In case you wondered why there’s not been a blog for a while, read right down to the last item, and you’ll forgive me, I’m sure.

Back to business
I wanted to share my thoughts about something that’s got me hot under the collar at the moment, and it’s not the weather!

Britain is supposedly a nation of shopkeepers.  So what’s happening to our high streets?  Shops are closing at an alarming rate, and not just independents.  Online shopping is booming, but is that really and truly how people would prefer to shop these days? 

Bumpstart is a bricks and mortar shopkeeper.  For us, that means we sell first-class baby equipment: quality goods, at reasonable prices, from a real building where customers can come in, look, touch, ask questions, receive expert advice, try things out and then make an informed decision about what to buy.  Bumpstart has a small online presence, but that’s how we plan to stay. It’s what marks us out from the rest.  We’re different because we believe absolutely that the best way to buy baby equipment for the most precious thing in your life – your baby – is to buy it from a trained professional and not from a “box-shifter”.  Would an online shop store your equipment for you, once you’ve bought it and offer payment plans to spread the cost?  I don’t think so, but at Bumpstart, we do!

Go local and independent!
Today, I’m standing up and waving the flag for all the other bricks-and-mortar independent retailers, like Bumpstart, for whom their business is their life, and their livelihoods.  Here’s what you get from them:

  • completely personal, individual, face-to-face service. Connecting with real human beings when shopping for specialist goods is something that we’re sadly getting out of the habit of doing, and it’s making shopping a dumbed-down experience.
  • precious time to ask your questions, so you can make the best choice for you, rather than buying with a hurried “click”. Products bought quickly, without much thought, can so often turn out to be expensive mistakes.
  • reassurance, good advice and a passion for the product.  I’d say that was money well spent. 


Being a new parent can occasionally be a bit lonely.  If you’re the proud owner of an iCandy, Uppababy, Silver Cross, Joolz, Venicci, Bugaboo, Egg, Oyster or any other make of pram or baby buggy, why not get out onto your local high street, get yourself and your baby some fresh air and go and meet some of your own independent retailers.  Friendly conversation is free, and you never know what else you might learn, or new acquaintances you might make!

I really hope that we all show our support for the wonderful independent shops in our local towns and villages.  They believe so much in what they offer that they are often prepared to pay high rent, business rates, UK tax, staff pensions and a host of other hidden costs in return for offering a unique shopping experience. 

So, where do I shop?  I’m lucky to live close to a variety of exceptional independent retailers, and I’m happy to recommend the following:

Padbury Meats, Main Street, Padbury MK18 2AY.  The quality of their meat, cheeses, pies and other products is superb.  Love their Padbury Swinger sausages.

Odell & Co Ltd, Ironmonger, 60 High Street, Stony Stratford MK11 1AQ.  Fabulous old- fashioned Ironmonger and lovely kitchen shop too selling all sorts of gadgets for you keen cooks out there.

Woodstock’s Artisan Bakery, 6 High Street, Stony Stratford, MK11 1AF

Beautifully Different, 4 High Street, Winslow MK18 3HF and 48 Market Place, Brackley, NN13 7DP.  Fabulous shops full of jewellery, clothes, bags, and shoes.  They operate a loyalty scheme too!

Fieldgate Flowers – based in Lathbury.  They grow all their own flowers and did the most amazing flowers and bouquets for a very special family event we held here recently….

Boycott Farm Shop, Welsh Lane, Stowe, Bucks  - fabulous café which do an amazing breakfast as well as lunch, tea and snacks.  Shop sells fabulous cakes, desserts, sausages, home-made ready meals, etc.


In other news:

Down on the Farm
Farmer Bumpstart tells me we need rain.  Harvest time is approaching and the crops will need a bit of a boost for some last-minute growing.  Rain dance, everyone!

And finally…very happy news from the inadvertent founder of Bumpstart…

Five weeks ago, our eldest daughter was married. 

For those of you who don’t know the story, Bumpstart came into being after an unfortunate incident when my car was stolen, with all my own, new baby equipment in it, and I had so many issues trying to replace it, that I ended up starting my own baby equipment business. 

And now my baby has truly flown the nest: picturesque village church, fabulous country-style flowers, bubbles, fine food and wonderful company, all topped off with stunning sunny weather.  What a weekend it was!

Until next time…

Helen x