My name is Louise, I am a mother of two little girls, Layla-Rose and Ruby. I have been living in Lowestoft for 3 years. When I moved to Suffolk, I found myself as an unemployed single mum. I ended up in situations of financial difficulty and had to rely on great value preloved clothing for my children. I struggled to find employment that would work around my children. With the fantastic support from the job centre, I was able to put knowledge and experience together to create ‘Way Up High’.
After completing a Fashion degree in 2000, I embarked on a 17-year career in retail visual merchandising. I spent many years working on Oxford Street in London before moving up to Scotland to live. Alongside my career I volunteered as a workshop artist with children who have additional needs. I also had the opportunity to work with children from Barnardo's and the Women’s Refuge.
I fell pregnant with my first daughter and after giving birth to her, I decided to study to become a personal trainer to support pregnant and postnatal women. I hired local community rooms to teach my postnatal classes. These spaces were funded by charities shops selling pre-loved children’s clothes. This inspired me. I saw first-hand how these non-profit organisations can save local families money, by offering low cost preloved baby and children’s items.
I recognised the merit in having a specialist service for the recycling of children’s toys, clothing & equipment. I thought it would be great to create a destination, a community shop for the public. As well as help families in need with free care packages of clothing and other items.
Sometimes life take us in an unexpected direction that may lead to difficulties, the families that are referred may need long term or just temporary support from us. It is such a rewarding position to be in, knowing our organisation can help.