October 2020 Willow & Nutmeg went live online. I've always loved clothes but I never thought that I'd be opening my own online clothing boutique. As a plus size woman, I've had to do most of my shopping online, as the high street, on the whole, is not very kind to larger ladies. Over the years I've found the sites that I can trust for quality and sizing but during 'Lockdown 1' I began to think that if they can source the clothes then, so can I.
Just out of curiousity, I began searching for wholesale suppliers of plus size clothing in the styles that I love. After lots of 'googling' I found several that I liked. Russell, my long suffering husband, and I began discussing the idea of me setting up my own website. That then led to lots of research about the rules and regulations etc on running an online business and the best ways to create a website. Neither of us are particularly computer minded, so thankfully there are lots of user friendly ways to create your own ecommerce site.
With a small budget, Willow & Nutmeg began. Now, some of you know the story behind the name but for those of you who don't, I'll let you into a little secret. For some reason I was determind to have a double name. Debbie's Boutique didn't hit the spot for me, so we had a family brainstorming session one evening in the kitchen. Various names were banded about but Freya - eldest daughter- suggested Willow & Nutmeg, to which we all giggled. Why you ask? Well, Willow & Nutmeg were her pet hamsters, now deceased, as a little girl. Once the giggling subsided I actually felt that the names were perfect. So there you go, now you know! Russell's publishing background was great for guiding me when designing the logo and fonts etc. And Willow & Nutmeg was born!
Once the stock arrived it was time to get it photographed and priced. Not as straight forward as you would think and, we're still learning and developing. As was to be expected, our first customers were our very supportive family and friends. So a huge thank you goes out to them. It wasn't very long at all before we got our first 'unknown' customer! It really is true that small business owners do a happy dance when an order comes in! Things continued to grow from there.