GRAPHIC DESIGNER, MUM, ANIMAL LOVER
Hello, I’m Ruth Bradford, founder, owner and creator of The Little Black and White Book Project.
Where it all began
It was 2016 and I was pregnant with my son. Like most first time parents I was reading up on all the things I could do to help his development when he arrived, and I learned about the benefits of showing him high contrast images.
We were living in Singapore at the time and my search for some black and white baby books wasn’t very fruitful. The selection was slim and the content dull. So as a graphic designer by trade, I decided I could create some of my own illustrations, encapsulating my love for nature and wildlife and wrap them up in a picture book.
After sharing with some family and friends and of course babies, the wonderful feedback spurred me on to launch the business and create a whole wild black and white world for little ones.
My mission is to inspire the next generation of animal lovers and conservationists from as early an age as possible, which is why black and white is the vehicle being so important from those first days. I believe exposing children to the amazing wildlife on our planet beyond what they see on their doorstep is the best hope of protecting it for the future.
My big dream is that owning something from The Little Black & White Book Project is a right of passage for every little new arrival to welcome them to our wonderful world.
Amazing achievements that have blown me away!
Since launching back in 2016, it's been a wild ride as well as a steep learning curve about all thing business. I have been really humbled by the amazing feedback and customer stories as well as the accolades the business has won and the adventures I have had.
Silver at Made For Mums Awards
Silver at Junior Design Awards
Small Business Saturday 100
Trip to No. 10 Downing Street to meet the PM's business advisor
Trip to the House of Lords Small Business reception
Winner Female Startup of the Year 2018 (Enterprise Nation)
Theo Paphitis #SBS winner
Along with many opportunities to do book readings, talks, be on guest panels and show and tell my business story.
It is important to me that all of our products have a use, they are not just 'things for the sake of things', we all know that babies come with enough stuff! Each of our products has a specific use in helping new born development and educating children as they go through multiple early development stages. They really do last years as they develop and grow!
I strive for eco-friendly materials such as FSC certified and recycled paper, trying to be as plastic free as possible (this is a hard task!) and use lots of environmentally thoughtful packaging. I want the business to have as small an impact on our planet and as big an impact on my customer as possible.
Unlike many other animal illustrations, my designs aim to be as true to nature as possible. Each animal is not overly stylised and would be recognisable if a child saw a photo or the animal in real life. The animals are also grouped into their rightful habitats or countries with a map, so children can understand which species co-habit.
This is really important to me as I want children to grow up learning the distinctions between habitats and geographical location of animals and be able to recognise them. This is our point of difference with many other baby brands. We are helping them to learn from day one.
People and planet can profit
From my family to yours
I hope you like the collection, the mission and our dream. I hope you enjoy the products and learning about animals from all around the world. I hope you enjoy those snuggles whilst you read together and foster an early appreciation of books. I hope you keep supporting The Little Black & White Book Project so we can do some real good in the world!