Toy firm targets Chinese market

Export markets: Sean and Kim Johnson, from Little Helper, with the FunPod that sparked the company's success.
Export markets: Sean and Kim Johnson, from Little Helper, with the FunPod that sparked the company's success.
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A COUPLE who have built a successful business out of ideas for keeping their daughter amused are targetting the massive Chinese market.

Kim and Sean Johnson set up their Dinnington-based business, Little Helper, after creating the FunPod for daughter Aimee.

The FunPod is designed to keep children safe in the kitchen whilst allowing them to help with the cooking by raising them to the same level as the work surfaces.

Since the first FunPod was made six years ago, it has won nine awards across three continents, 20,000 have been sold in eight countries and the company has started supplying high street store groups Mothercare, Boots, Kiddicare, the Early Learning Centre and Tesco as well as major independent retailers and e-tail giant Amazon.

The company has added other products to its range, including; high chairs, children’s play desks and furniture, toys, play rugs, sleepwear and bedding and is now targeting major growth in the US and China.

Managing director Sean Johnson said: “We have launched three major products this year and are working hard on a number of new products that will be introduced later this year and into 2013.

“We are currently developing our sales operation in the USA, and through partners the Little Helper brand will be formally launched across China from January 2013.”

Little Helper’s growth has been aided by advice from RiDO, Rotherham Council’s investment and development office.

Help has been provided under the South Yorkshire Sector Growth Enhancement Programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.