‘All we needed was that little lift’ - Mums join forces to empower their businesses

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte bond

A group of mothers united by business dreams have joined forces to help each other thrive and push on through and after the coronavirus pandemic.

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte bond

Kate Howlett, 48, from Fakenham, is one of the founding members of Norfolk Business Mums, a group of women working together to sell products in the county.

Mrs Howlett, who runs Catering 4 U, saw events cancelled and postponed when the lockdown was announced. Wanting to carry on, she started selling cakes and scones online, with her biggest seller being an afternoon tea in a box.

She also had a ‘cakecart’ commissioned, described as a beach hut on wheels, the cart was outside her house on Sculthorpe Road.

She started selling products there every Friday. With the success of her sales, the 48-year-old invited Hollie Underwood and Tracey Bean to the cart in July.

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte bond


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From there, the idea to create Norfolk Business Mums was formed.

“We are a bunch of mums who turned our hand to what we do best,” Mrs Howlett said.

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“It all started with nothing, and we have grown together and helped cross-promote each other.

“All we needed was that little lift we gave to each other. To see all the women promoting and empowering each other.”

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte bond

From there the brand has grown, now involving more mums who are turning their passions into business.

From crochet, beauty products, cakes and candles, the mums put on a social distancing pop up event in August, offering the chance for people to buy quality products outside.

“It was nice to watch it grow organically through customers visiting and word of mouth,” Mrs Howlett said.

“We know people worried about going into shops. It’s nice to offer them something of high street quality at a reasonable price knowing it has been made in someone’s home during these tough times.”

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte bond

Despite the stress of the lockdown, Mrs Howlett said the mums did what they do best, get on with it.

“Lockdown was tough for us and we had to homeschool as well, that aside we threw ourselves into what we are good at and came out with some great products,” she said.

“I can’t lie, it was very stressful indeed but that’s just what us mums do. We just get on with it.”

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte bond

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sara Gunton's market stand Ellas Bowtique. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte bond

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