FINDING her own wardrobe was getting rather full prompted a Lytham mum-of-two to set up a new internet sensation.
Sharon Wolter-Ferguson hadn’t quite expected her website, hardlyeverwornit.com, to take off as quickly as it did.
The self-made businesswoman, who grew up in Lytham and Greenhalgh, set up the site, the first international online portal for buying and selling pre-owned luxury items.
It will soon expand to include a section for high-end high street clothing too.
Sharon – who now lives in London – runs the site with her daughters, Natalia, 21 and Tatiana, 19, and unlike other online auction sites, they retain as much control and moderation as possible.
They check all the pictures and descriptions of all the items uploaded, asking the seller questions if they are suspicious about an item’s authenticity, or condition.
All payments have to be sent to the website, and are then held, to make sure the buyer is happy with the product, before being released to the seller.
Sharon, whose family live in Lytham and Wrea Green, said: “I had the idea when I was living in Monaco.
“I had so many things in my wardrobe I knew I would never wear again, and I needed extra space.
“There was only one shop I could go to sell things, and although the owner was very nice, she was charging 50 to 60 per cent commission.
“And I kept spotting more things I liked.
“The girls left home too, Natalia to do a foundation course, and Tatiana to go to boarding school, so I had empty nest syndrome and needed something to do.
“eBay is okay for selling and buying, but you do sort of put things on there and then hold your breath.
“So I thought of setting up a website.”
The website started to get busy, but nothing prepared Sharon for when her website got a mention on the E4 cult show Made in Chelsea, in which her daughter Natalia appeared.
“It was great exposure, and now it’s really taken off. All of a sudden it’s going crazy,” said Sharon.
“We get such lovely items through – some at the moment are from a well-known celebrity, although I can’t say who, and they are beautiful clothes – really amazing stuff!
“It gets hard to resist wanting to buy everything ourselves.”
Sharon’s site offers a VIP service for those who wish to sell and buy anonymously. Sharon likes to come back to Lancashire wherever possible.
She said: “I get homesick and miss Lancashire. It’s a different pace of life, we came back to Lytham at Christmas and it was lovely.
“The website is great, and I love doing it, but it is 24/7 and can be a lot of work sometimes.
“But I enjoy it and I think that’s the Northern attitude – you don’t do things if you don’t enjoy them.”