Name: Ross Padgett.

Age: 45.

What is your business called?

Dinosuit Wearable Dinosaur Kits.

Where is it based?

The beautiful little Highland town of Aberfeldy.

What does it produce, what services does it offer?

Dinosuits are wearable dinosaur construction toys that engage kids in practical learning and imaginative play. They are also kind to the planet being made from sustainable materials including FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) wood.

To whom does it sell?

The suits are perfect for children of six and above but they are also being enjoyed by adults who love them too! Soon to be in retail stores, we have been selling through our website store for several weeks.

What is its turnover?

Combining these first weeks of trading through the webstore with the initial crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter last November the turnover is £6,300.

How many employees?

At the moment it’s just little ole’ me! I have had outstanding help and guidance from Growbiz who are a local community business support group for rural businesses throughout Scotland.

When was it formed?

The toys have been in development for a few years now starting during my time as a teacher.

I left teaching in the summer of 2019 to get things going with a set of initial prototypes and some manufacturing leads in Scotland.

Why did you take the plunge?

As a teacher, one of the things I enjoyed most was making engaging educational resources for my lessons, many of which students and parents loved. I decided I wanted to bring toys with values such as sustainability as well as an educational element to a wider audience than just the schools where I taught.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

Before I started the business, I was Head of Art and Design at an International School in Kuala Lumpur and prior to that, I was teaching product design to A level in the UK. I took the plunge in 2019 and little was I to know that there would be a pandemic to add to the challenge of starting a business.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

I was saving a lot during my last few years of teaching and spending my weekends and school holidays developing the toy. I saved some expenses by creating a lot of the marketing design myself including the graphics, website, video and photography. It was the Kickstarter campaign which not only raised funding for the business but also offered a positive test for the toys on the market. Now the toys are selling really well through our website store and the business is growing.


What was your biggest break?

I put a lot of work and research into the Kickstarter campaign, which gave the business a resounding green light. It was a thrilling experience to finally be going live with the toys and learning how they will fair on the market. The toys were given the award of ‘projects we love’ on Kickstarter and highly recognised for the video creation. We raised the campaign goal of over £5,000 in only four days from the launch, which was an amazing response. The success on Kickstarter generated a lot of external interest too, including licensors wanting to link up and distributors around the world who were also keen to take on the toys in their regions.

What was your worst moment?

Undoubtedly Covid has been a setback, however, while it has slowed everything down for all of us, I have learned so much in that time which I feel I might have missed if I had charged straight into it. Also the camaraderie within the industry has been heartwarming, with everyone supporting each other to make it through the hard times. If I had taken the plunge a year earlier and committed to the business it might not have survived.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

I am thoroughly enjoying all of it to be honest.

It has been an exciting challenge to come out of the education sector and follow an entrepreneurial path. The momentum that the business is gathering is thrilling with new doors opening that I never expected. I am enjoying becoming part of the toy industry community which is highly supportive and super friendly.

What do you least enjoy?

When you are in the early stages of a business start-up and still building up experience, it can be difficult to judge realistic deadlines. I don’t enjoy the struggle of trying to get the balance right between urgency and patience.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

I have been overwhelmed with the interest in the Dinosuits since the launch in November. I have already been approached by a couple of global brands which are well known for their animation and prehistoric pedigree and we have begun work on new designs together which is incredibly exciting. Growing the business to be able to create many more lines of playful educational toys is certainly my ambition and linking up with other credible brands with aligned values through licensing.

What single thing would most help?

A team! I can’t wait to have a team around me. My strengths are certainly in the design and creative concepts and I am looking forward to having more time on this when I recruit team members who have complementary strengths in other business areas.

What could the Westminster and/or Scottish governments do that would help?

I think that we could relook at the system for the protection of original ideas, particularly for SMEs who want to protect their new creations from being copied. Investing in IP protection during the early stages of a business can involve a significant outlay.

How do you relax?

I love taking inspiration from the world around me through sketching and exploring different genres of photography. A recent practical project of mine was building an old motorcycle.