A MUM of four who was fed up with chaotic dinner times has created an international business out of the cards she created to get her family talking
Lisa Warner recently reached fourth place in Britain’s Top Real Role Model campaign which included Apprentice finalist Claire Young on the judging panel. More than 100 role models were nominated for the award which attracted 12,000 hits on the campaign website.
Last year the Northampton resident moved her business Fink Cards, which she set up in 2008, from Bletchley to the Homestead Centre in Potterspury just outside Towcester.
She said: “When my children were small we had chaos around the dinner table, it was awful. In my head I’d had this picture of the perfect family meal with good food, conversation and laughter. I had the opposite. So I made these question cards which was me trying to get us to talk to each other rather than argue.
“It worked and it transformed the way we talk. Now we look forward to meal time.”
The original family edition included 54 fun questions letting children find out their father’s favourite super hero, or their mother’s earliest memory.
Mrs Warner said by her daughter’s 18th birthday her children had transformed to young people able to communicate effectively and added: “I saw my children and I thought that’s what conversation is about. It has given my children the confidence to get out into the world and get stuck in.”
As a full time mum Mrs Warner had no experience with business but in 2008 she had 5,000 cards made up. Within a year she had won the O2 Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was the only UK finalist in the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award.
Since then she has created a range of products targeting difficult teenage issues, a series targeted at businesses and travel, made international distribution deals in Africa and sold around 50,000 cards.
Mrs Warner said a 2008 report produced by the now Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, backs up what she is doing. She said: “The Bercow report showed when children start school in some areas, 50 per cent can’t speak properly and it was a massive problem. The report said in come cases it was due to the demise of the family meal time and family communication.
“Family communication is where it is at and I believe in it so much and that something simple like this can have a tremendous benefit for society.”
Fink Cards is supporting the Hello Campaign, part of the 2011 national year of communication and a recommendation of the Bercow report.