New Ottery business aims to be far more than a shop

Nicci Simpson with her partner Karl and baby Oliver

Nicci Simpson with her partner Karl and baby Oliver - Credit: Katie Louise Photography

When new mum Nicci Simpson opens her new business in Ottery later this year, she will be bucking the national trend.

For while a raft of companies, including many household names, are closing their shops to focus on e-commerce, the 31-year-old is investing in bricks and mortar!

Nicci already runs a successful online store however, she has ambitious plans to create what she is determined will be ‘more than a shop’.

As well as selling baby, child items, and a range of organic products for the family, Eco Baby Box will be a place where customers can meet, socialise and take a break.

Nicci, who lives in Ottery, said that as a new parent, she recognised the specific needs of mums and dads while out shopping.

“It has been designed to be convenient, pram-friendly, with the layout allowing babies to free roam.

“We are also creating a dedicated changing area and a private space for mums to feed their children,” she explained.

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“The shop will be a hub for clubs and events ranging from nibble and natter, baby and toddler groups, storytelling, book clubs and baby yoga and massage.”

The business will be based in the former Baby Boutique shop in Broad Street which is relocating to Lyme Regis .

Eco Baby Box went into its planning phase in 2019 around the time Nicci discovered she was going to be a mum to Oliver, now 14 months, with the online side launching in January 2021.

She has previously managed an ecommerce store, been employed as a manager in two third party logistics companies as well as working as a service delivery supervisor for a waste management company.

Eco Baby Box opens its doors in Ottery on September 4

Eco Baby Box opens its doors in Ottery on September 4 - Credit: Katie Louise Photography

Nicci launched the business with her partner Karl, 35, who is a self-employed carpenter and joiner whose separate Ottery business Elite Carpentry & Joinery will be working with reclaimed materials to fit out the shop.

“We want the business to be far more than a shop,” said Nicci.

“One idea I’m really excited about involves recreating a mini version of Ottery town centre with many of its signature shops. This may be an ongoing project but something we are keen to achieve.

“For instance, creating a version of Rabbit & Co will have lots of wooden fruit and veg for children to play with.” 

Eco Baby Box opens its doors on September 4.

Nicci said: “We are an independent company supporting and working with other like-minded businesses and stocking their items, and renting shelf space to local smaller businesses.

“The shop will offer lots of variety under one roof and we are positive we can bring a sense of normality in these strange times and give people something to look forward to.”

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