A new retailer has opened in Selkirk.
Liberty Star Trading was born out of an idea for a school fayre in October 2012 by Caroline Penman and Leanne Main, who, having nervously attended their first Christmas fayre, discovered there was a market for affordable fashion accessories and gifts, after their stall sold out of goods.
Over the last year, they have made use of pop-up shops and events to build their business and try out new products.
In June 2013 the duo launched their own website (www.libertystartrading.com) and their Liberty Star@Home party business. Party consultant Kirsteen Cockburn, who is based in Brora, visited the business partners’ pop-up shop in June, loved their stock and said she would like to sell their products. Kirsteen now regular attends events in the north of Scotland and has her own pop-up shop in her home.
The home parties have also been held to raise money for charities or groups such as Denholm Nursey, Stirches Brownie pack, with 10 per cent of all money made on the night being donated to the group or charity. Cancer Research, MacMillan and the British Heart Foundation are just a few of the national charities Liberty Star Trading has supported over the last year.
Facebook has also played a big part in their business success.
Every Sunday night there is an auction and new stock is also posted regularly. The duo now have more than 2,500 Facebook followers and have sent orders as far as Australia and New Zealand, making their business a global concern. Cornhill Village Shop & Coffee Shop, The Whole Lot, Melrose, The Olive Tree, Newcastleton, and Heart of Hawick Visitor Centre also stock a good range of Liberty Star trading products and have build up a loyal customer base.
The women have now opened a shop at Market Place, Selkirk, on a two-month trial basis and they hope that this will be become their permanent home. During 2014 they hope to continue to grow their business with the appointment of other home party consultants and they are excited about the new products they are developing and finding all the time.
Caroline Penman told us: “If someone had said to us 16 months ago we would be doing this, we would never have believed them. We are not saying it has been easy, there have been a few tears and stresses, but we both love it and the people we have met since we started have made it worth it – we wouldn’t change a thing. I would encourage anyone who has an idea to get out make use of the pop-up shops and test your idea.”