A NORTHFIELDS mum is selling 'high-quality toys' she believes will become treasured keep-sakes, in a bid to restore a sense of childhood.
Shelley Henderson started her business Roobub and Custard, which also sells prints and pictures for children's rooms, after the birth of her son Alex, who is now two.
The 42-year-old of Altenburg Avenue, Northfields, said: “I started selling at fairs in April last year and launched the website in September. I had the idea the September before, in 2009, after the birth of my son Alex. I used to work in the travel industry as a project manager and I wanted to do something more flexible so I could spend more time with him.
“I was looking for pictures, something a bit different, for Alex's room, as well as toys and I found it a real struggle. I started researching the idea with a friend, but when she went back to her old job I decided to do it on my own, whether that was brave or stupid I don't know. I like to keep myself busy – I have another baby due in 11 weeks time.”
From wooden animals to colourful cartoons, Ms Henderson sells eye-catching objects from small manufacturers and suppliers which are ethically made, such as using wood from sustainable forests. She hopes these will capture children's imaginations.
She said: “I want to bring the keepsake back to childhood. I think we've lost that over the years. We throw too many things away and people don't look after things like they used to. And I think children grow up too quickly now, they forget what it's like being a child.
“Hopefully they'll become attached to these things and they'll stay in the family a long time, making them treasure their memories a bit more.”
Ms Henderson is part of a network called Ealing Mums in Business who help support and promote each other's work, including organising trade fairs. It's early days for the fledgling business but Ms Henderson is working hard for it to become a success.
She said: “Working for yourself isn't the easy option, you're juggling things all the time. I plan my work for when Alex is asleep or with family so it doesn't get in the way of our time. But you're doing it for yourself and learning all the time and that's what motivates me.”
Visit www.roobubandcustard.co.uk and search for Ealing Mums in Business on Facebook to find out more.