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Inspirational Female Founder Spotlight: Anita Frost

Anita Frost is a multi award-winning author, entrepreneur and the founder of Green Bean Studios®. With an extensive professional background in both child development and business, Anita is recognised as an industry leader for innovating eco-toys, designing sound media content and fun learning books. Anita, along with a talented team of professionals, have come together to build a global children’s IP entertainment brand which creates precious moments for children and families through retail, animated TV productions and music.  

Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?

Green Bean Studios is a fast growing, global children’s IP entertainment brand based in Manchester, UK. Our first revenue stream was the Green Bean Collection®, a multi-award-winning range of children’s books and ECO toys which promote a love of the outdoors, kick-starts reading skills, and nurtures a love of reading in young children.

Our core pillars are earth, kids and community through which we promote sustainability and exciting ways for children to play, learn and go on fun outdoor adventures.

Over the past few years, we’ve built on the huge success of our popular collectable children’s book series, which is on sale in Waterstones nationally, by expanding our range of retail offerings year on year.

How did the idea come to you for the company?

As a business woman eager to address some of society’s most important issues, including children’s mental health, the ecological crisis and childhood obesity, I wanted to get to the heart of the issue, and began researching the key contributing factors; children are spending less time outdoors, and this is resulting in an increasing range of behavioural and attainment challenges in children.

In a world where there is a global pink pig and a global yellow sea sponge, I decided there was a need for a global Green Bean too! But this Bean would shine a light on some of these issues, and the dark things which sabotage our kids’ futures, joy and identities.

And so Green Bean Studios was born.

How did you achieve awareness?

At a very grass roots level – going into different communities right across the UK to connect with families, kids, parents, grandparents, schools, libraries and attraction parks. Within these communities, we showcased our first offerings of fun learning books, then met with them year after year as we expanded the fun books into a range of collectables ECO toys, games and more.

We’ve also adopted a loyal and avid fan base, which has gone on to become our Precious Moments Ambassadors. This is our fast growing community of consumers and educators who love the brand and have seen first hand the positive impact Green Bean Studios IP is having.

How have you been able to gain funding and grow?

Establishing a strong and credible reputation; gaining traction in key markets; winning awards; being tenacious and committed to our cause; establishing key partnerships; building a winning team; positively contributing to the circular economy; and working to the UNs’ 17 sustainable goals.

What are the key successes?

Reaching one child at a time to play, learn and go on fun adventures.

Tackling children’s mental health, balancing tech use, childhood obesity, minimising impacts of materials (especially plastics) on the environment and reducing waste generation through smarter production and using biodegradable materials.

We are already recognised as a business that takes sustainability seriously and now we want to be established as a brand leader in our market.

Success will be getting billions of children across the world to play and learn with our animated and diverse characters, who lead the way in conservation through our fun learning books, ECO toys, games, media, music, and attractions.

What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?

I’m a female founder of multi-ethnicity with dyslexia. Despite these challenges, I’ve built a team of 26  full- and part-time freelancers from multiple regions and racial backgrounds, and have created work experience opportunities for students at different educational stages – we will expand on this as our business scales.

What are your plans now/for the future?

We have committed to de-risking the brands investment opportunity for the next round of investors by undertaking the following activities 

  • Growing and listening to our consumer test groups of Parents, Educators, Grandparents
  • Undertaking a SEO & Data Analysis
  • We are on a pathway to becoming B Corp
  • We have applied for a further grant funding and are engaging in investor conversations
  • Launch new stock into new markets arriving across 2024
  • Launch some new media in the Summer
  • Launch stage one of the animation production into international markets
  • Announce three new partnerships
  • Onboarding new e-commerce partners
  • Returning guest to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake up to Money

What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?

Dream the impossible dreams! Yet faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?

  1. Be disciplined
  2. Have fun
  3. Work hard
  4. Rest well
  5. Work with those who are for you, the mission and who outshine your weaknesses

Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?

  1. My Grandparents – the road they travelled and what they over come for us to have the life style we have now
  2. My Parents – for committing to each other and their vows to one another, the way they raised us and they both made a great impact in their sphere of influence.
  3. Past workplace leaders – they showed me how not to behave or treat people 
  4. Queen Elizabeth II – commitment and grit to the call
  5. Maya Angelou – you can overcome trauma, thrive and make a difference in the lives of others just from overcoming

What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?

You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Maya Angelou