Stib Meets...Debbie Denyer
Debbie Denyer, Owner of Squidgydoodle
Debbie Denyer, Owner of Squidgydoodle
In the first of our Stib Meets interview series we talk to creative entrepreneur, Debbie Denyer. Debbie is the founder of party and craft box company, Squidgydoodle. From unicorn tears to pond slime and rainbow rain, these are no ordinary craft boxes. In the land of Squidgydoodle, it’s not about what you make, but what you learn along the way. Read how Debbie was a budding businesswoman from a young age and her eternal wonder of children’s abundantly wild imaginations!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
My older brother and I were creative and entrepreneurial from a young age. We designed a magazine and sold it in the school playground. It was printed on my Dad's printer, so we didn't have any printing and paper costs! We also made things, to sell to family members during the school holidays. We created a currency that they had to use and the exchange rate wasn't in their favour, so it was extremely profitable! If only we'd stuck with that idea and developed the bitcoin!
I was very in awe of my older brother, who wanted to be a designer, so it became my dream too.
What advice would you give to yourself as a child?
Hold onto your sense of wonder. We live in an amazing world.
What was the 'big idea' which inspired you to set up your business?
It was less of a big idea and more of a life changing situation. My husband died very suddenly from cancer and it made me realise how short life is. I wanted a job that I was passionate about, that allowed me to spend more time with my children.
I love children's imaginations. I think we have a role to play in nurturing their creativity, giving them opportunities to discover, explore and create in a fun way.
I have a background in art and design so initially I created fun, imaginative art and sensory workshops and birthday parties. We were painting with fly swats, pendulum painting, delving our hands into pumpkin slime, concocting magical potions and more!
When chatting to parents at the sessions they'd say they wished they could think of creative ideas to do with their children at home. They would complain that by the time they'd found all the art materials and got set up the younger sibling would have woken from their nap. Or they'd discover they didn't have the equipment they needed. So I created Squidgydoodle craft boxes, so that the fun of the workshops could be re-created at home, without the mess though, parents were quite keen about that bit!
Squidgydoodle party boxes give you the chance to share all the fun of a craft box with your friends. They're great for parents who want to run a party themselves, but don't have the time to spend hours searching Pinterest for ideas. They're a cheaper than hiring an entertainer, without the hassle of doing everything yourself.
What do you say to yourself when you need a confidence boost?
I've lived in Nepal and Greece on my own and travelled to far flung countries with a backpack on my back and my children on each arm. Even when life is really tough I find an inner strength that sometimes surprises me. So I think back to some of the brave things that I've done and say "You can do this!"
What's your favourite Stib word and why?
Joy finder is my favourite Stib word because it's a great reminder that life is full of happy moments. My youngest daughter has an amazing imagination. She'll suddenly stop and say "Wow!" then show you an imaginary dinosaur footprint, or get you to talk to a pretend monkey in a bush! It means the school run takes about three times longer and other parents probably wonder why I talk to bushes, but I love seeing the magic of the world through her eyes!
For further information about Squidgydoodle please visit www.squidgydoddle.co.uk