Mum’s search for baby clothes sees birth of Marabella’s Boutique

NEW VENTURE Melanie Smith and daughter Lizanne Mcleod, owners of Marabella's Boutique in Port Solent
NEW VENTURE Melanie Smith and daughter Lizanne Mcleod, owners of Marabella's Boutique in Port Solent
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Lizanne Mcleod’s difficulty finding affordable and stylish clothes for one-year-old Hallie became a thing of the past after she decided to open her own children’s clothes shop.

Formerly a hairdresser, Lizanne suggested the idea of opening their own store to her mum Melanie Smith.

Seven weeks after finding the perfect property at The Trading Post in Port Solent, the mother and daughter duo opened Marabella’s Boutique.

‘First I sourced the brands and found out that I could supply them once I had a shop. Then I started looking at shops and we found this one quickly,’ Lizanne explains.

‘I had just qualified as a hairdresser and was working as a carer. I couldn’t find any nice clothes for my daughter at a reasonable price.

‘Everything that I found was expensive. I couldn’t justify spending a lot of money on something she will grow out of quickly.

‘We did well setting the shop up so quickly.’

Despite only opening in May, the business is already receiving orders from abroad, including China, Australia, America and Ireland.

‘It has gone well. It has been busy,’ added Melanie.

‘We have got exclusivity on some of the brands so we are one of the only places these items can be purchased locally.

‘I thought that I would give it a year and move on but I had to eat my words within the first week.’

Over the recent months, the pair has built up its profile on Facebook. There are now more than 6,000 people who ‘like’ the page.

‘We are getting busier and busier,’ Lizanne says.

‘We just have more and more people interested in us.

‘Last week we only had two customers that walked in from the street.

‘The rest have found out about us online at Facebook.

‘Considering we have never done this before – I have never owned a business – we have been moving really quickly.’

The pair employ two members of staff and is hoping to expand in the future.

‘We want to expand online and will have a website launched in January,’ says Lizanne.

‘We want to open another shop in a different area and I would like my own brand so I can design the clothes myself.

‘We already have a line of Marabella shoes for children.

‘There have been a lot of tears and tantrums and having my own business has been a shock to the system but we are looking to get bigger.’

To see Marabella’s stock and have a chance of winning £250 in the firm’s online competition to get 10,000 ‘likes’, visit facebook.com/marabellas.boutique.