A mum who opened a pram superstore just as Mothercare went into administration is celebrating a multi-million-pound turnover. Little Angels Prams has turned into a big success story for owner Kelly Carter, who used to work in a pub before starting the business.
The company started in its infancy in Ilkeston before taking its first steps in bigger premises in Radford three years ago. Growth has gone from a £100,000-a-year turnover upon launching, to a multi-million-pound business.
The business started out stocking brands such as iCandy and Silver Cross, and has since attracted many more big names, with “the best range of double prams and strollers you can buy”, said Kelly. The company also has a new warehouse in Ilkeston which is 17,000sq ft.
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Reflecting on Little Angels’ success, Kelly said: “We have 11 staff now at the shop and warehouse - and we are hiring at the moment. Many have come from leading department stores. We do things differently here and I had to retrain them all to be knowledgeable in prams and travel systems - but to not go for the hard sell and be mindful of people's budgets.
“I always keep those with the lower budgets in mind and if I wouldn't put my own kids in it, it would not go in the shop. Babies are so precious and it is important that you get the right advice on prams and travel systems.”
Kelly, who is married to Terry, 44, and mum to Owen, eight, and 11-year-old Connor, said the secret to her success is to “work really hard, know what your customers want, be unique and down-to-earth and have a good team behind you, as you are nothing without your team”.
“I wouldn't be where I am today without my amazing staff and I put my heart and soul into training them,” added the mum. "We treat everyone the same - whether they are after a £50 stroller or a high-end travel system, you will always get the same level of service from us.”
Little Angels has the only KinderCraft stand in the UK, as well as one of only five custom-built Silver Cross stands and is in the top five shops nationally for sales on Silver Cross items.
The 34-year-old has lined up a number of celebratory deals as the firm marks three years since receiving the keys for the 5,000 sq ft store, in Prospect Road, off Radford Boulevard. The offers run until Sunday, November 27, inclusive of Black Friday, opening 10am-4pm on weekdays and Sundays and 10am-5pm on Saturdays.
The event will offer savings on many ranges of pushchairs, meaning shoppers could save up to £350 on some standard priced travel systems in-store. Representatives from leading suppliers will also be on hand to give advice, with goodie bags and refreshments to celebrate.
Kelly opened her first store in Bath Street, Ilkeston, eight years ago, after she was pregnant with Owen and couldn’t find a pushchair nor the advice she needed from the big stores she’d visited. Following the success of the Nottingham showroom, the Ilkeston shop closed in July 2020.