Sophia Procter is the founder of Munchy Play, the first-ever kids’ plate with a built-in track. It helps solve mealtime struggles by inviting kids to the table and keeping them there, it is available now on Amazon.
Prior to her foray into manufacturing, Sophia held a senior role at British Airways in their communications team. She left her ‘high-flying’ job after nearly a decade, to pursue her start-up. She has also held managerial roles at; Red Bull, Ask.com and Barclays Bank.
Sophia has won several industry awards for her PR campaigns around the London 2012 Games and other creative projects. She resides in her home city of London with her husband and (no longer fussy eater) son!
Where did the idea for Munchy Play come from?
The idea came to me one day while trying to feed my (then) toddler. A notorious fussy eater, he was having another mealtime meltdown. So I brought his favourite toy train to the table and made a track around his plate, and that’s where it all began.
I realised in that moment, that I could help other families and change the way children dine forever!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’m an organisational freak! So every morning I run through my to-do list, try and prioritise what’s important and give myself mini-goals to stay on track. Just because I love a challenge, I currently have my son at home for the school holidays, so that’s thrown a curveball into everything. This also means that I am often found working (as I am right now) up until 10pm at night.
A daily walk and at least 7 hours sleep are the only way I can keep productive. That, and lots of Red Bull!
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m a creative thinker and tend to visualise ideas before I articulate them. This often means trying to translate what’s in my head onto paper or my laptop.
I’ve attended quite a few creative workshops and it all boils down to this: thinking without limitations. So, I try to think big, whatever the budget or idea and take it from there. I’ve always believed that passion finds a way.
What’s one trend that excites you?
In the UK, we have a habit of outsourcing production abroad. When I came up with Munchy Play, I was determined that it would be a British made product. Not just to invest in our economy, but also because of our high-standards and shorter lead times when it comes to the supply chain. This was way before the global pandemic.
Now, I think we’ll start to see more companies invest in local resources where possible, which can only be a good thing for local economies and employment.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
The one thing that defines any entrepreneur, is their ability to take an idea to market. This requires great tenacity and belief in their product. I would say that I had an unquenchable almost obsessional desire to bring my product to life. I truly believe it can change the way children dine. It’s that sort of tenacity you need.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to join Amazon and sell anything, just to get familiar with e-commerce. It’s a brilliant marketplace that’s serving my business well, but it would have been an advantage to have a head-start.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Working mums can achieve twice as much as they did before kids!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Before I even launched Munchy Play, I hired the best IP lawyers to protect my brand and intellectual property. It’s such an important step in the creative process that many people overlook. However, your design and your trade mark are everything. I continue to monitor the market and have a great team around me too.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
We only launched recently, so it’s still early days. However, we were invited to join Amazon Launchpad – a dedicated platform for innovative game-changing products. I believe it will prove a very useful tool in our growth and acceleration.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
At the start of the journey, I worked with a supplier that massively let me down on more than one occasion. Eventually, I decided to move on and find a more reliable supplier. It meant starting again, but it was 100% worth it. My only regret is not moving on sooner.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A self-cleaning iPhone cover. We’re all going to need those in the future.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
My suede Birkenstocks. Important for my wellbeing walks every day, so I have no excuse not to be active.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I’m a big fan of Canva. I think it’s a great tool for anyone with a creative eye, but without the technical acumen required for photoshop. Whether it’s for a business presentation or social content, it’s a good way to get creative. They also have great customer service.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Dip by Seth Godin. It’s everything you will experience when you have an idea and start a business. The man is a genius.
What is your favorite quote?
“You didn’t come this far to come this far”
• Your ‘to-do’ list is infinite, so try and check-off 1 or 2 things every day
• Find a start-up soulmate!
• Invest in your intellectual property
• See every setback as one step closer to success
• Be kind to everyone, and remember everyone who is kind to you
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.