Flashback to a few weeks ago when I was having a good old clear out and came across an old memory card that I thought had been thrown away. A few days later I plugged the memory card into my laptop to see if it still worked, to my surprise it was filled with old childhood pictures and videos that we thought we had lost, never to be seen again. Amongst the Christmas videos and funny family photos were a few pictures of mums (Michaelas) first home party from 2009 - ITSY BITSY ARCHIVE. I was so excited to find these old photos that had been forgotten about. This inspired me to find all our old memories and other photos we had saved on phones and social media accounts. With our 4th birthday just around the corner I knew this would be a great opportunity to share them with everyone.
(First home party - 2009)
I was 9 years old when mum hosted her first home party. I spent many a weekend helping out on the stalls at the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton for extra pocket money. From our tiny dining table to the garage in our garden, to the boutique we know today. It makes me so proud to see how far my mum has come and everything she has achieved. I feel so lucky to be part of the itsy Bitsy journey; I've grown up with it and it's grown up with me. I sat down with mum and showed her these old photos and quizzed her on what inspired her to take a step into the unknown and start her own business.
(My personal favourite - Me & my cousin Sophie helping out at the Chinley Primary School Summer Fair)
"Back in 2008, I was a full-time working mum of 2 under 10, juggling family life and dealing with the struggle of the incomings never seeming to match the outgoings. I've always had a passion for fashion and beauty; as I was once a qualified beauty therapist and loved being around people. I decided to create my own business 'juelz jewellery' in order to help the family finances. I started doing home parties at the house and selling jewellery. This expanded to friends and family inviting me round to their homes and before long I was entertaining the ladies of the High Peak and beyond, including at craft fairs and festivals."
"As the business grew and changed, so did the name and I expanded the range and that was when itsy Bitsy was born" - people also kept calling her Julie.
"Whilst on a family holiday in Majorca, I came across a little hut on the outskirts of Cala d'Or. A family run business filled with beautiful things. I said to my husband Jon, I want to bring something like this back to the High Peak. Work commitments and finances prevented my dream for several years. In 2014, I lost my amazing brother Dean, aged 39. Totally devastated beyond belief. I feel that through the grief came determination, determination to follow my dreams and true passion."
Mum has always been at her happiest when she's buying and selling, even when she was little she would pretend that she had her own shop.
"One evening, whilst driving home from a craft fair, I passed 132 Market Street and saw that it was up for let. That was it. Things were about to change. LIFE IS SHORT I said, I knew it was time to grab life and take the risk. It was a bit of a whirlwind and before I knew it the shop was opening. My brilliant husband, Jon, is fab at DIY and helped me build my little shop. On the 28th November 2015 the Daniels family opened the doors to itsy Bitsy Boutique."
"Along the way I have been supported my some amazing people. In 2017 my daughter Elle joined me and started helping out with the website & online side of things. Since opening the boutique we have been able to host fashion shows, sip & shops and charity events which have helped raise thousands of pounds for the amazing services and charities in our community. We've grown and expanded the boutique and now hold a range of products from clothing to home interiors to our very own soap and candle ranges. In 2018 we were nominated for a buissness award based on statistics and growth and was truly amazed and thrilled to take home the winning trophy. 2019 has been the best year yet and we're planning om making 2020 even better."
Whilst we enjoy a day of celebration for the 4th birthday, we want to raise a glass to each and every one of you.
"I also raise a glass to my brother Dean who I belive is watching down on us and is part of this journey. Follow your dreams. Thankyou." - Michaela