Shop Local: Harpenden mum makes plea for seasonal support

Tabitha Mackness, founder of Lil' Cubs. speaks to the Herts Ad about the impact of the pandemic on her business. Picture...

Tabitha Mackness, founder of Lil' Cubs. speaks to the Herts Ad about the impact of the pandemic on her business. Picture: Lil' Cubs - Credit: Archant

The owner of a Harpenden digital clothing business says lockdown restrictions initially resulted in a massive increase in online trade, but she now fears this is reducing.

Lil’ Cubs, which specialises in colourful clothing for children aged 0-7 years, launched in 2015 with only swaddle muslins and dribble bibs.

The range has expanded over the last five years and you can now find presents for babies and children, babygrows, comfy leggings and funky T-shirts.

Founder Tabitha Mackness said she has been hugely impacted by the pandemic. During the first lockdown she saw a surge in sales but it was short-lived.

Tabitha said: “Customers couldn’t shop in store so more flocked to shopping online.

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But sadly sales have decreased hugely over the past five months. People are obviously concerned about their job security and wary of spending money on non-essential items.

“Cashflow is a constant struggle. I can just about afford two months of low sales but after that it will mean the end of my business. I have the stock which is fortunate, just need the sales now.”

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The mother-of-two said that the drop in online trade has meant that she has not been able to save for her next project which was due to launch before Christmas.

She is now hoping it will launch at Easter, if trading improves.

The Harpenden resident said she is “hopeful for a wave of lockdown babies”.

Tabitha added: “It’s important to shop local and to shop small because behind every small business is a family.

“We are real people trying to make a living. For me I have chosen to set up a business so that I can be fortunate to work from home and look after my two young children, whilst doing something that I love and supporting my family at the same time.”

Tabitha says her online business specialises in “happy clothes for happy children”.

All prints are designed by Tabitha and are gender neutral.

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