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In Conversation with Jenny, Founder of Petite Chickpea

baby rattle - petite chickpea

Discover the inspiring journey behind Petite Chickpea as we chat with Jenny, the creative force behind this unique handmade business. From finding solace in crochet during a challenging pregnancy to transforming a passion into a thriving venture, Jenny shares her experiences and insights into the world of crafting baby toys with love and dedication.

What inspired you to start Petite Chickpea and what was the driving force to put the idea in motion? 

I’d say my main inspiration for starting Petite Chickpea was my kids. I taught myself how to crochet during lockdown when I was pregnant with my first baby. I wanted to gift him something unique and made with love.

It was then that I found a passion for crochet. During a very stressful pregnancy and being locked up at home during the pandemic, I discovered that crochet kept me sane – it was the therapy that I needed!

It was during my maternity leave that I realised I couldn’t see myself going back to my 9-5 office job. I needed something where I could be more creative and also work around family life with two young kids. With a degree in costume making, I wanted to tap back into something where I could use my hands and be creative! I stuck with making baby toys as my life had become all about babies, and I knew what kind of products would be desired by new mothers.

The driving force behind my success with this small business is that it doesn’t feel like a business at all! I have found a way to contribute to financially supporting my family with a hobby that I genuinely love. It’s so exciting to see all my ideas come to life, and the fact that people desire the products I put out – each sale honestly means so much to me.

baby rattle - petite chickpea

What has been your favourite moment, or biggest win so far?

Since launching Petite Chickpea, my favourite moments are anytime I receive feedback and photos of my products being used by customers. It makes all the hard work that goes into running a small business worthwhile. Knowing that people, and their babies are enjoying the products that I spend so much time handcrafting for them fills me with such happiness. Honestly, without them, I wouldn’t have a brand at all!

baby rattle - petite chickpea

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced so far?

For me, the biggest challenge is finding the time to grow my business. Neither of my kids has started nursery yet, so I spend the bulk of my day caring for them. It's only when they go to bed that I have the time to focus on my brand, which recently hasn’t been a lot of time at all! 

I find keeping up with stock challenging, as each product is handmade, and the limited time I have to make these products can be stressful at times. However, I find that I thrive under pressure, and there is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing all that hard work packed up and ready to ship to someone who will hopefully enjoy using it as much as I loved making it!

baby rattle - petite chickpea

What’s your main source of inspiration when designing your products, and what’s your personal favourite that you sell?

When designing my products, my main source of inspiration is my kids. Any new design I create is initially made for them. If they don’t love it, then I don’t include it in my range. 

Another source of inspiration for me is seeing the design in my head come to life in my hands. What I love about designing my own products is that nothing ever turns out exactly as I originally imagined it. I am constantly improving designs as I create them, and I believe the whole trial and error aspect of making is what I love the most, as it provides an opportunity to learn something new. 

My favourite item that I sell has to be the Dino rattles! I worked on many different designs before arriving at the final one, and it's the one I am proudest of.

I appreciate that rattles appear simple, yet they play a crucial role in helping babies develop their gross motor skills. Additionally, they can serve as a teether while providing the joy of making noise, which is enjoyable for the baby to listen to.

baby rattle - petite chickpea

If someone wanted to turn their passion into a business, what would be the one piece of advice you’d give them?

I’d say to just start! I really think starting up is the hardest part of any business, especially when it is a passion of yours. It can be daunting putting your own work out there for everyone to see and criticise, but there is nothing quite like the feeling of making your first sale and realising you have a product that people actually want. 

Consistency is also key; if something doesn’t work, it’s an experience to learn from. Instead of quitting, use it as a learning opportunity to help grow your business.

Also, do not underestimate the power of social media. I feel it is the best tool for advertising and reaching people who would have never found your products otherwise. Carefully curating your social media platform is a great way to show off the style of your brand, and it’s free, so it’s a win-win really!

One of our core values at Bundle & Beau, is that every product we feature in our bundles, has been consciously made with love, right here in the UK. Jenny shares with us her top pit stops when visiting her hometown of Exeter in Devon: 

*EAT: GOTO - the atmosphere is always great and the walls of the restaurant are hand painted in traditional Japanese art  

*SIP: Glorious Art House - “For me it’s the best artisan coffee in Exeter. It also has a pretty courtyard garden!”  

*SHOP: Makers Mart on Gandy Street - "They showcase work from makers across the southwest and they’re always mixing it up!"  

*VISIT: The PhoenixThey host a diverse range of amazing art exhibitions, live music events, films, and workshops” 

Take a look through Jenny’s beautiful designs here and add to any gift bundle. We will handwrite with your choice of words and ship directly to your loved one. Stay in the loop with Jenny over on instagram @_petite_chickpea