Sandown mum Kate Harding has found a way to retail innovative products for babies and toddlers without going down the route of a traditional shop. Kate lives alone with her daughter in Sandown and kept meeting mums and dads and even grandparents who had invented products to help make parenting easier, more environmentally friendly, or even just more fun.
Seeing a gap in the market as there isn’t one retailer that stocks them all, she set up an on-line store to help bring the entrepreneurial brands to market. To support the website she runs from home retailmama.co.uk, she also started a pop-up shop, taking her products to high-footfall baby shows. She has ‘popped-up’ at The Baby and Toddler Show in Manchester and The Baby Show in London Olympia.
Looking closer to home she plans to pop-up on the Island at the Cheeki Monkeys Big Baby and Children’s Market in Ryde on November 2 and on November 9 at the Mum2Mum Market in Newport.
Kate said: “I’ve been in the baby industry for 6 months now. It’s a vibrant industry to work in, full of passionate people. I keep meeting mums, dads and also grandparents who’ve created products to help make parenting easier. It blows my mind there is not one retailer that stocks them all (yet) so as I only work 2 days a week at the moment freelancing, I decided to launch a little shop to do just that.”
Despite the recent disappearance of Mothercare from the island, Kate still sees an opportunity to support small businesses like hers: “I see empty shop shells saying ‘to let’ in the town centre in Newport for example, and I just daydream of creating a pop-up store inside one of them to help sell these amazing entrepreneurial brands before they make it big in major retail. I’m not aware of any initiatives where premises are let out short term for fledgling businesses like mine to try. I’m open to opportunities if there are any that exist on the Island.”