Business is child’s play for Blackpool couple

Paul Foskett and Clare Nightingale of Kiddicraft
Paul Foskett and Clare Nightingale of Kiddicraft
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A pair of Blackpool authors are hoping for a happy ending after launching their new business based on their work.

Paul Foskett and Clare Nightingale are author and illustrator of children’s books but are hoping to develop their creative potential into a full scale business called Kiddicraft.

The Layton couple have created their own brand of unique toys based on characters from their books and now have plans to target the educational market.

Based at the council’s start-up incubator offices FYCreatives they have made use of Blackpool’s Get Started programme to launch their dream.

Paul said: “The list of ideas we have is endless – we have more than 80 unique characters that we are getting printed on to toys, jigsaw puzzles and even on to canvasses and also hand-held soft toys of the characters.

“When the business takes off, we will be looking to 
employ people from the Blackpool area.”

He said it all started when they teamed up via social 
media through their interest in children’s books.

Paul, who has worked in 
retail and sales for 20 years, has had a story published based on the rescue of his real life pet dog Scampi, while Clare has worked in art and design for 17 years and has had books cased on her characters Fishkins and Pepper Jacket.

“We have been working with a publisher in the US and have now got one in Hemel Hempstead who is working with the books.

“There is a huge market for this kind of material, it is imaginative, original and very educational, with books on numeracy skills.

“We have designs for the characters on clothing and even curtains and bedding.

“The help we have had from the council’s Get Started has been great. 
Geoff Reeves has been helping with business plans and 
online marketing.”

The couple are currently working with the business support group Winning Pitch to increase funding to grow the business.

Clare said: “Art has always been my passion since I was a girl and some of the characters are inspired by my childhood such as Pepper Jacket who is a sailor hare – I come from a Royal Navy family background – and the No-I-Didn’t Lady who I created as a six -year old to be mischievous on my behalf.”