Sunderland-based Nicol Lamb had always dreamt of opening her own baby boutique and did just that in December 2018 when she launched The Little Lambs Boutique in the city.
Now, with a successful first year in business under her belt we catch up with her to see how life is as a young entrepreneur.
“My first year in business has been amazing. It has been very challenging as I’d expected, but it’s so rewarding. I’ve grown so much as a person and as a business and I’m always excited for what’s to come and what I can achieve next with my work.”
With its candy pink doors and sweet interior, Little Lambs Boutique certainly caught the attention of shoppers from the very beginning. Specialising in Spanish designer wear for babies and children, as well as accessories, gifts and prams, Nicol has built up a loyal fan base with parents and little ones alike.
Nicol said: “We all know the high street is really struggling at the moment so the aim was to give people a real reason to shop locally. By providing a lovely shopping experience, unusual stock at competitive prices and a personal service, we are a genuine alternative to online shopping.”
Nicol spent two years preparing to open her baby-wear shop and sought help from the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), working with start-up business adviser Margaret Cook.
“Margaret has been there, right by my side, from the very beginning and throughout – offering guidance and support and I’m extremely grateful for that,” said Nicol.
“She walked me through each step – from researching the market and putting a business plan together to securing a loan. I honestly could not have done this without her.”
Nicol is also hugely grateful for the encouragement she’s received from her customers. She added: “We’ve had so much support from the community. I’ve met so many amazing people along the way gaining regular customers which I now think of as friends. I can honestly say it’s the best risk I’ve ever taken.”
It is 25 years since the BIC opened its doors with a mission to inspire a new dawn of enterprise and employment, providing a professional environment for entrepreneurs to start and grow their business.
Delivering a comprehensive range of support, the BIC is committed to providing services tailored to meet the individual needs of new and thriving businesses.
Every year, hundreds of people access the BIC’s fully-funded business start-up programme. Receiving advice from business experts at the very beginning of the start-up journey really does give a business the best start.
So if you, like Nicol have the passion and determination to start your own business then give us a call on 0191 516 6111.
During Covid-19 The Little Lambs Boutique is following Government guidelines and trading online only. Orders can be placed via their website here.