Entrepreneurial mum of two Kate McKnight aims to bring stylish and affordable babywear to Blackpool with the launch of her new business.
Before starting her new firm Baby Bay at the Mini Mall on Church Street, Kate had three jobs a day at minimum wage rates as everything from a care home worker, a cleaner to a teaching assistant.
She was pregnant with her second child, now 10 weeks old, when she was inspired to set her own baby clothing business which she did with the help of Start Up Now, the North West arm of the Government’s national £150m Start Up Loans programme.
Kate, who lives in Blackpool with her husband and two daughters, now sells baby clothes, accessories and gifts.
She will also be the only retailer in Blackpool to sell custom made Nappy Cakes, a highly popular gift item in the US and Europe, which are made up from nappies and other baby wear items to make an attractive gift.
Kate, who came to the UK from Poland nine years ago, is also aiming to cater for the local Polish community with her blend of personal service and range of products.
Kate, 33, said: “I had been buying and selling children’s clothes on eBay for a few years because I was struck by the lack of affordable, stylish clothes for babies and young children.
“When I was pregnant with my second daughter I decided to research the idea of creating my own retail brand, stocking the kind of clothes that I would like to buy for my own children and to give as gifts.
“Having already completed a business course at college in Poland I also had experience of working in many retail outlets in the UK, so felt confident I knew my market.
“I attended a number of the Get Started business courses run by Blackpool Council which led to me being introduced me to the Start up Now team who were able to give me a low interest loan and other business support.”
Kate is also aiming to set up a website for her new business and plans to employ two or three members of staff.
Paul Breen, director of Business Finance Solutions, said: “Kate is exactly the kind of person who will really benefit from the support from Start Up Now and we’re delighted that we could build on the help that she had already received from Blackpool Council.”