The Ambler

Amble's Community Newspaper: News & events from Amble in Northumberland – The Kindliest Port.

Kids, career and a quirky idea

Joanne-CrootAn enterprising Morpeth woman has opened up an online shop selling quirky and retro inspired children’s clothes and accessories. Joanne Croot had worked at HMP Northumbria before taking redundancy in mid February.

“There must be an entrepreneurial streak in my family” she said listing several relatives who have started their own businesses. “I wanted be my own boss as well as have time to look after my two children. I’m very determined and focussed, but I am still trying to get the work/life balance right!”

Joanne sources all the products and designed the logo and the website, which was built by a local web designer.

“I had a clear idea of how I wanted it to be. I love retro design – my collection is a mix of British and European products. I source everything myself. I like to read blogs and I look for quirky things, things not seen before. There’s a story behind each of the brands that I stock.”

Although she had just been trading for three weeks when we talked, Joanne had seen orders and interest from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. She was tipped for success by entrepreneur Jacqueline Gold, founder of Knickerbox and Ann Summers, who saw her twitter account and gave it her #WOW (Women On Wednesday) stamp of approval.

“I launched the business on the Friday, so I tweeted that week. The same day, Jacqueline retweeted me, saying the products were fab,” said Joanne.

“I’m having fun doing it and it’s a lot of hard work, sourcing products, managing the website, packaging, legal issues, VAT – there’s been so much background work. And of course there’s the social media work too, we’re on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

I’m inspired by bold, strong colours and retro designs. Some people get confused between retro and vintage. Vintage is what you can see if you go to a second hand shop. Retro is a new product, but very design-led.

You can see Joanne’s online shop at www.retrokids.com
Anna Williams

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