We are thrilled today to spend the day with the wonderful Patrick Adom, founder of Very Puzzled. Patrick created his business after feeling frustrated by the lack of diversity on the toy market when shopping for activities he could enjoy with his daughter. He decided to take matters into his own hands and create a collection of children's activities offering both children and parents of all backgrounds the opportunity to explore and learn more about the richness of Africa and the African-Caribbean diaspora.
Here, we discover how he juggles his daughter's dance classes with designing and creating new products from his home in Kent, what he finds easier now his daughter is a little older (and what he really misses from her younger years..) and we find out how she inspires him and his brand through her own playful adventures.
I usually wake up to my phone alarm and the first thing I do is get ready for the day. My daughter is usually asleep when I get up so no entertaining needed! We eat cereal, fruit, yogurt and maybe bread or toast for breakfast. I feel most like a grown up when I have to plan our day, from what we are eating to where we are going, when we are leaving and how we are getting there. I am lucky in that I work for myself so I can be flexible with my schedule and work from home in the early mornings when my daughter is sleeping.
From 9ish until 5ish
Everything changed when I became a parent and it can sometimes be a challenge - particularly keeping my daughter entertained and still getting work done, but that has become easier as she has gotten older and is able to do more things by herself.
I typically have my daughter on weekends when she has swimming lessons on Saturday mornings and dance class on Sunday mornings. With technology though it is now possible to work anywhere and so I can still work on the business while I wait for her to finish her lessons.
I started Very Puzzled as I saw that there was a lack of diversity and representation in the children’s toy market and in society as a whole. I didn’t want to complain and I didn’t want to accept the situation so I decided that I should create something. I liked the idea of a jigsaw puzzle as it is fun and educational and lets families bond and spend quality time together.
"I feel most like a child when reading a story and being expressive, imaginative or going on an adventure."
Bedtime used to be a struggle! Now it is a little easier as my daughter is old enough to do her own bedtime routine, although I do miss reading to her. I feel most like a child when reading a story and being expressive, imaginative or going on an adventure. I like to try to get her to unwind and do some activities in the late afternoon, have dinner and then play for a little while before getting ready for bed.
She has taught me to learn through play and I often envy her and the amount of energy and confidence that she has, her curiosity and her ability to learn in a playful way and bring play and fun to everything that she does. The most mundane ordinary things become adventures! I often want to get some work done after she is asleep however I'm usually too tired. If I can manage it though I will respond to emails and do some admin.
How Do you Play?
We like to ask all our contributors some quick fire questions about how they like to play at home, here are Patrick's answers...⚡️ Inside or Outside? Inside
⚡️ Messy or Clean? Messy
⚡️ Watch or Get Involved? Get Involved
⚡️ Tidy Away or Leave Out? Leave Out
⚡️ Favourite activity? Puzzles, Connect Four, Draughts... anything screen free!
⚡️ Where Is Your Happy Place? At home with my daughter reading a story, playing role-play, dress-up, dancing or going on an adventure!