Devon Eco Boutique (formerly Eco Baby Box) all started because of Nugget (Ollie) we found out we were expecting in September 2019... at the time I was studying full time (BA Business HRM) from home and suffering with PTSD after a traumatic event. I knew I wanted to work for myself because I could tailor the job around both family and my mental health needs as Im also diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and with Ollie on the way an Eco Baby Boutique and Organic gift shop in Devon seemed the perfect fit.
Whilst I was pregnant, and then in lockdown, I was was busy building the business plan, market research, trialling products, placing orders for the following year (scary!!) whilst juggling my final year.
Ollie was born right in the thick of the first lockdown April 2020 and a few months after, we moved to the beautiful town of Ottery St Mary In East Devon. My mums side of the family grew up here and some are still here. (and I can see why) it really felt like the perfect home for us to raise Ollie surrounded by so many woodland walks and closer to our family.
Eco Baby Box launched online in February 2021 and in June 2021 when a baby shop was closing its doors in Ottery I quite literally jumped in with both feet and had to snap up the premises. I opened the doors to Eco Baby Box September 1st 2021 no 19 Broad Street.
In September 2022 Eco Baby Box became a trademarked business and although we changed our business name to Devon Eco Boutique in October we still offer our award winning Eco Baby Box Giftboxes we just realised we needed a name that would continue to grow with us. December 2022 we have moved into a new larger premises as Devon Eco Boutique (no 11 Broad Street) just a few doors down from our old store and expanded our range further to include homewares, refillable skincare options as well as fashion and accessories for grown ups.
For me it is important to be more than just a store. I want it to be somewhere that is warm and inviting... kid friendly, a place where new parents could take a break, weigh their baby, change or nurse somewhere comfortable, a safe space someone can come if they are struggling and need a friendly voice, or just want to leave the house (we've all been there), a shop where we have the facilities to make shopping less of a chore with toddlers in toe! Less daunting (especially in the early days) or somewhere just to rest your feet if you're tired on the way home from town.
Inside we have a changing station, a rocking chair that can be used for nursing, feeding, settling baby, sitting for a chat or resting your feet anytime during our opening times. A baby weighing station that has measuring chart (we are working in partnership with Devon Public Health Nursing) We have various wall toys instore to keep little hands busy, sensory stickers and toys for babies and a colouring station for older children.
Although we can't offer professional advice we can offer personal advice if you ask and typically we can signpost you too where you need to be to get help or support.
We introduced rent a shelf to bring in a range of other talented businesses instore. Every one of the people instore are carefully selected based on their commitment to sustainability. For those who are in the beginning of their journey we've been able to work with them to reduce their waste as a business. We believe we've have found the best across Devon! and some from further afield to bring something unique to the area.
We've met some wonderful people from near and far and we look forward too welcoming you soon.
Nicci, Nugget & Karl
I wear many hats! But, by far my favourite is being a mum to a cheeky little munchkin we call Nugget (first craving)
A little about my experience: - I've previously managed an ecommerce store, worked in logistics for over 8 years including managing in two third party logistics companies, and, before I went back to University, I was a Service Delivery supervisor for a waste management company. I have a degree with honours in Business Human Resource management and due to start my masters in Sustainable Business in Sep 2023.
My happy place is definitely anywhere outdoors but I am most at home by the sea. I'm a total water baby so I'm often watching the sunrise / set by the water somewhere, wild swimming or kayaking. I've also become a massive fan of hunting for fossils & sea glass it's become a bit of an obsession haha. When I'm not doing this hopefully you'll find me either in the camper van, micro adventuring, roller skating (quads of course) or on a mountain somewhere.
Is my partner in crime, Ollie's father and a self-employed Carpenter and Joiner by trade in East Devon. Although he worked for a number of years for other people, he took the decision to go self-employed January 2020, when he established @elitecarpentry.Joinery.
Even with Elite Carpentry & Joinery taking off, he's been a very important part of this journey and is hugely involved behind the scenes. - whether this is helping to design the boxes or getting creative with photography and displays and most recently working with me too install our beautiful shop furniture which was designed and built by Karl with the prep and finish done by me. The furniture itself was made from reclaimed scaffold boards, cable drums, Barrels, birch faced ply, osb, and donated pallets from our neighbouring shop Abbots DIY
When he's not working he's busy hanging off a rock (either indoors or outdoors) cycling or tinkering
Is now 3 years old although he is in the shop less these days as he has a day out with nana once a week, auntie Tania once a week and with the childminder 3 days when he is he is the best customer service I could ask for
Reading books - He is a total book worm, playing with trains, planes, finding bugs in the garden his favourite is Spiders (eek), he still enjoys making towers but its much more involved to include lots of different shapes, items and making towers from the most unexpected things. He adores helping at home whether this be feeding our cat (Ariel) Feeding the fish, sorting, washing, doing dishes, mopping, hanging things up, hoovering or cleaning the house he just loves being involved and doing a little happy dance as he goes. Playing in his outdoor water station, helping tend to the garden, and talking to his friends through the holes in the fence (ha-ha)
Whilst he was small he was a dribble monster, he is now a toddler who plays rough, so he has definitely been the ideal tester and model to put the products through their paces. The brands we've chosen are because they are affordable, organic, soft on gentle skin, stretch to allow a growing baby /toddler the freedom to move without restrictions, wash up easily each time, easy to style, perfect for dribbly babies and able to withstand rough play.
Hi I'm Katie, wife & mum to my 3 boys, well 4 if you include the husband!
I've spent all my life here in Ottery and attended both the local schools which my children now attend.
I trained in childcare where I spent 13 years working in various nurseries, preschools and as a nanny.
After having my boys I worked for a large supermarket then becoming a stay at home mum for a while. I can now be found doing the school run, eating cake in various cafes or working in Devon Eco Boutique
Charitable Giving: -
In 2021 and 2022 we donated £1000 to charity both through financial donations, goods and services to support some local and national charities to help them to continue the valuable work they do.
Commitment to Sustainability / Zero Waste: -
As a business we are constantly mindful of the waste produced and try to find alternatives / ways to reduce this. We carefully choose our products and companies we work with based on their commitment to fair treatment of their staff as well as their commitment to zero waste
Number of trees planted 1174 through Ecologi. By supporting Ecologi we are supporting projects that are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Awards we have won as Devon Eco Boutique:
Global Business Awards 2023 - Winner
SME Awards 2023 - Sustainable Baby Boutique - Winner
SME Awards 2023 - Business Growth Excellence Award
Biz Bubble Awards 2022 - Top 100 Businesses
Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday 2022 - Winner
Awarded when Eco Baby Box : -
Exeter Living Awards 2022 - Retailer of the year - Winner.
SME Awards 2022 - Baby Boutique Of The Year Devon - Winner
Global Business Awards 2022 - Winner
SME Awards 2023 - Lifestyle Boutique Of the year - Winner
Active nominations Devon Eco Boutique: -
West country women's Awards - Pheonix Award
Finalist for these awards:
West country women's Awards - Pheonix Award 2023
Small Awards - Bricks & Clicks Finalist 2023
Start Up Awards - Sustainable business (Ceremony June 2023)
Biz Bubble Awards 2023- People's Choice
Biz bubble 2023 - Best biz on The High Street - Finalist (Top 4)
Exeter Living Awards 2023 - New Business - Finalist (Final 12)
Exeter Living Awards 2023 - Retail - Finalist (Final 12)
Muddy Stilettos 2022 - Best Sustainable Business in Devon - Finalist (top 5)
Women in Business Awards 2022 - Overcomer Award - Finalist
SME National Business Awards 2022 - Business Hero - Finalist
Mum in Business Awards 2021 - Business mum of the year - Finalist