Interview with Little Star Cards founder Louis Hynes
Read how his daughter’s birth inspired Louis Hynes to create Little Star Cards – a unique gift idea for a family member or friend who’s having or just had a baby.
What’s your career background?
My education and background was a mixture of IT and business. A chance meeting with a old friend found us becoming business partners in 2012, in a joint venture creating an on-line portal/website for construction. I managed the design and built of the website.
Following on from this experience I designed and managed the build on several more websites for other friends and acquaintances.
How did your career change after becoming a dad?
After the birth of my daughter in 2014, I wanted to spend more time at home. I hoped that if a business got off the ground my wife and I, would be able to work from home rather than a daily commute to an office every day.
Little Star Cards has now grown to point where both my wife and I can work from home.
What gave you the idea for All Star Cards?
The keepsake gifts we received following our daughter’s birth, although very nice all seemed a bit cutesy and not very unique. I felt there was a gap in the market for a gender specific and humorous keepsake baby development card. Something that would make you smile or even laugh.
I sat down with a talented graphic designer I’d used on some of my other websites and we came up with some card ideas and some animal characters that we though would work and also enlisted some local parents from our nursery and set-up some market research sessions.
What makes your cards different?
Firstly I wanted my cards to make people smile and the animal characters come to life, beautifully illustrated and continue this theme of the quirky characters throughout the other products. (squid, lemur, hyena etc.)
My cards are also gender specific so my products are available in baby girl, baby boy or gender neutral versions, the colour and characters of the packs differ depending on the version. Girl (pink), boy (blue) etc.
How did you fund your site?
I started the development and product design in early 2015, and the website and business were launched in early 2016.
The product design, website, marketing to date as been self-funded.
Who’s your target audience?
The target audience for Little Star Card products are parents of babies and toddlers.
Friends and family looking for baby shower gifts or toddler gifts. Any parent looking to document and/or share their little star’s early years development stages.
How do you spread the word about what you do?
Our objective over the next few months is to raise awareness of Little Star Cards.
As a start-up we don’t have big budgets so we are mainly relying on social media, customers word of mouth and PR. We have lots more promotional activity planned, giveaways, competitions etc. to help us to spread to word.
What’s been your proudest moment so far?
The feedback from customers I have never met. To see and feel their excitement documenting and sharing their little ones development milestones is absolutely heart-warming.
There will be a new product launch in early 2017. Then I am aiming to raise (crowd source) some additional funds in early 2017, with the intention to expand on the product range and move Little Star Cards products into overseas markets.
What are your four top pieces of advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneurs?
- Don’t wait too long – I have been business minded since I was in my teens. I am now in my forties and have only just built the courage up to do this.
- Don’t be afraid to ask – use the people around you – everyone knows someone that does something.
- Use your contacts – I have known some people for years and have built great reputations and relationships with them. These will help and have helped me a lot in starting out.
- Don’t be afraid to make a change – if your idea or plan isn’t working, don’t give up. Change your strategy and find what works for you.
You can find out more about Little Star Cards on their website.