Our story began back in 2009 when I was a stay at home mum, bringing up two boys Will and Hugo. I always wanted to be at home for the children, but at the same time had my dream of opening a shop in the village of Castle Donington where we live.
If I had a spare ten minutes (which every mum knows is scarce) I would have my head in home interiors books and magazines, which without even realising it at the time, was the start of researching and sourcing some of our beautiful products.
Pink Fizz Parties
I started holding Strawberry House Pink Fizz parties, which were a huge success - it gave Mums the chance to have a night in with the girls in their own homes over a glass of fizz, and look at some of the beautiful items that we have to offer.
In 2010 my youngest son Hugo started school in September. Just prior to that a shop premises had come up for sale in the village, and I jumped at the chance of owning a shop and taking Strawberry House onto the next chapter.
Our Shop in Castle Donington
We completely renovated the interior of the shop - previously it had been a photo studio and all the walls in the back of the shop were painted black - we even had to have a lintel fitted accross the ceiling having found that there was nothing holding up the chimney breast.
We opened the shop in November 2010. It was so exciting....but I had never even worked in a shop before - my previous career was in Insurance Broking for 16 years prior to having the boys.
However, I absolutely loved it... don't get me wrong it was hard work, as it was a constant juggle between work & homelife, and with a husband who co-owns three restaurants we had to work around each other.
Strawberry House has never looked back - the shop just gets busier and busier and we have a reputation for being a bit of a Winter Wonderland at Christmas.
Vikki and Donna
A huge part of why Strawberry House is so successful is due to Vikki and Donna who work in the shop with me.
The girls are fabulous and love working in the shop just as much as I do. We work hard together, but also laugh and drink lots of Prosecco together (probably too much).
We go buying together and bounce ideas off each other to make sure we get things right - we do most of the time but ask Vikki and Donna about the headbands and they will probably fall about laughing!!!!
Time to go Online......
So... the next chapter had to be an online shop - we were constantly being asked if and when it was going to happen. We get a lot of people who visit the village from all over the country with East Midlands Airport and Donington Park Racetrack being so close. Once someone had shopped with us for the first time, they were hooked, but were disappointed that we did not sell online.
In order to go online we needed more help, as most of my time is taken up with running the shop. So we decided to go into business with the online shop with Vikki. Vikki is married to Andrew and has a gorgeous little girl called Ruby who is 7. Again for Vikki, life can be a bit of a juggle as Andrew works all over the world, but with the help of family and friends and especially Donna who jumps in when needed, the shop runs like clockwork.
So that's the story so far... there's so much more to tell, but we will keep you updated on us and the shop. You'll find us on Facebook where we love posting pretty pictures and telling you about our day (make sure you like our page).
At Strawberry House our customers really matter to us, so don't be afraid to ring us at the shop if you ever have any queries or you just prefer that personal touch, or just want some advice. Vikki, Donna and myself will always be happy to help, but we warn you... we are a bit bonkers !!!!! :)