Blimey – another year gone and plenty more grey hairs and (a few more) wrinkles for me!

2018 was an exciting and very happy year for me – both shop wise and personally.

March marked a new arrival of a new “baby” in our house – a new four- legged friend and companion for me and her name is Sample.  A silly name for a dog perhaps, but she is a mini dachshund, and it suits her as she is still very small and only grows longer.  She has a huge ego however and is very bossy.

Our elder daughter got married in June and we all had the best wedding ever (held here on the farm) on a glorious hot and sunny Saturday.  Bumpstart was closed for the day so that we could all celebrate with her.    We have gained a fabulous son in law and Farmer Bumpstart has now got someone male (in our predominantly female household) that he can watch sport with on telly all day (and also someone to drink beer with), so a win win situation for him …….

We said a sad goodbye to Charlotte in August when she went off to start her “proper” job – (she had been our “Saturday Girl” for nearly three years) but welcomed Leah to the team as her replacement.  Now Leah really is a Bumpstart baby – her mother is Janette, whom has been keeping us all (or trying to keep us all) in order for over 20 years.  Leah has been well taught by her mother (and the rest of us) and her knowledge now of what we sell is amazing.

Bumpstart also won a prestigious award in November 2018 – the Progressive Pre School Award for Best Independent Nursery Retailer.  Janette and Sue attended the awards lunch and ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel in London, and were completely surprised when our name was read out as the award winner.  I was on my way back home from holiday when I got a phone call from Sue, but all I could hear was screaming.  It truly was a fantastic and very welcome surprise and we are so grateful to the supplier who nominated us (sadly we are not allowed to know who it was) and the judging panel.

So here we are in 2019 and we are about to celebrate our 26th Birthday! (I don’t think I would have believed that I would still be selling baby stuff 26 years on, when I started the shop all those years ago).  I have therefore decided to take a step off the shop floor for the moment, and leave it to my lovely, hardworking, and hugely knowledgeable team.  I will still be involved with Bumpstart, but just in the background, doing all the boring bits (and the more enjoyable social media bits too).  No doubt I will be brought back into the shop to cover holidays and sick leave, but we also welcome a new member of the team, Lisa, who joined us at the beginning of the month and who is already proving to be a great asset to us. 

So – a new year and some new faces for Bumpstart.  I think 2019 might be a challenging one for independent retailers, but we have no plans to be complacent and we are working very hard to source new products, to negotiate deals with our suppliers, to broaden our product knowledge and to remain competitive and a bit different.

Thank you for all your support and keep spreading the word about Bumpstart Baby Shop, the official “Best Independent Nursery Retailer 2018”.