Just days after launching her own her business online, a mother-of-two from Morpeth has earned a coveted seal of approval from one of the UK's foremost female entrepreneurs.
Ann Summers and Knickerbox chief executive Jacqueline Gold is running a campaign called Women on Wednesday, or #WOW, which sees around 200 businesswomen a week tweet brief descriptions of their companies.
She then chooses three with striking potential, retweets the information to her 30,000 or so followers, and provides a Women on Wednesday ‘badge’ the businesses can use in their online material.
Despite only launching last Friday, Joanne Croot’s new venture, Retro Kids, has already caught Gold’s eye, the entrepreneur describing the concept - retro-inspired products for children - as “fab”.
“It was perfect timing and absolutely fantastic for the business,” Croot said.
“Jacqueline Gold s extremely successful and to have somebody like that say our products are ‘fab’ is just amazing,”
The business was designed to be a one-stop-shop for all things retro, the range so far including clothing for children aged up to six, accessories, gifts, toys, wall art, soft furnishings, gift wrap and greeting cards.
Croot who set it up after facing redundancy in her previous job, bought the website domain name in December and has since been researching products, contacting suppliers and bringing in a mixture of British and European brands that fit with the business’ high quality retro image.
Croot, in fact, has taken a hands-on role in everything, right down to the design for her logo to how the website would look.
“Setting up the business really brought out my creative side,” she said.
“It’s been an awful lot of work so far, but it’s also lots of fun and it’s only just begun.”
In the short term, the business will concentrate on marketing, building a strong brand and sourcing new items.
In the future, however, Retro Kids own-branded products are a possibility, as is a physical shop presence.
“It offers people in the UK access to things they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to get easily,’’ Croot said.
“Lots of the products are organic and we sell superior quality clothes. I’m very, very proud to promote all the brands in the range.”