Tara Baird set up Strawberry Couch, an independent toy and sweet shop in the heart of Evesham, a small town in Worcestershire, with the support of £7,450 from Start Up Loans.
She set up the store because the location was convenient for her and she had spotted a large gap in the market. The sweet shop quickly gained regular customers, and Tara finds that parents are more willing to part with their cash when the children want toys rather than sweets! Aimed at everyone Strawberry Couch is the product of years of experience – Tara used to work in a traditional sweet shop herself but decided to go it alone for a change.
As well as offering products from large suppliers Strawberry Couch sells local items and bespoke toys from the continent, with their wooden German range being a particular favourite. Tara has aimed to set up her store like a bazaar with a large stock room upstairs providing her with the opportunity to expand, which she plans to do in the near future.
Strawberry Couch has a strong presence on social media, has appeared in local press and taken part in high street events and local fairs, and now the business has branched out further, to offer a large range of unusual gifts ranging from Steampunk skulls, collectable fairies, gothic dragons, beautiful crystals and worry stones to festival clothing, hair dyes and incense!
They also now have the ability to do personalised clothing after purchasing a heat press – this has led to them supplying personalised work wear to a number of corporate customers as well as one off original T-shirts and hoodies for general customers.
They have also been busy doing personalised art work for customers, including the very popular “Word Hearts” which is a heart made up of words and phrases that have significant importance to the customer or their recipient. Things are busy and only getting busier! They have 2 part time employees now and a lady that is helping out 1 day a week on a voluntary basis.