Ever since she was a young girl, Batsheva Blackston had dreamed of running her own business, but it was not until she moved from London to Manchester with her husband Ben, and gave birth to her son, that she began to make this dream a reality.
As a new mother, she was keen to find something that would fit around her family. Having always had a passion for shoes, she started researching designs online for baby shoes and began adding her own details to them, which led to her creating her business, ‘Littlebudds’, selling handmade shoes and booties.
Littlebudds products are all personally hand crocheted by Batsheva herself, and come in a range of cute designs. She currently has styles including ‘baby loafers’ and ‘baby Ugg-style boots’, and is able to tailor make the products to match particular outfits or colours. The designs are fashionable, comfortable and keep baby’s feet snug and warm.
The shoes are what she describes as ‘crib shoes’ and are suitable for babies from 0 to 12 months, depending on the design. All the materials and fabrics used have been washed and tested prior to use. Depending on the style of the shoe, the material she uses include 100% pure cotton, soft acrylic and even organic bamboo thread, all of which are suitable for young babies’ skin. She also uses wool for some designs but always recommends that babies with sensitive skin wear these with cotton socks. All of her products are completely washable, and she suggests that they are cold-washed and air-dried to avoid damage or shrinkage.
Since launching in February of this year, she has had a really positive response from people, and has been overwhelmed by the lovely comments and feedback she has received from customers and friends. The prices for products start from £18 plus delivery, and can be bought directly from her website. Alternatively, they can be purchased through Etsy, an online craft e-shop. The products can be delivered throughout the UK within 10 working days. Each pair comes beautifully gift wrapped in a branded Littlebudds box and can be delivered to anywhere in the UK within two working days of completion. As she explains, “In my family, the gifts that were the most special were the ones where time and effort had gone into making them. I wanted to create beautifully-packaged, thoughtful gifts that will give a big fuzzy glow of warm happiness to both the giver and receiver. You can even use these long after they’ve been outgrown to decorate the nursery, as a keepsake!”
Batsheva hopes to develop her range to include more designs that are suitable for different seasons, and enjoys coming up with new styles. She explains “I want to be able to be able to create mini replicas of any styles that adults wear, which can work throughout the seasons.”
Although Batsheva did not have any experience of running a business prior to setting up Littlebudds, she has really enjoyed the chance to learn new things and she is keen to continue to learn more as the business grows. “I feel that I have learnt a lot already, even though I have only really just started. It hasn’t been easy, but it is amazing how much you can learn from YouTube!” Batsheva has also become aware of the importance of a social presence when it comes to running a business, and she has a Facebook page, where she shares latest offers, news and competitions, as well as Instagram (littlebudds.uk) and Twitter (littlebudds_uk)
As well as the range of Littlebudds products, Batsheva has also started a blog, which is also featured on her website. Readers are able to engage in many different topics and issues relevant to parents and children. She explains, “I want to create a community for other parents so that we can help each other and share stories, thoughts and experiences.”
Having completed a psychology degree at City University London whilst pregnant with her first baby, she is currently studying for her MSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy and hopes to eventually become a counsellor. She hopes that having established her business, it will be possible to continue running it whilst doing her studies and looking after her family. “Being able to work from home is amazing and allows me to the flexibility to spend quality time with my husband and son.” Batsheva feels she is part of a new wave of working mothers whom she refers to as ‘mumpreneurs’ who want to have their own business as well as have a family, and she believes that Littlebudds allows her to strike the right balance.
For anyone that might be thinking of starting their own business from home, Batsheva would encourage them to take the leap and go for it. “It may sound like a cliché, but I would say that if you have a dream, you should definitely give it a go. You need to be really determined, motivated and learn to overcome the challenges that you may face. I am really glad that I have started Littlebudds and am looking forward to where it can go.”
Batsheva would like to offer all Jewish Weekly readers a special reader’s discount. Order before Pesach to receive a 20% discount on all purchases, using the coupon code JWEEKLY20. To make an order, please contact Littlebudds via website, www.littlebudds.com, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07510 188 586. Please also like and share her Facebook page @littlebuddsUK.
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