Nippers Nature & Nutrition. Healthy & Fun!
We launched Growth Rocket at the beginning of September, the same week as Jessica Louise launched Nippers Nature & Nutrition boxes. We'd never met Jessica but we were hugely impressed with the amount of effort she was putting into her content, and thought her boxes were a great idea. We even bought one for my nieces birthday (which went down really well!).
Jessica has built up a huge amount of experience and knowledge in early years eating habits through running her non-profit organisation, Nippers Nutrition, which helps and educates parents with fussy eating children. Jessica's next project was creating her Nippers Nature & Nutrition boxes which not only encourage healthy eating, but also outdoor play and crafts.
We love Jessica's business because its not just about making money. Its also helping children to eat healthier and spend more time outdoors, which we believe are two very worthwhile goals. Jessica was kind enough to tell us about the ideas behind her business, and what she's experienced in the first two months of it being live!
Can you describe the Nippers Nature & Nutrition Box in one sentence?
The only monthly non-subscription box that makes healthier eating and the natural environment more fun through art and crafts!
Can you tell us about the founding of the business?
I’ve always been passionate about encouraging children to enjoy healthier eating and the natural environment from an early age, and wanted to create something truly unique that would allow me to achieve this in a way which was fun, fascinating and full of opportunities for little’uns to learn, play and develop new and existing skills. This lead to the creation of The Nippers Nature & Nutrition box which exposes tots to healthier foods and the wonderful world of nature through art and crafts at (fun food art) and away (nature and nutrition themed crafts activities) from the table.
Nippers Nature & Nutrition Box launched at the beginning of September. How has it been so far? How has it varied from what your were expecting?
Since launching The Nippers Nature & Nutrition box in September, I’ve been on what can only be described as an emotional rollercoaster!
The months leading up to the launch of my first box were particularly stressful as I struggled to build interest and interact with my target audience. I couldn’t afford to place pricey adverts in parenting magazines or pay for my boxes to be reviewed, and received absolutely no support which resulted in me questioning whether it was worth taking such a substantial risk by launching a non-subscription box. Fast forward to a few months later, and I’m now in the position to pay for adverts, regularly receive review requests and have an immense amount of interest in my ‘unique’ ideas! Although I was fully aware that launching a non-subscription box wasn’t going to be easy, I definitely didn’t expect it to be as difficult or as draining as it has been, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
What do you think you've learned from the first two months of running Nippers Nature & Nutrition Box?
As I launched The Nippers Nature & Nutrition box with no background in business or previous experience of selling a physical product, subscription boxes (The Nippers Nature & Nutrition box is a subscription box, without the subscription!) or marketing, I think that it’s safe to say that I’ve learnt a lot in the last two months - this includes learning how to run my business better behind the scenes e.g. by becoming much more organised and mentally prepared for potential set backs, adapting my activity cards to appeal more to children and effectively marketing my boxes to my target audience. I can’t think of one area of business that I haven’t learnt about since launching in September!
Interest in healthy eating has increased greatly over the last few years, along with the number of startups choosing the healthy food industry. Why do you think this might be?
Interest in eating more healthily has most definitely increased and I think that this is predominantly due to the fact that people are much more aware of the potential consequences of leading an unhealthy lifestyle.
There’s not a day that goes by where we’re not reminded of shocking childhood obesity statistics or the staggering sugar content of specific foods, and I think that it’s this type of persistent publication that has not only made many think twice about their existing eating habits, but resulted in more food focused companies providing products aimed at those making an effort to eat healthier.
What are some of the biggest challenges you faced so far in growing your business? How did you overcome them?
Although I’ve faced frequent challenges since starting The Nippers Nature & Nutrition box in September, the biggest has undoubtedly been ensuring that my mental health doesn’t prevent me from pursuing my passion or progressing professionally.
Launching and building a new business is tough at the best of times, but launching and building a new business whilst battling multiple mental health problems can really take its toll when times get tough, be it because of the stress that stems from delivery delays and deadlines, or because a box initially fails to meet my high expectations (I take perfectionism to a whole new level!). On the days that I do find things difficult, I’ve learnt to take a step back, acknowledge what I’ve achieved and remind myself why I absolutely adore what I do - my boxes slap a big smile on lots of little faces!
How have you been raising awareness of your business? Have you found any strategies that are particularly effective?
Although I’ve been raising awareness about The Nippers Nature & Nutrition box in many ways - including through collaborations and magazine advertisements - I feel that the most successful method has been my strong social media presence. As I frequently share fun food art, healthy eating advice and nature themed art activities on my social media pages (and take every opportunity that I can to network and build business relationships!), I’ve successfully built a fantastic reputation based on word of mouth (which I’m extremely proud of!) and given potential customers a type of try before you buy experience of my boxes.
What does the future hold for Nippers Nature & Nutrition Box? Where do you see your business in five years?
I would like to think that the future is bright and bursting with opportunities to benefit as many growing bodies (and brains!) as possible with The Nippers Nature & Nutrition box!
Aside from successfully building a unique business that stands out from the crowd, I plan to launch a selection of fun food education activities that teach tots about healthier eating in an age appropriate way (and aid their development in the process!), food themed story cards and a children’s book. I also hope to launch another non-profit organisation that works with parents and schools to encourage outdoor exploration from an early age.
Starting and growing a business can be really tough! Is there another entrepreneur who you find helps to inspire you?
I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by some immensely inspirational people, most of which I’ve met through The Nippers Nature & Nutrition box, but the person who inspires me the most is my mum. Like me, she has built her business from scratch and struggled with sales, self-confidence and spreading the word about her wonderful work, but despite these difficulties, she’s remained patient and persistent and as a result, has made the progress that she’s pushed for. To me, hard work is truly inspirational and whenever I doubt my ability to achieve the success that I strive for, I remember how far my mum has come since starting her business over 18 years ago, and the success that she’s achieved by working hard to pursue her passion regardless of the obstacles that she’s had to overcome personally and professionally.
What advice do you have for anyone thinking about starting their own business?
Although I have an abundance of advice for anyone who is thinking about starting their own business, I think that the most important piece of advice that I can give is to never stop believing in yourself!
Building a business is tough and aside from making a million mistakes (and ensuring that those slip ups don’t set you back personally and professionally!), there will always be a small minority who are eager to criticise your work, question your capabilities and convince you that your dream business is destined for failure which is why self-belief is SO important. If you believe in your product as well as yourself, anything is possible providing that you’re willing to work hard and understand that a successful business isn’t built overnight!
Finally, can you tell us about a day at Nippers Nature & Nutrition HQ?
One of my favourite things about The Nippers Nature & Nutrition box is that every day is different! If I’m not getting creative in the kitchen with fun food art, I’m out exploring the natural environment in search of interesting items (and inspiration!) to incorporate into nature themed art activities. I also create content for my social media pages, brainstorm for future boxes and prep and pack orders, as well as reply to emails, update my social media and source suitable suppliers for my boxes content. All in all, I’m the entrepreneur equivalent to a one man band!