THE Little Memory Shop has not even been in business a year and owner Kim Carvell is already taking orders from all over the country.
What started out as a wish to make something practical out of her daughter’s outgrown baby clothes soon turned into a full time job.
The Chapelford mum-of-two makes blankets and cushions using children’s clothes that no longer fit but parents don’t want to part with.
Here, in our latest Trader of the Week feature, Kim tells us how emotional it can be when families see the finished products for the first time and how her latest TikTok video went viral.
Keepsake blankets are 90cm x 120cm
What’s the name of the business?
The Little Memory Shop
What’s the address?
I run the business from my home in Chapelford
When did you open the business?
Are you local to the area? Did you grow up here?
I grew up in Irlam before moving to Chapelford in 2019. We love it here.
Tell me a bit about your business
The Little Memory Shop offers the solution to a problem that I, and other people had, when they were first-time mums. What do you do with those outgrown baby clothes you just can’t bear to part with and always end up in a bag in the loft or the back of the wardrobe? At The Little Memory Shop, I make them into beautiful keepsakes that can be displayed and treasured forever together with the memories they hold.
The keepsake blankets are made from clothes that babies have outgrown
What do you do? What services do you provide?
I make keepsake cushions and blankets of different sizes and offer personalisation. I make in memoriam items as well, so it’s the same concept except the items are made from clothes of loved ones who are sadly no longer with us.
Why did you decide to open your own business?
I had my first baby girl in 2015 and saw the keepsake blankets and cushions in a few places. I couldn’t choose which one I liked best - either I didn’t like the material they used or the edges on the front, it didn’t look snuggly enough, the lines weren’t straight, they looked too small or the price was just too high. I was also looking for the personal touch because I wasn’t going to send someone my sentimental items if they weren’t going to treat them as if they were their own. So, I dusted off my sewing machine, ordered some materials and set to work making one myself. It wasn’t perfect but I loved it and it was everything I wanted it to be. After I had my second baby girl in 2019, I knew I had to do the same with her clothes so I set to work for the second time. As soon as I sat down again at that sewing machine I knew I wanted to create these beautiful keepsakes for everyone. I made a few changes to the process and it turned out even more perfect than I could have imagine. I created keepsakes for family and friends and used them in my portfolio so I could launch my business locally and further afield. I am now receiving regular orders from across the UK from happy customers.
What’s your business background?
I’ve spent 14 years working in administration roles but I’d always hoped to have a business of my own.
Why this type of business?
There is no better feeling than handing over a finished blanket to a customer. Giving a memorial cushion to a family can be emotional. I’ve had people in tears on my doorstep when they see what I’ve created from their loved one’s clothes.
The perfect keepsake
What makes your business different to others in the same area/field? What sets your business apart from your competitors?
The Little Memory Shop offers a premium service and I think my customers deserve only the best. I always go the extra mile to make this happen and use only premium materials and high quality fabrics as well as super thick padding for extra snuggliness. The blankets I make bigger than those made by other companies – 90cm x 120cm – and I treat every order as if it were for my own children.
Why do loyal customers return to your business?
Customers love the friendly service and local proximity of the business and say the products are good value for money. Even as a new business, I already have lots of returning customers who have placed several orders or recommended friends.
What’s next? What do the next few months hold for you and your business?
I’m excited to see what the future holds. I’ve just launched my new website and I’ve been so grateful to have my most recent tiktok video go ‘viral’!
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