Saying goodbye to RagHeroes as we know it!

Hey everyone 🙂 It’s taken me a little while to write this blog post as it makes me feel a little sad! The reason I feel sad is that I have made the decision that RagHeroes won’t be continuing to make any of our wonderful RagHeroes rag dolls anymore!     In all honestly, whilst this makes me feel a little sad, I also feel a sense of relief and excitement. Whilst our rag dolls have been central to the RagHeroes business, and are the product that originally launched the business, we have learned so much and so much has changed over the past year. So I’ve had to re-assess where the business is at and the direction we should be heading in. I have had offers from people to buy the business, but I’ve turned these down as I think there is lots of potential for the future of RagHeroes and we can still do lots of positive things for children and their parents for a long time to come. So why do I feel sad?  Well, I guess I feel sad because I’m saying goodbye to what has been such a big part of my life for the last couple of years. I feel like I owe a lot to the rag dolls. Having the idea for RagHeroes was what lead me to meeting and pitching the business to Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Media Pioneers (VMP), and later becoming the North East (England) Ambassador for VMP too. I’ve met so many wonderful people and parents from around the country who have loved and bought the dolls...

Breakfast with Richard Branson

On Tuesday I was invited to meet up with Sir Richard Branson again during his trip up to my neck of the woods. He was visiting Virgin Money in Newcastle and I was invited along to have breakfast with him, as well as some of the young people from around the North East who have recently received a start up loan. I attended the breakfast meeting representing Virgin Media Pioneers and my new role with them as North East ambassador. Needless to say it was a great morning and I was able to present Sir Richard with his very own RagHero, a little Richard RagHero dressed in his very own Virgin Galactic space suit…very cute! Did you know that we are able to make company mascots and other soft toys too!? I am really looking forward to getting to know more Virgin Media Pioneers from around the North East. If you’d like to connect with me and the other pioneers then simply sign up here and come say hi! Maria x...

We are a Pitch 2012 Wild Card!

As a lot of you are probably aware we were so happy to be selected as one of The Pitch 2012 Top 80 UK Small Businesses earlier this year.  This is a yearly pitching competition in which the winner receives a £50,000 business support package! This is an amazing opportunity for RagHeroes and as a start up business it would come just at the right time to help us really take our business forward to the next level.   The pitching took place last week on the 18th & 19th October and you can imagine how delighted we were when we found out that, alongside the final 4 businesses we were chosen as a wild card, which means we are in with a chance to pitch again at the live final on November 16th in London.  One step closer to the grand prize!   However, we need as much support in the form of votes that we can possibly get to help us succeed.  Each and every single vote counts as the competition is very tough!  You can help us by voting here, you don’t have to leave an email at all and voting is free.  Voting closes on Friday 9th November so please please please help us to succeed to the next level and cast your vote now! It literally takes 5 seconds! Just click on the link and then on my name, Maria Albertsen and your done!  It really is that easy!   Thank you so much in advance for your help and continued support.  I’m very aware that RagHeroes would not be what it is today, a promising...

We are a MumsClub Top 100 Mums in Business Finalist!

A few days ago I got an email which had some fabulous news it in.  We are delighted to tell everyone that we won enough votes from our wonderful supporters and have been chosen as one of the Top 100 Mums in Business!  What an amazing achievement! For anyone who knows me, you’ll know that I am very keen on supporting mums in general but also mums in business.  I’m a strong believer in that any women has the capability to run a business from home, allowing her to be a stay at home mum also, especially with the right support and people around them….and MumsClub does just this! I was also delighted to see that some of the lovely women i work quite closely with are on the list too.  Let me introduce you to; Helen, who founded Kiddy Charts, a range of reward charts which can also be personalised, helping to tackle many behavioural issues. Lyn, founder of Wightbuzz, helping local businesses to grow on the Isle of Wight. Lindsey, founder of Belle Bambini UK, providing a wonderful range of designer and unusual children’s clothing. and Emma, also known as ‘The Real Supermum‘, for her very open and honest blog about living and dealing with a mental illness and striving to help others do the same. There are also so many other wonderful women in the Top 100, another 95 of them in fact! 😉 lol  who you can see here, and if you are interested you can take a peek at my personal profile here. The next stage is the MumsClub National Awards Ceremony which I...

Why it is so important to me for my own boys to play with dolls…

I don’t really talk much about my past or upbringing online as I usually like to stick to business but I guess the truth is there is no way of getting away from this one as my past kind of reflects exactly why I decided to make a go of RagHeroes. For those of you who don’t know, I grew up and spent nearly all of my life living in Sunderland, in the North East, before moving to Whitley Bay, still in the North East, around 5 years ago. I only moved as my husband is from Newcastle and refused point blank to come to Sunderland!lol For those of you who don’t know much about Sunderland, it is a very working class place with a history rooted in mining and ship building. The men up here, as lovely as they are, in my opinion are not very good at showing their feelings and think it makes them look ‘soft’ to do so. Of course, this is not all men but true for most that I personally know. Before becoming self-employed I spent over 15 years working as a counsellor and youth worker in various locations around the North East. One of the main issues we came across when working with young men was their inability to process their feelings and this was then projected as anger, which was often due to sheer frustration as they didn’t know how to show people how they felt. Myself, and many of my colleagues spent hours of time working with young men, showing them how to challenge this and how to articulate what...

The Baby Show – Manchester 2012

August was a very exciting month for us, not only did we launch RagHeroes but we got the opportunity to go the The Baby Show in Manchester, supported by Mumsclub enterprise zone. As we are a very new business it was such a rush to get everything finalised and enough dolls made to take along to the show but it was so worth it! We got so much positive feedback from the thousands of visitors who attended the show and even managed to sell some dolls too 😉 The ‘I’m a Superhero’ doll was a particluar favourite with the Mums whilst the Dads preferred the ‘Super Manc’ dolls.   The dolls got themselves everywhere…. We got to meet so many new people and even had some of our social media followers call in to say hi! On the day we held a competition to win a FREE rag doll for baby show visitors which was very popular.  We are just sorting out the entrants now and will draw the winner at the end of the week. A big thanks to MumsClub, The Baby Show and all our visitors for ensuring we had a great time! Maria...