Anita Frost is a multi award-winning author, entrepreneur and the founder of Salford-based Green Bean Studios.
Frost launched children’s brand Green Bean Studios in 2017, with her extensive professional background in both child development and business industries.
Green Bean Studios aims to provide inspiring entertainment that empowers children to learn and develop through retail, music, TV, film and immersive events/attractions.
She shared all the lessons she has learnt…
Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?
I have three daily habits I couldn’t live without – morning walks, exercises and reflection.
What’s been your luckiest break?
Luck is a funny word. Instead, I’d say a key blessing has been knowing what my purpose in life is – creating a business that supports children and creates precious moments for them and their families.
What’s your best failure?
Trying to keep up with academic settings. This could later be explained when I found out I have severe dyslexia. Traditional educational establishments were just not a place I am designed to be in or do well in.
This kickstarted my passion for early years child development, wanting to ensure these formative years – that are essential for laying the foundations for positive physical, emotional and cognitive development – are harnessed to help children thrive throughout their lives, whatever their academic ability or learning preference.
What is the best investment you’ve ever made, either financial or time?
Volunteering and redirecting profits into sponsoring children in third-world countries. Through setting up Green Bean Studios, I have continued to volunteer in the city of Manchester for an incredible organisation called Audacious Church. There, I, along with other volunteers, run the Toddler’s department, which is aimed at children from walking to three years old.
During their two hour session, children can learn friendships, eat healthy snacks, play and listen and dance to music. All of the sensory and play time is done in a way that supports early years development, which has been especially important following the impact of the pandemic, which has resulted in some cases of speech delay and social anxiety issues. All of these aspects feed directly into the core of what I set Green Bean Studios up to do – address some of society’s most pressing issues through educating and inspiring children, developing their key skills and enabling their creativity to flourish.
As well as volunteering in my home city, I also know that societal issues aren’t just on our doorstep, and as a mixed race female who is now in a place to generate revenue and have a real impact on the lives of children, it was important to me to give back to children and families in poorer countries, and where my heritage began.
In Rwanda, Indonesia and Haiti, we sponsor and support a number of children and families where access to education, vaccinations and healthy meals is limited. This investment is priceless – it’s been incredible to be able to help these children on their journeys through education, and to empower their families to become self sufficient.
Which book would you recommend others to read and why?
Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere. It is a powerful call for women to rise up in strength and beauty.
What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
You got this! Be prepared to let go of people and habits to gain new key connections and wisdom.
Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?
My family for their incredible work ethics. I grew up surrounded by family members who worked very hard in whatever their chosen career was. For some, that was business owners, engineering and academia routes, for others, like my mum, it was healthcare. I’ll always remember walking around our local area as a child with my mum and everyone would come up to her to celebrate her work as a much loved and respected midwife. And my dad who received high praise from all his bosses throughout his career.
That really stood out and played a hugely influential role in the type of business leader and worker I am today. I also have to mention John Maxwell, who is an outstanding human in leadership. His focus on techniques and training had a major impact on the value I place on myself and those around me.
Tell us something about you that would surprise people.
I played Netball during high school and got through to the England trials. I was named Player of the Day at a regional netball tournament in the North West by Lee Stuart Sharpe, who is an English professional golfer, former professional footballer, sports television pundit and reality television personality.
How will the COVID crisis change work for the better?
Some of the UK’s greatest brands have been founded in downturns, for example, Winnie the Pooh. There is something very powerful about taking people from pain, war or turmoil to joy, and that’s what Winnie the Pooh did. When it comes to Covid, I think the same opportunity exists. For us at Green Bean Studios, I see the chance for us to be a light in some of that darkness and all the different traumas and challenges society continues to navigate since the pandemic.
What does success look like to you?
Being a blessing to someone else daily. Certainly our voluntary work fits this but also our day-to-day work at Green Bean Studios, where our core mission is to support children’s speech and language skills with early intervention, helping prepare them for formal education. We recently journeyed alongside a mother whose son was diagnosed with a speech delay.
Together we went on a reading journey to recovery using our children’s books. Yether was 2.5 years-old when he was diagnosed with a speech delay. Ehi was heartbroken to see her son struggling with his communication. When she discovered the Green Bean Collection they began their Green Bean reading adventures and within 2.5 years, Yether’s communication skills were completely transformed. Yether is now five years old and you would never guess that he had ever struggled with his speech. Ehi credits the Green Bean Collection books with enabling Yether to overcome his speech delay, helping develop his vocabulary, understanding and confidence in all aspects of communication.