Artisan market seller to take business online

AN ALTRINCHAM-based children’s boutique will venture online this week as it targets parents from across the country with its new website.

Acorn & Pip sells a range of toys and children’s products through a stall on Altrincham’s multi-award winning artisan market. New mum and entrepreneur Lucy Estherby started the business in September of last year, shortly after the birth of her daughter Eden.

Now she is set to graduate from market trader to online boutique, selling high quality artisan children’s clothes and toys.

Explaining what will differentiate her site from others, Estherby said: “I wouldn’t sell anything that I wouldn’t want in my home or for my baby. The website is going to have a clean and easy feel about it and all the products will be backed up with photos from Instagram and Twitter.

“The other thing that will set us apart is our suppliers. We have a close network of small suppliers who I can quite easily phone and chat to. They are all proud of their products and I am proud to sell them.”
Estherby started the company shortly after she went on maternity leave from a secondary school where she taught foreign languages.

“Going online was something I always wanted to do, but trading on Sundays at the market gave me a great opportunity to research my target customers and preparing for the launch of the website,” she said.
She sought government-backed funding from Startup Direct to help launch the website.

Estherby hopes that this funding will help grow the business quickly. With the financial year starting in April, she is hoping to make a bricks and mortar investment in the form of a shop within 12 months.

“We have a really strong marketing company behind us and I am hopeful that we can exceed our projections. Altrincham has stolen a piece of my heart so I would love to open a shop there, but a physical location in the North West is definitely our big target.”

The inspiration for the website name comes from a card daughter Eden received after she was born. It had an illustration of an acorn with the caption, ‘from acorns great things grow.’