Boo’s Toy Shop in Poundbury is ‘over the moon’ after being selected for the National Small Business UK Saturday programme.
It comes three years after owner Charlotte Polley decided to take the plunge and start up Boo’s Toy Shop, based in the Buttermarket, Poundbury.
Boo’s Shop has been chosen as one of 100 small businesses around the UK to be put in the spotlight as part of the campaign.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it when the email arrived in my inbox, I think I was a little shocked at first. It’s a great opportunity for us and I’m super proud to be selected as one of the national small business 100 2016.”
To celebrate being selected Boo’s Toy Shop will be holding a special celebration day on Tuesday 30th August.
Charlotte adds: “It’s our customers young and old that make the shop what it is today so we’re inviting our friends to come and help us celebrate. We will be working alongside lots of other great independent shops and businesses on the day and every child that visits the shop on Tuesday 30th August will get special goody bag.”
Charlotte opened Boo’s Toy Shop saw the opportunity for a traditional toyshop in Dorchester and opened her doors in 2013. The move allowed Charlotte to increase her online enterprise to a retail destination shop.
Known by her younger customers as Mrs Boo’s, Charlotte integrated herself in the community by helping local mums group, putting on fantastic annual events such as an Easter Egg hunt and Christmas grotto and now also sponsors the annual children’s tent at the Dorset Food & Arts Festival.
Proud mother of two children, Chloe and Connor, Charlotte is a hard working mum and says owning your own business is rewarding for the whole family.
Charlotte founded Boo’s Toy Shop after taking voluntary redundancy from the international team at retail chain New Look. At the time, the chain’s decision to move from Weymouth to London was a big shock for employees living in Dorset.
Charlotte adds: “It was a big move but one that I’m proud to have made and now we have a truly unique toy shop in the heart of Poundbury – which allows children to explore the toys and truly have a magical experience when they enter the store. “
Regular events such as Story Time Saturday keep young customers coming back for more every week.
“We have a really strong business network in Poundbury and Dorchester which is growing week by week and now I’m proud to be part of the Business 100 this year to shine the spotlight on the fabulous independent shops we have in Poundbury.”
Boo’s Toy Shop is one of 183 businesses based in Poundbury, alongside a substantial number of artisan shops and more than seven cafes and eateries for shoppers.
The shopkeepers pride themselves in their excellent customer service and are proud of their destination shopping experience.
In the artisan hub of the Buttermarket there are a variety of other shops, including the Buttermarket Bakery and Boo’s Toy Shop is opposite the newly opened Bramble Café, by Masterchef winner Mat Follas.
This year Charlotte plans to expand Boo’s Toy Shop by creating an apprentice opportunity in store and working with a Poundbury company to develop a new website and online experience for Boo’s customers.
This year is a big milesone for Poundbury with the unveiling of the Queen Mother Statue in Queen Mother Square this Autumn, the opening of Hall & Woodhouse’s Duchess of Cornwall Inn in October as well as the completion of the new Damers First School early next year.
Today there are more than 3,000 people living in more than 1,500 homes in Poundbury. By the time Poundbury is complete in 2025, it is expected that the population of Dorchester will have increased by a quarter – 4,500 additional residents.
Poundbury was a concept dreamt up by HRH Prince of Wales, who wanted to add an urban extension to Dorchester which would be a mixed use community with bold development concepts. Twenty three years later, the artisan, independent businesses feel they offer a unique experience to both visitors and residents of Poundbury.