way thing what I've created and it's sort of, you know, it's given the parents the tools, butit's also helping the children feel understood unempowered themselves. So yeah, that's, that's that's me.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank You. And what age is your products for?

Ruth Bussey (:

Kind of the primary age range is, is where it's saying that. So anywhere between a boat five and 11 and, and sometimes some of them kind of, you know, lend themselves to slightly older children, but essentially that, that primary age range.

Vicki Weinberg (:

And can you tell us a bit about some of your products? Just describe what's the one or two of them as people get a really good idea about what it is you have in your range.

Ruth Bussey (:

Okay. So I'll talk first about one of the activity books, which is called the little book of you, me and my feelings, and that, that one really sums up what I do it's is full of. It's got several sections in it and it kind of takes the parent and the child through a journey together. It starts with like relationship building activities, just starting conversation. Then it kind of goes into a, into a section where you can help your child understand themselves. So it's, it's kind of about learning who they are and growth mindset accepting themselves.

Ruth Bussey (:

And then there's resources in there that help you emotion coach. So teaching, you know, giving you the, the words and the tools to help teach your child what's going on when they have big feelings. And then there's gratitude section in there where you do it together, not just the child on their own, you do it with them. So you can both fill it in. There's a section then that's like a weekly journal. So it's kind of like a teaching them a wellbeing tool. So you're actually kind of supporting them with something that will last, you know, into their sort of, into the future, something they can use and come back to.

Ruth Bussey (:

So that's kind of jam packed with, with lots of resources for, for the parent, but also the child as well. And I, I, each, each section is introduced with the parent kind of explanation and also a child explanation. So that, that book, I feel really, really sort of encapsulates what income scribbles is all about. And then I've got another activity book, which is called my really angry book. Now that one, I think anger is something that lots of parents struggle with. And yet it's really normal for, for us to feel angry.

Ruth Bussey (:

So that one is very, it's more, it's directed more to the child, but with all my books, it's about doing it together. They're all designed for the parent to do with the child and work through it together. And that one, like many of the others starts with a sort of the first section is all based. And it's about exploring, you know, how you feel when you feel angry, where do you feel it? How does it look to you, explore in your triggers where those feelings come from? So the aim is to kind of really get that self-awareness because I think even though they're children, you can help them get that self-awareness even, even quite young children.

Ruth Bussey (:

And then there's a sort of the space towards the end where they have, they have space to explore those feelings. So it's kind of like a Jew, you know, like a, not a journal, cause it's not, it's not structured, but just free space to kind of express themselves and express their emotions. So it's kind of a, a safe space to go to, to, to delve into those feelings, those big feelings that children have. So, yeah, there's the, those are the two, two of the things that I've got in my online shop.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Well, thank you. Thank you for talking us through them. I think that's just really useful as people can get a really good idea. And I think, yeah, these are so needed because I think emotions is something that's quite hard to talk about with your children and yeah. It's work. Yeah. I think emotions is a topic that can be quite tricky to know how to handle, because you always wonder if you're doing it

Ruth Bussey (:

Right, right. Way. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Which is kind of where it all comes from for me, in terms of starting and find finding income scribbles was my own daughter who was as a toddler, not challenging. I mean, toddlers were always challenging. Right. But yeah, it was hard and she was intense. And at the time I didn't realize why. So I was just implementing all these sort of traditional parenting approaches that really just didn't feel right. And that's where my kind of journey began. And I kind of researched and looked into things and discovered that actually she is what they call a highly sensitive child.

Ruth Bussey (:

And once I knew that about, so it was like a light bulb moment, moment. So I totally changed the way I kind of guided her and parents had her. And it's much easier now when she's still highly sensitive, she gets very anxious. It's, you know, there are days where, you know, I try, I try, you know, I'm always conscious of it. I try and practice what I preach, but still there are days where I think, wow, this is Tyra. How old is she now? She's 10. Now she's 10. But she is, you know, she's very emotionally intelligent. That doesn't mean she doesn't struggle with those things, but she's very articulate with how she feels.

Ruth Bussey (:

She can then identify why she feels the way she feels. She's, she's very good now at managing that. So even though she feels anxious, she can kind of work her way through it, which I believe is because of the lot of the work I've done with her and the connection that, you know, our relationship has had. And I think if I carried on parents in her, in those traditional ways, w you know, that I was, was using as with her as a toddler, we wouldn't be where we are now. And I think we would be perhaps more disconnected and not as close. So, yeah, she, she's kind of my muse really.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Oh, so did you create your products initially as resources to use with her? Is that where the inspiration?

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. Yeah. So the very, you know, my very first set of resources that I created, the Umea, my Phoenix book was, was one of the first ones. And I've put so much into that one. And that was very much about things I needed to help her. And so I've got a few books about anxiety and worries, and, and yeah. You know, learnt a lot about how to support her through, through anxiety, you know? Cause it's easy to tell your kids, you don't need to worry about that. You know, it's fine, don't worry about it. Nothing will, you know, nothing will happen,

but that doesn't make it go away for her.

Ruth Bussey (:

There's a lot more you need to do with her to kind of guide her through it and help her understand why her brain works the way it works, which is far more empowering. I think so. Yeah. Yeah. She is my news.

Vicki Weinberg (:

That's when you start creating the products, did you always have, in mind they would be for other children and other families, or did you create them sort of for your own use is what yeah. What I'm trying to get to?

Ruth Bussey (:

No, I think, I think I've definitely created them with other people in mind because, you know, I look back at my journey with her and I wish I'd known much earlier how to have these conversations on what to say and how to explain things to her. So yeah, no, they were, they're kind of created with a lot of the things I've, I've already done verbally with her, although she obviously is my test. She tests them for me and gives me her opinion on them. And yeah, she, she's kind of, she's almost part of the journey with me.

Ruth Bussey (:

She knows what I, what I've created and, and puts a little input into it for me. So yeah. It's yeah. Special. Yeah. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. Thank you. So what was it that made you decide actually, I'm going to create these as well. I was gonna say as a business. So first, so did you decide you were going to create these and sell them as a business or was it more that you wanted to help other families and the business bit came next? How did that come about?

Ruth Bussey (:

Do you know? It's, it's kind of just being a very organic thing. Actually, we, we, we actually lived in Australia for nearly six years and when we moved there, my daughter was only, I think she was 20 months old. So a lot of that really intense journey with her that really difficult bit when she was a toddler was on my own. Like

we had no family kind of support what we did. We had some family support, but my sister-in-law had her own toddlers. They live there too. And yeah, she was in her own, you know, her own difficult phase with their own, you know, young children. But we, you know, my, my parents still lived in the UK, so there was no grandparents support and yeah, it, it, when you live somewhere overseas and your, your sort of friendship group become your family.

Ruth Bussey (:

And I had some really good friends over, they're all going through the same stuff. And I, they, they kind of

told me once that I was the wise one in the group, and I think it's just my natural strengths that I have that I'm quite intuitive when it comes to understanding children. I taught primary school for 10 years before we moved over to Australia. And yeah, I, I think that's always been my strength, the kind of analysis of what's going on here and, you know, the sort of psychological, although I never trained as in psychology, I think I've always had a, a lean in towards that. So, yeah. So I think I always used to help my friends along a little bit when they will have in sort of difficult times with their children and their big feelings.

Ruth Bussey (:

And yeah. So I think when, when we moved back to the UK, I wanted to do something that was family friendly, you know, in terms of work. And I didn't want to go back to teaching and working in a, in a classroom, just, just for the family dynamic and what worked for us as, as a family. So came up with this idea that this is what I wanted to do when I wanted to create this stuff. And yeah, then it's just kind of grown organically, really. It began with the idea of principal resources and yeah. Then kind of has kind of grown out to doing activity books as well.

Ruth Bussey (:

And now I offer both both elements.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. And thank you for explaining about your background as well. Cause I've been dying to ask about that. I was just waiting for the volume point cause I really, I really wanted to know what you did before this and yeah, that makes total step. That makes total sense to me that yeah, you've got all that experience working with children and then with your sort of your own experiences as well. Yeah,

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah, definitely. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg (:

So you started off just selling, were you selling or were you, or are you offering principals at first

Ruth Bussey (:

Principal? Yeah. Principals selling them. I started out on Etsy knew that that was, you know, a place where lots of people sold principal, principal products. So yeah, just kind of started out on there. Not really knowing much about it should have done a lot more research on how to launch an Etsy shop. So yeah, it's taken a while probably to get to where I am now and it, it probably could have been a shorter journey, but that's okay. You know, it's yeah. The journey is, is being part of it and it's yeah.

Ruth Bussey (:

It's yeah. It's, it started out there and it's kind of grown along, along with that. I've started my own website

where I, yeah. I kind of direct people to that through the social media platforms and yeah, I still, it's still on, on a journey with it still on a rollercoaster, but it looks a lot different to how it began.

Vicki Weinberg (:

And so what would you have done differently? So you said that you could have got where you are quicker. So is there anything that really sticks out in your mind is, or what, you know, if you had your time again, you would do differently.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. I just think I would have done, I would have learnt about an online business. I kind of, I think I was just a bit naive. I just thought, Oh, you know, I'll open up an Etsy shop and we'll just see how it goes. And you know, I've been quite lucky in that my husband has a job where I could take time to kind of explore and play around, which I think in some ways, you know, meant that I didn't have a timeline, you know, to, to get it moving. And I also think just my own confidence levels, you know, I wasn't that confident.

Ruth Bussey (:

I think in the beginning that what I was offering was useful enough or, you know, good enough and I'm a bit of a perfectionist. So in terms of putting yourself out there, that can be really hard, you know, you you're, you're sort of fear the rejection or the sort of failure. So I think alongside it all, it has been a real kind of personal growth for,

for me and yeah, so now I'm, I I'm, you know, I've kind of finished this year feeling really confident in what I create and what I offer people and how it helps.

Ruth Bussey (:

And obviously as you go along and you get, people's kind of feedback and you get reviews from people which has always been super positive, that feeds into, into my kind of confidence with it. So I, yeah, I think I just wish I'd learnt more about e-commerce and just believed in myself a bit more, to be honest.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Well, I'm glad you've got the self-belief now that's fantastic. And also, I guess one of the best ways you could argue to let an 80 thing is by doing it. So I think, yeah, I sat and he would say that it's better to kind of do it and learn as you go then suspends, you know, is months and months sort of doing the learning, but not actually doing any of the doing. So it sounds actually like you've done the right thing you've learned as you've gone, which

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. You know, and I, I think I kind of played small to begin with and I've watched other people, you know, you know, kind of follow people on social media and, and, and learn a bit from them and kind of gained inspiration from, from them. So yeah, in some ways I think it's absolutely been perfect. It's been my journey and that, and it's been kind of slower than it could have been, but that's okay. In other ways I think, yeah, I

should have learnt more sort of first, but I don't have any regrets and by the way, it was kind of come about. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Good. And so what, when and how did you make the change from just selling principals to decide, and you were going to sell sort of physical copies as well?

Ruth Bussey (:

Quite early on. I just, I just quite like the idea of people having something in their hands. I think so principals are great because I love them because there's no kind of work to do after somebody has kind of downloaded it. And so it's very passive in that way, which is awesome. But I don't know. I guess I like the idea of somebody holding something that's coming from my hands and I know, and I send it out to them. Yeah. There's just something nice about that. So yeah, we quite quickly kind of got into that.

Ruth Bussey (:

However, I started with hand-making my own books and binding them myself. And this time last year, I had just a crazy few weeks in the lead up to Christmas where I'm printing my own activity books and binding them. And I just realized, you know, what, one, this isn't scalable. Like I can't, I'm limited, you know, I, it, I kind of, I mean, I can only do so much as one person with my little office printer and it would used to stress me out, you know? Yeah, yeah. And, you know, being, being a bit of a perfectionist, you know, if the Bindin wasn't quite right, I'd end up taking the binding off and redoing it and you get a lot of waste and yeah.

Ruth Bussey (:

It, it, it wasn't, it wasn't feeling good. So this year has really been about moving on to getting them printed for me by a professional printer. And so it really kind of up-leveled everything on that front. So yeah, it feels, this has been really positive actually in lots of ways, despite pandemics and homeschooling and you know, all the other stresses that parents have had this year.

Vicki Weinberg (:

And I guess give them some of the extra stresses he would have had this year. You know, there's probably more of a need for your products than before, perhaps as well.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. I, I, I think, I think back in March when everything hit, it all went very quiet and then April, it all just went mental. I think everybody just was in shock for a few weeks when, when this pandemic hits. And then obviously you've got a lot of kids that anxious and worried and overwhelmed and, you know, I, I, I imagine there's been a lot of stress and a lot of households with everyone trying to find the dynamic, you know, you know, to, to sort of all be together for such extended amounts of time. And I, I sometimes I think, I think like a lot of parents would have, you know, being at home with your children, homeschooling them and spending

that much time with them, which we're really not that used to, you know, normally they're at school for six, six days and you only have to deal with these sort of few hours at the end of the day.

Ruth Bussey (:

So I think it perhaps brought, you know, emotional needs of children to the forefront of their parents' minds, you know, because it's right in front of them all day.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. And I also think, depending on the age of your children, they have their own anxieties and concerns and worries about the situation as well, because I think it depends on their age, their age affects how much they knew about the situation and therefore, probably how much it, why we got them or didn't worry them surfing yet. And also it was obviously it's adults, we all going through our own things as well. You know, if it's concerns about health or family or work or whatever. So yeah. It's

Ruth Bussey (:

Yes. And I think, I think then you, like, you're, you're looking for something aren't you, you're looking for something to help you to help your child because you're actually dealing with all your own stuff, you know? So you haven't really got the same sort of head space, I suppose, to, to deal with your child's in the way that you might have done previously.

Vicki Weinberg (:

No. And it will also, as you say, you had a lot more time to deal with your child as well, because they were just there all of time. In fact, when you were talking about you printing and binding your products, the first thing that flashed into my head, and I don't know why I was driven homeschool, my pet hate was the printing we had so much printing to do. And it was just the bane of my life. And so way I was talking about printing your books. I was thinking, I can't think of anything worse. That was the worst thing for me about homeschooling,

Ruth Bussey (:

You know, it, it's just the way isn't it that, you know, you've got loads of things that need printed off and that's when your printer decides it's not going to work, you know, or yeah. Ink runs out and you know, it's blocked and you've got to clear the printed and Oh yeah. It's not fun.

Vicki Weinberg (:

No. So how does it work now? Do you get your printing done on demand from a printer or do you, or do you print off batches? You've got the ready to sends out. How do you do it now? Yeah.

Ruth Bussey (:

So I printed off batches. I found a couple of printers that I've tried. I, and yeah. Find, find a few that I like, and

it's, it's pretty easy to do. And they've got a pretty quick turnaround. So, you know, cause it, you know, at the moment where in scribbles is you, there's only, you know, I'm not at the point where I'm buying in thousands and thousands of books in a, in a go, you kind of, so I need it to be quite quite quick and they can generally turn it around in about three days of me placing an order. So that, that really works and quality I'm really happy with then. Yeah. It's, it's, there's something really satisfying about seeing something, you know, that you've created come to life and be printed in such a lovely way.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. I agree. I love that. And that's one of the things I love about selling products is that you can actually have something you can actually hold and you can offer people can hold and having that pains and yeah. Yeah.

Ruth Bussey (:

My, my husband he's, he runs his own business and he he's done an MBA and he keeps saying to me, principals, principals, it's, you know, it's got digital is the way forward and you know, it's passive and it's, you know, it's yeah. Such little stress. You don't have to do anything or go to the post office or, and I'm like, I go, but I just so like the idea of a child holding my Burke and, you know yeah. And then they're with their mum

Vicki Weinberg (:

As a customer, I think. Yeah. I think I can totally see how for a business principles is easier, but as a customer, I know I would much prefer that someone else do the printing and binding for me. And obviously the thing is being in the post. Yeah. And I guess what you're doing is, okay, so it's not as easy for you, but it's making your customer's life so much easier. And I think that's, yeah, that's the thing to keep him in mind because so many people just don't want the hassle, do they have printing

Ruth Bussey (:

And that's fine. Not everybody has a printer at home anyway. So I think, I think I've kind of got the right. Yeah. It's quite a nice balance between the two. I, I, you know, every area of kind of emotions that I, you know, that you can think of, I kind of cover. So whether it's just big emotions in general or whether it's anxiety or whether it's kind of anger specific fevers, there's a range of things in both book format and then principle format. So if somebody comes into my shop, they can really, you know, choose what works best for them. You know, there's a lot of, you know, like on Etsy, it's a lot of American customers, a lot of American shoppers.

Ruth Bussey (:

So I think for them sometimes rather than paying the postage printed, something off can work, you know? So yeah. It's a good balance I think.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. And out of interest, what is the split of downloads purchases versus sort of the physical, the physical products and just really, I'm just really curious.

Ruth Bussey (:

I would say at the moment, principals is bigger. It's, it's a funny balance, isn't it? Cause principals, you know, they cost less so, but they, you know, the margin for me is bigger than a print than a, a physical product, which costs more to buy if that makes sense. So yeah, I'd say more, more downloads at the moment, but a lot of my, a lot of my sales still come through Etsy at the moment. Cause that's where I've really put all my efforts in the last sort of 18 months. It's only recently that I've started to work more on the website as I got braver and putting myself out there and showing up on social media a little bit more.

Ruth Bussey (:

I'm still not brilliant at that, but yeah, that, that started to come to come in a little bit more through the own website. But at, at sea, I kind of, I think that's where I started out on at seeks. It feels like you can hide behind the, the marketplace a little bit, you know, that suited me as a introvert.

Vicki Weinberg (:

I'm totally with you on that. Yeah, it makes sense. But it's good to have your own website as well because you know, people want to know more about you then obviously they can go over there. But I think it's what works. I mean, if you're making sales on it, see, there's no point in sort of saying, well, I'm not going to do that anymore. I just want people to shop for my website because let's face it. People are going to buy where they buy.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. And I think the good thing about Etsy is from what I've learned about it and I'm by no means an expert, but what comes through Etsy is completely organic to Etsy. So people are on there searching on Etsy. So I've done no work to get them other than having set up everything in the first place. So that can almost kind of do

its own thing and, and almost form like the foundation for me to then spend time on, on other things like the website, which I, I feel like I've got to, you've got to do more to drive people, to come to you to your own website.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Let me, I know what you mean. So I haven't sold on it. See, but from what I understand, if you set your listing up well and you have all the right search terms and things in there, then people yeah. Come to that, come to Etsy will find you or shit find G

Ruth Bussey (:

Yes. And I, from what I learned about it, and like I said, I've started off thinking naive people would just appear and they don't, there's a science to it. And you've got to that's, you know, you've got to do your

research on, on how to sell on Etsy and when you've got things right, they, they find you like, I get, I get daily sales through Etsy now, now I've, I've learned about it. But you know, in the beginning, you know, you can't just lift things and hope for the best. It just people, you know, you go weeks and weeks and weeks with nothing. So yeah. Yeah. It it's, I think some people like it, some people don't, I think if you have done your research and you know how to use that C it it's good.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. I think that's the same for a lot of marketplaces because I sell all of my products on Amazon and it's exactly the same if you do it well, and you get everything set up and you launch, well, then you, you should be making sales daily, but you can't just throw a listing up on any marketplace I believe. And just expect people to find you, you do have to put the work in as well, which I think is sometimes what people, I think it's a common misconception. I think that you can just put a listing up anywhere and people would just find it.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. And I think that's where a lot of people, or, you know, certainly with that, see, and I'm sure it's the same on places like Amazon as well. People just fall to the wayside and, or give up and they think it doesn't work. But yeah, I think it can for sure.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. I feel just like to say it's about putting the work in, because it gets harder all the time because there were more sellers all the time.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And I think, you know, it's, you know, it's such an open space, you know, online, online shops, online marketplaces people find you recreate what you've done because you know, you've kind of got to keep ahead of the people that are copying, I suppose, and, or sort of taking your ideas and making, making their own versions.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yes. Yeah. And I guess that's also, I guess, is that's probably a big thing with downloads board or principal content as well, but yeah.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. It's, it's kind of a risk that I've basically, I've kind of balanced and thought, you know what it'll happen. had it happen this year, actually back in the spring where somebody contacted me and said, somebody is selling yourstuff. So they'd actually bought downloads from my shop and then we're selling it fire Facebook, but they, they were doing it to several Etsy shops. So people were already on to that person and I had reported them. But, you know, I think, I think if you're not original and you're not the, the original creator, you're always, you're always kind of behind you.

Ruth Bussey (:

You can't, you can't offer what the person who's come up with. The idea in the first place can offer. So I think, you know, yeah, they can take it, but Hey, you know, it's my idea. My, you know, my ideas will always be better than somebody who's trying to kind of copy them

Vicki Weinberg (:

And it's vaguely to yours as well. And you've got the knowledge and the background and you've put all the work into the research and the creative process and all of that. So yeah, you're sort of miles ahead of anyone else. And have you, or do you do it, do anything to protect your intellectual property? Is that what they call it?

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah, so I basically all my, all my downloads, I just put the copyrights, you know, on, on each sort of page or as much as I can on the pages, you know, just the copyright sign and income scribbles, but, and then just make it really clear in the graphics on my listing that it's not for commercial resale, they get like a download license kind of information sheet, which says the same. But I think some people are just really cheeky and if they're going to

do it, they're gonna do it anyway. And there's not masses you can do about it, unfortunately. But yeah, that it's only happened once. So, and I think she got closed down, so

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. I'm, I'm sure. Yeah. I'm sure there are channels. You can go down to, to stop it

Ruth Bussey (:

As well. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Say now day to day, are you say you're selling your printed products and your downloads. Are you doing any handmade products at all now or have you stopped that?

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah, that was my aim by the end of this year was to come away completely from, from anything. So I had to make myself so no, it's all outsourced printing now, which is, which is nice. And it just, it feels like this Christmas has been better than last Christmas, but it's been far less stress and kind of little, far little yeah. Work for me, I suppose, in terms of getting, you know, cause I've still got all the mum stuff to do as well, you know, dinners and school and reading books and all of that stuff. So yeah, the balance has been really good this year.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Oh, that's awesome. Well done. This is amazing. So that was a really big go, I guess, to have everything dumped into this year. Yeah.

Ruth Bussey (:

And I've still got so many ideas, you know, that like my husband says to me, stop coming up with new stuff. Like just get out there with what you've already got and you know, that stuff can kind of keep coming. I'll let you know. But I, I love the content creation. I love that stuff. So I, I always get pulled into that probably more

than I shared. He's like, you need to market more, you need to go, you need to be concentrating on marketing. So yeah, that's, that's my aim for next year is to, you know, now that I've now that I've, up-leveled everything and I've upgraded at all and, and everything looks really good now. I feel really confident with it all.

Ruth Bussey (:

I feel more, more able to really push forward on the, on all the marketing side of it. So yeah. Hopefully I'll do a better job of that next year.

Vicki Weinberg (:

I can see why that'd be a constant juggle between Marcus and what you already have and putting out new things that you're excited about. I can taste it. He see that, that must be hard to get the balance of that. Right. Yeah. I do. I think you could just bring it out. You could just keep bringing out new products, couldn't you. Yeah.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. And actually that's the good thing about doing a principal range is that I can do that quite easily. I can create it and I can list it. I don't have to wait to finance it. I don't have to, you know, go into my sort of little pot to, to kind of buy more books in to kind of, you know, grow it that way. So yeah. Yeah. It principals work on in terms of the content creation.

Vicki Weinberg (:

And also before we wrap up as well, did you want to about the mama Haven?

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah, the, the, so on my website I created an area called the mama Haven, which is it's, I'm building it at the moment, but I think that you can't really separate your own emotional growth and your own personal growth and an awareness. And I think we're all on a journey. And even though we're adults, we're not, you know, we're not always our final destination. Are we kind of on in terms of emotional health and emotional awareness? So the, the mama Haven's really going to be a place where I'd like to help mums specifically because you know, let's not pretend like we do most of the kind of, you know, where the, where the front person aren't we, when it comes to the parent and side of stuff.

Ruth Bussey (:

Most of us, I think, anyway, we, we, you know, we're the ones that tend to do most of the emotional support. You know, my, my husband does a lot with our children, but there are some, there's always a point where he goes, I have to walk away now, you know, I can't, I can't deal with this. So yeah. So I think the mother, the mama Haven will be somewhere where, where moms can go to get support through the heartbeats to help them work on their own growth, to do a bit of reparenting themselves, you know, to work out why things might be hard for them.

Ruth Bussey (:

So, you know, if your child is struggling with anger, you might really find that hard and you might get angry yourself and it might just all be really kind of conflicted. So it'll, there'll be things in there that help with that, but also just, you know, helping you develop your own approach with your child and be intuitive, you know, finding what works for you because I don't, I don't think there's one method that works for everybody. I think it has to be based on your child and your child's relationship personality, and also your personality and how you can come together and somewhere where mums can find reassurance.

Ruth Bussey (:

You don't have to be perfect. This isn't, this isn't a black and white kind of thing I think with parents. And it's, it's about how you can do it to the best of your ability and knowing that you're always going to grow on your, what you know now is what you know now, and there's always space to move forward.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Oh, thank you. And so when do you expect will be library?

Ruth Bussey (:

Well, there are some things on there at the moment, but just as I create things, there'll be added to it, but everything in there will be principal resources. That's, I don't have a, a plan to make anything physical at the moment, but I'm planning work, but that you can download and work through there's one on there already about anger and how to work through that. And they're quite, in-depth it, you know, guiding you through your childhoods and, and how that's brought you to where you are now in terms of these different emotions and helping your child with them.

Ruth Bussey (:

And eventually I'd really like to do like coaching and coaching mums. I think I did. I did. I mean, because of my teaching background, it really appeals to me to coach children. But I think, like I said, you can't really separate a mother and a child in terms of emotional wellbeing, you know, how we are and how emotionally aware we are, has a huge influence on our children and their journey. So, yeah, I think, I think the mother particularly, although obviously dad's a crucial too, but I think helping the mum work through this stuff is

really where I feel most, I really feel quite passionate about that.

Ruth Bussey (:

Cause I think that's where, where, where are you going to make the difference to the future and to create, you know, a better future, it comes down to us and what we do now and the conversations we have with our children today.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Definitely. Yeah. I think you realize that don't you, when you become a mother, like the, what responsibility you have, because how you bring up your child has an impact on how they will be as an adult and how they will then potentially bring up their children and, you know, it has a huge knock on effect.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. No, thank you. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg (:

And I will make sure I include the link to the mama Haven in the show notes as well. So coming back to your, to your product. So do you do the Dutch design yourself reef?

Ruth Bussey (:

No. So I, I cannot draw, I, I, I'm a creative in lots of ways. I I'm a bit of a hobbyist photographer. Yeah. I, I do have creativity in my bones, however, I can't draw. So I buy those on a commercial license. However, that some point my plan would be to have the whole thing kind of designed with, you know, some sort of streamlining in through it, somebody that takes the whole lot and links it all. And, and I have somebody kind of do the graphic design on it, but yeah, so I've pulled it all together.

Ruth Bussey (:

So where I placed it all and, and the look of it is all down to me and the, and the rights in the content in it is, is all me, but the actual graphics that they're on a commercial license at the moment.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Oh, well, I still didn't realize how much you do with it though. Wow.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah, I know. Well, all on my own, it's like, yeah, it's been a huge job. It's very rewarding. Like, you know, I look at it now and think about where I began and it, I, yeah, I did give myself a Pat on the back for that.

Vicki Weinberg (:

You should, I mean, I've looked at your products and they do look really good. And I had to Shane's, which is

why I asked that you had somebody that was sort of helping out with the layout and that kind of thing. So, yeah.

Ruth Bussey (:

But again, that's, you know, that's been a big part of the journey as well, you know, how can I make it look more appealing and, you know, yeah. I guess you, you know, you look at other people's things I suppose, and you, you learn about what looks good. And I think the photography side a bit helps me a little bit with that, I suppose, you know, a bit of an eye for what might look appealing. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. And as you say, it's the nice thing about this kind of product is you can always evolve and you can always sort of redo things and just keep continually working on it.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. Yeah. And I, and I think that that's a big part of it for me in terms of going forward with somebody doing, taking it all in and doing a whole design, is that at the moment I have complete control over it all. And I, I think I must be a control freak because I really like that. You know, I, I quite, even now sometimes I'll I add things in to, you know, before I put it in, you know, a book into another print run, I'm like, Oh, that could really do with having this or that. I need to change how I've said it that little bit. And I tweak it and add to it, but I'm hoping that one day I'll get to a point where I go, you know what, this is, this is great as it is. And it can, it can go out to, to somebody to sort of do all the graphic design on it and, and, and go for a big print run that can't be changed.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Well, that's a good goal. Isn't it? That's a good

Ruth Bussey (:

Thing. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Okay. So just a few more questions before we finish up, if that's okay. Ruth, can you, I mean, you have touched on this already, but can you tell us some of the things that you love about your business?

Ruth Bussey (:

I do. I love the creative side of it. I think, you know, as you go, as you kind of get older, you know, and I'm, I'm 41 now. So I think I've just come to a point where I realized that actually doing something creative really is good for the soul. You know, there was, you know, many years where I didn't have that kind of elements in my life and I, I really enjoy that. And I think, you know, the, the ability to sort of express myself, I suppose, and having an outlet for the overwhelming pressure of motherhood is probably quite therapeutic.

Ruth Bussey (:

I think for me, you know, that, that, like you, you know, you said earlier about when you become a mother, you really have this weight of responsibility that you had no idea about before you held that little person in your arms, you know, and I think this has been very therapeutic to kind of give me the outlet to read and to think things through, you know, how I parent my own child, you know, I really, yeah. I, I make this my job, you know, so that, that I really love about it. And then above all, you know, when you get a review from somebody that says how much it's helped their child.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. There's not really many things in life that feel as good as that, you know?

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. It's amazing. The impact you must be having on all those other families is just, if you think about it, that's huge.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. I hope so. I hope that, you know, everything that I've learned and all the research that I've done and the time I've spent learning parents in Berks, and I've learned about NLP and CBT and H to sort of inform everything that I create. Yeah. I hope I can pass on something that, that really makes a difference. And in someone else's home.

Vicki Weinberg (:

And just one final question before we finish reading, so what would your number one piece of advice be to anyone else wanting to create their own products to sell?

Ruth Bussey (:

I think that I would say going back and touching on what we were saying earlier, learn research first, do research first, but then just do it. And, you know, don't put pressure on yourself to make it one way or another, just be on the journey.

Vicki Weinberg (:

That's great advice. Thank you so much. Cause you're right. I mean, everything can change and everything will change. I, I don't, I don't know if anyone that I've spoken to who said yes, I got everything right. First time. I just, yeah. It's always a journey.

Ruth Bussey (:

Yeah. You have to accept that. It's not always going to be perfect. It's not always going to go exactly how you want it to go. It can't, you know, people aren't, you know, they're not always going to get your thing in the

post. It might get lost and that's okay. Or, you know, just things like that, that bother me. They bother me. And I have to learn to kind of just embrace that and learn it, you know, use it as a learning opportunity.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. Thank you so much for your time today. Ruth, where is the best place for peoples come and find you

Ruth Bussey (:

Probably the best place to come and find me is over on Instagram. And you can find me INKANDSCRIBBLESKIDS on Instagram, and that will direct you through to my, my shop and my Etsy shop on my website.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Perfect. Thank you. And I will link to all of this in the show notes as well for anyone who isn't writing that down.

Ruth Bussey (:

I talk a lot on Instagram. I don't talk, you know, it's not all about the products. There's a lot in there about parenting and yeah, I talk a lot about how it's helped the child, but also about you as a parent, as a mother. And I try and keep it very real

Vicki Weinberg (:

Fantastic. So yeah. So any, any parents listening do go over and yeah. Have a lick. Thank you. Thank you so much, Ruth. Thank you so much for listening to this interview three for myself as always. I really hope you've enjoyed it. Please do remember to rate, review and subscribe to the podcast as always, if you want to get in touch with me, you can do so vicki@tinychipmunk.com have a great week. Look forward to speaking to you.