Lello and Monkey is owned by Kathryn Hill and Jill Heaton, two mums who have been friends since high school and who formed www.lellandmonkey.co.uk in December 2008.
We both fell pregnant at the same time and were due within a week of each other so we started chatting about baby stuff, being a mum and going back to work. While on maternity leave we realised neither of us wanted to go back to work full time and Jill had already thought of an idea for a business but didn’t feel she could do it alone.
“Over a coffee with my friend Kathryn I confessed my ideas around developing treasure hunt party kits for mums with young children. I had hosted a couple of treasure hunt activities for my son and his friends but discovered how hard it was as a working mum (at the time) to shop around for all the party favours and accessories. I made up clues, treasure chests and pirate ships from shoe boxes, but was disappointed that I just didn’t have the time or (let’s be honest) artistic ability to make it look really good. Despite this the delight on my 3 year olds face, as he ran around a field at the bottom of our garden, searching for treasure made me determined to host another treasure hunt soon.
Kathryn loved the idea and immediately said if I wanted a business partner she would be prepared to invest. I think that was all I needed to hear and in December 2008 we launched our website and officially began trading.”
Kathryn’s background includes marketing and web development and Jill’s is in product development so between us we have the skills and knowledge in the areas important for our business and we get along together very well too! We pretty much do our work at weekends, in the evenings and when our babies are asleep, so it’s hard work but worth it to be able to stay at home with them. Luckily we both have very supportive families so when urgent things crop up with either work or home life we can usually handle things between us and we can cover each others’ responsibilities when we need to.
Being in a tough financial climate at the moment is not the ideal launch time for a new business but we feel we our treasure hunt party kits provide an affordable alternative for children’s parties that can be held at home with little effort and maximum reward – bringing family values and old style party games back into fashion with a contemporary twist.