meHello Bizmums. I am Sam, I am the host of Newcastle-under-Lyme, I run a toy shop in the town centre and I am also a Phoenix Trader (when I have the time). I am 42 years old and have two children of my own – my son is now 18 and my daughter is nearly 4 years old. We live in Clayton just outside of the town centre and thoroughly enjoy the greenery, the park spaces and the wildlife, including Barn Owls.

My toy business started in August 2012 when we could no longer find toys and games for our daughter who was then 18 months old. We started trading on the local market, spreading to craft fairs and family fun days as the business grew. We specialise in sensor y, educational and developmental toys and have this year started working with the SEN community to ensure that we can source affordable appropriate toys for their children, whose age range is anything up to and including the mid-20s.

I thoroughly enjoy meeting people and am particularly happy when I solve a problem for them – either a unique gift or toy for the family that has everything or being able to highlight useful toys to help with specific educational needs.

The biggest challenge for us currently is to ensure the sustainability for the shop – with rents and rates so high in town centres this will be a challenge. However, part of our ongoing development is to expand our work within the special needs community in the hope that we can claim CIC status and much reduce the rates bill – I shall keep you posted.

The reason I became a member of Bizmums was quite simply to do with support and confidence building. As a long term sufferer of anxiety & depression it has been difficult for me over the years to interact with people on an appropriate level. The Bizmums groups were so welcoming and inspirational that I really felt it was somewhere I could belong, where I could share my ideas and thoughts without feeling judged. The online support and guest speakers have given me food for thought and helped me to develop as a business woman too. I can strongly recommend it!

The Newcastle-under-Lyme group is starting to grow and to shape itself into a very supportive team. We meet in Jumbo play in Newcastle 2nd Friday of every month from around 10:30 and enjoy some open networking before our showcase spot and guest speaker. The facebook group is also a great way to network and you are welcome to join us on any time.

I hope to see you at our meeting very soon.




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