I like to support independent businesses, especially businesses run by mums and even better, businesses that offer really valuable products and services. So I couldn’t resist posting about Luan Hall, who runs Fairies n Frogs Toyshop, not far from me in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.
Luan says “After breaking my back in a car accident at 17, I spent many months not knowing if I would spend my life in a wheelchair. This gave me time to dream and opening my own shop was one of them. With determination and strength I fought back and eventually walked again.”
Luan went on to have two children and worked as a travel agent before opening Fairies n Frogs in May 2010. She’d noticed that there was nowhere to buy quality toys and gifts locally, so she decided to open her own toy shop in Ampthill.
Two years on Luan had the chance to buy a hall at the back of her shop. The company that were using it were moving on and it was a great opportunity to expand her shop. Luan plans to turn this room into The Lilypad.
During the week The Lilypad will be a drop-in space for parents with babies and toddlers, offering baby changing, bottle warming, space to eat packed lunches and a small play corner plus hot drinks, juice and cake. At the weekend she hopes The Lilypad will become a venue for kids’ parties.
But she needs YOUR help.
If you live in the Bedfordshire area, Luan would love you to write a note, an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Facebook message of support to help The Lilypad through the planning process. And of course to go along to The Lilypad when it opens if you can.
Having only recently been released from double-buggy pushing myself, I know exactly how brilliant it is to have a spot in town where you can stop for a while with no worries about letting your toddlers loose and disturbing other people. Not all cafes are baby and toddler friendly and so many don’t have much space for buggies.
Knackered mums really do need a place to chat and get a coffee – The Lilypad is a brilliant idea and I want to spread the word.
You can find Luan, Fairies n Frogs and The Lilypad at 86A Dunstable Street, Ampthill, Beds MK45 2JP. You can join the Facebook group ‘Fairies n Frogs Toy Shop Ampthill’ or find out more at www.fairiesnfrogs.co.uk
All the best to you Luan!