When it comes to print, we LOVE seeing all the wonderful ideas and projects that you come up with. We recently chatted to Priya and Peanut, a development flashcard and toy business specialising in prints for children.
Despite beginning to trade at the start of Covid-19, founders Anna and Rob have had a fantastic first year. Read on for all things dogs, babies and more!
Hi Anna! Firstly can you tell us a bit more about Priya and Peanut?
Priya and Peanut is a creative business that designs a range of products and prints for children and babies. Yes, we aim for our products to boast cool designs that appeal to both children and parents, but we are also heavily influenced by the latest research. We read studies about early years growth milestones and create products that range from supporting visual development in newborns to helping older children learn the alphabet.
I studied surface pattern design and printed textiles at university, then I started teaching art and became the Head of Department. When I fell pregnant with Grace, I became excited about designing as a hobby again and began making my own prints and characters for Grace’s nursery. This then inspired me to make a series of milestone cards to use when she arrived and Rob saw the potential to make a business out of it… the rest is history!
It’s been a very testing year. How has your small business coped?
Our small business began trading at the start of the first lockdown, so we have nothing to compare it to. However, despite the difficult times we have really flourished and grown, mostly thanks to the online market. Once restrictions have been lifted, we will still focus on online selling but also on developing our ranges for wholesale. I am personally really excited about exhibiting at our first trade show in January 2022, Top Drawer London.
We feel very proud to say that our business has allowed us to employ multiple members of staff and support freelance parents as well. From producing product photography to writing pieces for us, they all really help us develop our online presence.
Where do you get your inspiration? Does being a mum yourself help inspire prints for children?
Priya & Peanut – the name alone describes the inspiration for us. Priya is our first animal baby (our dalmatian dog) and Peanut was baby Grace when I was pregnant with her. Having Grace entirely inspired me to design fun, cute and quirky animal characters. Although it started off with me making prints for her nursery, it allowed us to see how the characters and designs could in fact be used across a variety of products within the baby and children’s market.
You sell baby milestone cards, sensory flashcards and more – but which is your favourite printed product from your range?
Sensory cards are my favourite printed product! They are printed in black and white and have a bold yet simple design – my favourite kind. Taking inspiration from these, we have created a collection called ‘Into the Wild’. This will have a variety of products from sensory pram toys and stacking cubes, to muslin blankets and more… so watch this space!
Although we are working on new product development, we also go back into existing products and review the range regularly. Our Animal Milestone Collection is in the process of having a re-vamp and I’m sure once its printed and launched it will be my most favourite yet.
How important is e-commerce to your small business?
E-commerce isn’t just important to our brand, it’s important to all brands. My personal instinct when we launched our business was to focus on getting our products on the high street and winning wholesale contracts. However, Rob’s expertise and passion for e-commerce has allowed our business to flourish at a rate we couldn’t imagine. I believe would have taken much longer had we have only gone into wholesale.
First impressions are everything, so the look, quality and effectiveness of our product are the key factors we consider for our customer experience. The way a customer receives their order is just as important and the girls working for us take pride in packaging neatly to ensure the customer gets the quality they deserve.
When it comes to child development, the last year has been a challenging time for new parents – how do you think your range of products can help?
We get daily messages from parents sending pictures and thanking us for our products and service. This is by FAR the most rewarding part of the job. Below is a quote that sums up how are range has helped new parents:
‘We got our sensory flashcards this week and baby is loving them! Definitely settles her when having a little lay down whilst awake and alert… gives me a chance to do something productive! She often smiles and chuckles at them.’
How did you come across Printed.com and what do you print with us?
We came across Printed.com on Google and loved the layout of the website. Navigation and ordering was super easy. Price is important to every small business, however a high-quality product and fast responding team that strives to make us happy clients is also essential. With Printed.com we feel we get both!
What advice would you give to other creatives looking to expand their own stationery offering to include prints for children?
We would advise new small businesses to test the market on platforms like Etsy and Not On The Highstreet and also use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok that can link back to your shop. Engage and interact with potential customers and see what’s ‘in’ so you can create prints that are using popular characters.
You do a huge amount on social media to engage your customers, what are your top tips for building a community around your small business?
Make it personal! We love getting customer photos in real-time and sharing them on our stories and feed. Potential customers can see genuine smiles from babies as well as how to use our products. I regularly speak to mums who get in touch and have developed some friendly relationships with them on our Instagram- this seems to attract engagement to our news feed too and has generated repeat orders for their friends and family members. People are beginning to really believe in our brand and our journey and we can’t thank our loyal customers enough.
How can people shop from you, or find out more?
With all kinds of small creative businesses having to adapt over the past year, it’s been the perfect opportunity to try out some new print and stationery ideas. If you’re looking to expand your offering, how about branching out into prints for children?
For your chance to feature on our social media channels and blog, make sure to tag us with @printedcom and use the hashtag #ProudlyPrinted