Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

The serious business of play

April 2006

The serious business of play

Wendy Jasper had an idea for a small home business. Less than six months later she has plans for an exciting enterprise with export potential and has been accepted into one of Wellington’s business incubators, Fashion HQ.

Based on the principles of creative parenting and sustainability, which Wendy describes as a growing movement worldwide, her business is toys – quality, natural toys that she says engage learning and imagination, as well as organic clothing and soft furnishings. The products will be manufactured in New Zealand and elsewhere in the South Pacific based on fair trading principles.

While she says that wooden and woven toys are available in New Zealand they are usually prohibitively expensive. Her goal is to make quality more available.

“Most toys available now are made to entertain a child, they don’t engage their imagination and are discarded after a couple of hours. You know, the box-is-more-enjoyable-than-the-toy-inside syndrome!”

Her business idea was initially quite small. “I started with wanting to do good and support my family,” says Wendy. Then she saw a course in New Venture Development advertised at WelTec. “Now I realise that I can do that and be really successful as well,” says Wendy.

Through the course she established that some of her initial ideas would not work and that she was thinking too small. “When I looked at how many Steiner and Montessori schools there are in New Zealand alone – over 400 – and then calculated how many parents are looking for products to support their children’s learning, and then how much they might reasonably spend in a year – it was obviously not a small business. I’ve also got a childcare centre in Melbourne desperate for them,” says Wendy.

“On the course I also found out about the business incubators and how they could help my business. I first thought they would be out of my league. But to get in they must believe your business could have a turnover of $2million in two years time. You have to prove that you’ve got a high growth potential company that could go to export.

“At Fashion HQ, I get my own space, support, mentors – all well known people – talks and lectures, good contacts. The office space alone is a really stimulating place. And it will give my business credibility. People recognise what it means to be in a business incubator.

“It seems to be in our nature to think small – Americans don’t do it, but we do. Maybe it’s the tall poppy thing.”

Wendy started her course last October. “I’ve done a business course before but it was all theory for the sake of it. To learn while working on my own business is so much more relevant.”

Wendy has heard there is a series of popular British television programme Dragons’ Den planned for New Zealand. “I might make an idiot of myself but I’ll be there.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages