UK Enterprise 2020

56 | UK Enterprise Awards 2020 Jun20346 Best Children’s Toys & Books Retailer 2020 Green Bean and Friends is a series of collectible books and toys based on six unique characters. This Manchester based brand inspires a love of outdoor adventures, education and embracing precious moments with your children from an early age. Extensive and thorough market research and a new kind of customer engagement is just one of the things that makes the Green Bean Collection stand out from the crowd. Anita Frost, founder and author of the Green Bean Collection has an extensive professional background in both the child development and the business industries. The Green Bean Collection began in 2017 as a series of books for children, authored by Anita Frost. The books centre around the main character Green Bean, a walking, talking bean, a true delight, readers can submerge into Green Beans everyday adventures and activities, including trips to the park and the swimming pool. More recent books include additional characters, such as a Mr Bear, Beckett and Rosie. These simple and entertaining stories are highly relatable to primary aged children, as they reflect the everyday routine. There is a strong emphasis on sparking imaginations and broadening horizons, allowing the children to think creatively and grow in confidence. This has definitely been the case for one mother and son, as explained in this glowing review: “Reading the Green Bean Collection’s books has been a life changing experience for my son - He gets excited about the characters and has developed a personal connection with them, while also learning to read. As a result, his interest in reading other books has increased. This is an educational and fun set of books and toys”. The company launched a range of plush character toys alongside the books, the growing toy range promotes play, and allows the children to create precious moments through fun adventures. “This past two and a half years has been an exceptional time of growth for Green Bean Collection, Anita says. We endeavour to continue improving and developing year on year. As we begin to make space for more people to join our team, including investors and forming key partnerships, we have a strong foundation on which the company can build, to reach our long term vision of becoming a household name that creates special memories for parents and children. Soon after the very first books and toys were released, the team found a new way to market the products. From book launches to pop up shops, the company held interactive roadshow events that created a family friendly and fun environment for children to meet the characters, play with the toys and participate in a storytime session with the author. The team approached retailers such as Waterstones and The Trafford centre to propose holding events in malls or on the shop floor. The success of these events led to The Trafford Centre asking the team to return as a special guest three times in a row. Green Bean Collection’s UK Stores Manager Georgia Barrett comments, “We were provided with a central space in the main shopping centre located close to John Lewis and Waterstones, to showcase the brand and attract sales. We provided customers with a personal experience and a chance to meet the characters from the collection”. Anita comments, “the success of these events led to further invitations from shopping malls across the UK, as well as theme parks”. The progress the brand has experienced as it approaches its third anniversary is very encouraging, and the team are excited about their future plans. The Green Bean Collection has been announced the winner of the 2020 UK Enterprise Award. Anita Frost, Author & Founder Georgia Barrett, UK Stores Manager Creating Precious Moments Through Fun Adventures!