A little bit about me:
I am Michelle and I am the founder of The Happy Token Company a small family run business in North East England.
I am a happily married housewife, a dedicated businesswoman and a strong mum to five children. I love to read and laugh and I don’t take myself too seriously.
Me the Mum:
With five smiley-faced, rascals in the house I know how hard parenting can be, right? Don’t get me wrong there is an abundance of pleasure, achievement and plenty of laughs. There are so many of us in our house that we can have our own parties, no-one is ever lonely and there is always sniggers and giggles.
But everyone has their struggles and challenges parents and children alike. Life with kids is a rollercoaster. It can be emotionally, mentally and physically draining but there is no off switch, no opt out and no guaranteed solutions.
I remember reading once that life with children is like using a blender with no lid on it! And I remember thinking: Yep! Thats my house right there in a nutshell.
The age range of my children gives me insight into various stages of behaviour. Each child is different and respond to very differently to life challenges and thus various parenting approaches. What I may find is a solution for one may send another over the edge and cause more problems than it solves.
I have boys and girls, some with disabilities, some with attitude all who need me to be there and parent as best I can. The thing is, I’m not perfect, I make mistakes (a lot) but through lots of study, research and experience I like to think I do a pretty good job. It’s not easy, there is no magic wand and no definitive handbook. So built on an obsessive amount of research and development and my own experiences I decided to take things into my own hands
The result was Happy Tokens..
As well as being a mum, I am a person which is something I often forget. Let me share some non-mum facts about me:
Fact 1 ...
I have a qualification in Child Psychology
Fact 2 ...
I passed both my theory and driving test in in Holland
Fact 3 ...
I sit on a Parent Panel for CAMHS
Fact 4 ...
I love to read
Me the Business Woman:
Happy Tokens were actually never intended for sale I simply fell into this business. That’s not to say I don’t love what I do. I just never really intended my results for anyone else but me and my family. I needed something to highlight the positive in my family and children. I needed something that would provide more pleasure in parenting, and something that made me a bit less shouty. Hey we can’t all be perfect right?
Some of my children presented extra challenges and already had diagnosed disorders which meant I needed something adaptable but not complex. Something that was based on a common principle but could cater for the individual.
I’m a kind of hands on person, if there is a problem don’t moan, fix it, find a solution. But there wasn’t anything out there that met my needs. Reward charts, stickers, jars, apps, you name it we tried it. But the diversity of my children meant that what was available could only help some of my children and not others. What we needed didn’t exist. There was a gap in the market.
I originally designed and developed Happy Tokens according to my own morals and standards, to encourage and instill what I thought was important in my children. I wanted them to understand responsibility, consequences, and the theory of right and wrong. I wanted them to communicate with me openly and frequently about their little lives and what was important to them.
Once the system had been perfected friends and family saw the results interest quickly snowballed. That gap in the market was real and I could provide for it. People saw Happy Token were not a fad, not ornamental and immensly flexable. They saw the idea was built on theory and children responded to the overall design amazingly.
Thus Happy Tokens was born and business was afoot…
Just to even things out here are some (fun?!) facts about my rather fabulous business:
Fact 1 ...
I share an office at home with my husband
Fact 2 ...
I can pick apples and pears on my way to the workshop
Fact 3 ...
Above my workshop is an old hayloft
Fact 4 ...
I still hand write all my postage labels
Heart and Soul
Part of Happy Tokens great sucess is my approach to Customer Service. Sure i have an unrivelled product but who I am and what I can provide is just as important. Selling products is great, designing them is better, but helping people is the best. I listen to what my customers want and figure out ways to help them. I genuinely listen to their challenges and help in any way I can. Its not all about the sale but its always about the parents – I was where you are now.
Because I designed Happy Tokens I am the expert in using them and getting the very best out of them. With qualifications in areas such as Child Behaviour, Child Development and all kinds of disorders I can offer suggestions that compliment Happy Tokens, advise people to avoid particular situations or simply just sympathise.
A high percentage of my customers get back in touch to report how well Happy Tokens are working and some have stayed in touch since establishing my business in 2012. I have helped a variety of people such as those with medical conditions, physical disabilities, charities, local groups, and more.
Children have been supported in and improved upon areas including anxiety, emotional regulation, sibling rivalry, developing character strengths, coping with routine, healthy eating and much much more.
So feel free to contact me if you think I could help and I will do my best.