It all started when Lynne's little girl Imogen asked for a teacher pack for her sixth birthday. Having trawled the internet, Lynne was surprised that she couldn't find one anywhere to suit her daughter's age. Not happy with just a scaled down version, Lynne decided to collate 'real' teachers' equipment and books and put together her own pack.
Imogen was delighted, and soon enough Lynne was getting approached by a number of parents asking where she'd bought it. "That was the eureka moment. Says Lynne. "I texted Pippa and said 'Meet me in Sainsbury's caféI've got it!' Pippa didn't even stop to question what 'it' was - and over a latte and a pot of tea, Wannabees was born."
Cheshire-based Lynne and Pippa have been pals for years. They both have two children of similar ages, both have backgrounds in marketing and both enjoy catching up over a bottle of wine to try and come up with 'the next big thing'. With two awards under their belts, the Winner's badge in the National ToyTalk Awards and the Jacqueline Gold #wow award, both achieved within two weeks of launching their I Want to be a Teacher and I Want to be a Doctor packs in October 2014, I think they may have cracked it!
Things didn't happen for Wannabees overnight, as Lynne explains. "The original pack looked nothing like it does today. We developed it to be sold in a box that contained all the forms and paperwork that we'd designed, along with relevant equipment such as paper clips, pens and stamps. We were thrilled with it and thought it looked fab but then we sent it for safety testing and the costs were unfortunately prohibitive because of all the component parts. It was the start of the learning curve, so we took it back to the drawing board and the wiro-bound paper packs were developed."
As kids, the duo loved role play with Pippa always pretending to be a teacher and Lynne a café-owner. Pippa continues, "We understood that the thrill was in filling in the forms, ticking boxes and handling important documents to anyone who'd care to play along."
Both the teacher and doctor pack have therefore been designed from the heart. The packs provide all the relevant paperwork children need to 'pretend' to be the professional of their choice. Each kit contains approximately 50 pages of forms, stickers and certificates and allows them to act out fun tasks such as filling out appointment cards for their teddies, giving eye tests to their friends, taking the morning register with their action figures - or even writing out school reports for mummy and daddy.
Pippa and Lynne already have 12 professions already mocked up and ready to go into design, however, for now, their priority and focus is getting their original products into shops. It seems if you've got your best friend by your side in work and play, you can do what you wanna do and be who you wannabee!