Ever wondered what to do with that box of baby clothes you can’t bear to part with?
Well, one woman has turned those keepsakes from her children’s earliest years into a thriving business.
Amy Crook from Thornton is set to quit the day job and go full time with her cuddly mementos idea.
Amy who worked part time as a teacher has launched Freddies Teddies as her full-time business after it began as an idea on her Facebook page.
While on maternity leave the mum of two decided she wanted to do something useful with the cute baby clothes her children had grown out of and used them as material to make stuffed toys.
Now she has more than 7,300 likes and hundreds of orders from parents far and wide.
I started about three years ago on a whim. I used the baby clothes to make a teddy bear just to treasure the memories of when the children were babies
Amy now has to juggle looking after her two children of three years old and ten months with the five to seven hours of sewing it takes to create each of her creations.
She said: “I started about three years ago on a whim. I used the baby clothes to make a teddy bear just to treasure the memories of when the children were babies.
“A lot of people keep the tiny clothes in a box, stuffed in a cupboard somewhere.
“This allows them to use those clothes to make something more tangible or useful.
“I only have the Facebook site but it has done well, through word of mouth and from friends of customers seeing the teddies and blankets and wanting some of their own.
“It is very personal and I love the feedback I get from people.”
And it’s not just baby clothes, Amy has received orders from forces families who want a cuddly toy made from items of the serving fathers uniform as a connection to them when they are away serving overseas.
“I have also had orders from bereaved families. I had one order recently from a woman who had cancer and wanted some cushions made from her wedding dress for her family and another for 18 teddies from someone whose husband died from cancer.
“These are treasured memories and it is a bit worrying when you come to cut up the items of clothing.
“I have sent them out to Australia, the US and Dubai and have even had a woman in Dubai who has started a franchise of the business.
“She is a friend of a friend and came here for training from me and to make sure of the quality of what we were producing.”
Amy’s bright idea has won her an award. Her business picked up the Eco Award in this summer’s Radio Wave Culture and Lifestyle Awards. for reusing items of cothing
“I think they liked the idea of up-cycling. I was very surprised to get the award as I was up against some reputable companies, big companies, even Lytham Festival so it was a shock.
“I am so grateful to everyone who voted from me. I don’t even have a business website jsut my Facebook page.
“I suppose it tends to be younger mums who are customers and they are very social media savvy and keep in contact with their friends which has helped me.
“I did not really think it would do so well but when you are getting orders from Scotland or Bristol, that’s when you you stop and think, its amazing.”