On a cold winter night, there is nothing quite like pulling on your favourite cosy pyjamas.
And one Lancashire mum who knows all about the perfect pair has set about a new business venture from the comfort of her home on a family farm in Inglewhite
Just this year Lizzie Butler Billington set about selling a new range of organic fairtrade cotton children’s night and leisure wear Little Wild Fox, perfect for her own two little cubs Annie and Betsy.
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Now in high demand Lizzie is sourcing the bespoke pyjamas and designing play wear from a workshop on the family’s dairy farm Little Willows, where husband Rob also farms.
Lizzie, who was born and grew up in Inglewhite, says: “Our brand name was born when my first little girl Annie was born, she has fox red hair and is a little wild child!
“Then along came Betsy and again we were blessed with another gorgeous little girl with gorgeous red hair too - and equally as (if not a little more) wild!
“I have always had a passion for ‘proper’ pyjamas. My mother always dressed us in beautiful cotton button up pyjamas for bed and I can always remember feeling warm and safe, I really wanted to pass that on for my children but the quality was really hard to find –thus sparking the initial idea for Little Wild Fox.
“On my journey sourcing the very best pure cottons I discovered prints for the play-wear and I just had to have them
“My girls did some pretty vigorous product testing and the quality was so good I just had to share it with other mums and dads.”
Lizzie says while very busy it has been an exciting time for Little Wild Fox with products now being sold online. In between the school and nursery run and other parenting duties, Lizzie will be found devoting her time to nurturing the business, usually during the night time hours.
“We are never shut. I understand how busy parents are so I am always available to answer messages and phone calls and help with all enquiries.
“Our busiest time is from 8pm - midnight when parents are free and ready to browse and I’m cool with that.
“Life is hectic. Rob works full time on the farm, Annie at school and my youngest, Betsy, enjoys the pre school on two mornings so I have a little time to get orders wrapped and sent but most of the time it is myself, Betsy and our sausage dog, Nellie here at Little Wild Fox HQ working as a team.”
Being able to work at home with the girls was the ‘number one thing’ when Lizzie set about launching her own business but adds, “A very close second is receiving customer feedback and seeing pictures of other Little Wild Foxes wearing our clothes and pyjamas - that makes me very happy.”
As a special touch each order is sent out with a bedtime story – “I like to think its a little bit of magic from us to you.”
Lizzie, who herself attended Whitechapel Primary School, previously worked in new product development and says she only discovered her passion for textiles following Annie’s arrival.
She says: “We provide pyjamas and playwear that isn’t widely available. We think every child should dress to their personality and I think our range definitely makes that possible.
“We have girly girly styles, tom boy styles and complete unisex styles.
“Annie wears the florals and Betsy wears the sheep prints – no two children are the same and I think that’s awesome.
“Being a mum for five and a half years, knowing what comfort really means for children. You can’t learn that by textbook.”
“We don’t do ‘seasonal’ we do ‘personality’. Not what you should wear but what you want to wear.”
Moving into the new year there are ambitious plans to extend the label beyond the one to seven years age range with the addition of ‘mum and me’ wear too.
“We have much more unisex/ boys lines coming in the new year. This is really exciting for us and its a new challenge. I have little girls but I am an auntie to little boys so I have a good variety of product testers.”