Lesley Gofton, from Wymering, decided after years of saving to take the plunge and open her own business, L&V Baby Attire.
Lesley, 62, who is married with five children and has 12 grandchildren, has put her life experience to good use and has curated a wide range of different attire that covers all ages from newborn up to 14 years.
Despite officially opening in September, L&V Baby Attire had to close for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, however Lesley said she’s been delighted to be back in business and see her business idea flourish.
Vinnie Gofton with mother Lesley Gofton, from L&V Baby, with Isabelle Ward from Autism Hampshire. Picture: Mike Cooter (240621)
Since reopening again on April 12, Lesley’s shop has proved popular and she said it’s down to making sure the clothes are of the highest quality, but with the lowest possible prices.
Lesley said that without the help from her family, and landlord Mark Smith, from Kingfisher Properties, opening a shop and running a business wouldn’t have been possible.
Lesley said: ‘When I first opened in September business was brilliant, but obviously unfortunately I opened just before another lockdown, so I was out of business for four months but there has always been a lot of interest.
Lesley Gofton in front of her shop in Leigh Park. Picture: Mike Cooter (240621)
‘Then I came back and opened my shop again this year, and it’s been brilliant ever since.
‘I don’t originally come from Leigh Park, but it’s very community minded here, and the parents of the children are absolutely lovely.
‘Even though I haven’t been here long I have lots of regular customers that come here time and time again, and I’ve been able to meet their children - it’s been amazing.’
Lesley said she is also proud to be giving something back to the local community, and for every £20 spent in Lesley’s shop, £2 will be donated to Autism Hampshire, a charity that supports people on the autism spectrum and their families in the county.
Lesley Gofton behind the counter of her shop L&V Baby, Children's and Dancewear. Picture: Mike Cooter (240621)
Lesley said: ‘With children especially I think a lot of things can be put down to a child is just naughty, when actually it might be more than that.
‘So, I made sure to educate myself, and other people if I can, this is why I decided that if I was going to choose a charity for children, with being a children’s shop, to give it donate to Autism Hampshire.
‘I bought sensory toys for the shop, so when parents come in and they want to have a look around I can preoccupy the children to give parents some space to browse and have a break.
‘If I can at least help one family, then I’ve done my bit.’
She will be holding fundraising events, like raffles, throughout the rest of the year from her shop.
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