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Whiteabbey indie gets set to open doors again

Babylife owner, Suzanne Jennings, has benefitted from Northern Ireland’s Go For It scheme, which mentors new business owners to develop their business plans.

Having launched her shop just a month before the first lockdown in 2020, Suzanne has largely been trading online in her first year of business. Having noticed a lack of boutique baby stores in the area, Jennings decided to launch her business following Mothercare’s demise, and was planning to offer a personalised, special experience for expectant parents, The Newsletter reports.

Babylife is the only NI retailer of Mima, and also offers Silver Cross, Cybex, Uppababy, Shnuggle and Nuna, and is adding new lines regularly to its ecommerce platform.

When planning the store, Suzanne utilised the Go For It scheme – a free of charge service across all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland, designed to provide support for entrepreneurs from a team of experienced business mentors.

Suzanne commented: “My advisor Karen Wilson was a great help – she was pulling out all the ideas that were in my head and putting them into a business plan. I had three face-to-face meetings and Go For It massively helped with market research.”

Those ideas included community events in-store, such as first aid courses and baby massage sessions, which the owners hope to implement once the store is able to reopen after lockdown.

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