Mum2mum market founder Cath Harrop will be appearing on BBC Dragons' Den tonight pitching for investment in her second hand baby and childrens' market business.
Cath started the business from scratch in Sept 2011 whilst on maternity leave from her job as a doctor. She had 2 children under 2 at the time so Cath worked late into the night setting up the website and getting to grips with the marketing.
' I had always bought and sold secondhand' Cath says. 'When I was a child I was dragged around car boot sales and jumble sales. When I had my own children I bought and sold on ebay, Facebook and classified ads but got fed up with the hassle and expense. The final straw was buying a sling on ebay and finding a cigarette burn in the strap! I knew there must be a better way and mum2mum market was born!'
Since then the business has grown at a rapid rate through franchising. 'Starting the business from scratch- getting to grips with the technical aspects of the website, search engine optimisation and clever marketing gizmos was incredibly tough. I used to be a doctor so I had never done anything like this before but it led me to understand why more mums in my position don't start their own business.It is just too hard to learn all these new skills at the same time as looking after young children.'
Cath started helping other mums set up mum2mum markets in their home towns as franchised markets. ' The franchises are part time flexible business opportunities for mums to start their own business, be their own boss and contribute to the family finances without the need for childcare. No events or marketing experience is necessary- all support and training is given and all the technical website and marketing stuff is taken care of. We even supply sales emails and press releases in template format to make the process of launching the business as easy as possible.'
The company currently has 45 franchises operating in over 100 locations across the UK