Mothers mean business! 

Shopping Local is a family thing


The relationship between a mother and a grown up child can only truly be understood from within.


They can go from fighting to laughing in a second, but one thing usually remains constant—and that is their unconditional love for one another. 


This Mother’s Day 14 March 2021, has focused on mother-child duos who have taken their relationship a step further with a business partnership.


After all, nobody probably knows you better than your mum - but is that the best recipe for success?

Here are four, thriving Mother and child businesses that are part of the ShopAppy family. Read on and be inspired.  

We start with our very own, home-grown, all-female family business.

Jackie Mulligan -

In 2016, after spending time as a Principal Lecturer and Director of Enterprise, Dr Jackie Mulligan, from Saltaire in Yorkshire, founded – a social enterprise which helps communities support their local shops from home. For the last five years Jackie has been helped not only by her mother, but also her daughter too and now could not imagine running her business without them.

Says Jackie: “My mum, Maureen Hague, had been retired a few years. She had previously worked as Practice Manager for a large legal department so was highly capable and quite a force to be reckoned with.  She was very active in her home village of Thornton le Beans near Northallerton and was running numerous clubs and groups - craft and chat, book donations, the village hall committee, food deliveries – you name it – she was involved! But she was still on the look-out for something else to do and took a natural interest in from the start.   

“Back in 2016 we went out together to talk to small business owners to gauge interest in the concept of ShopAppy and she immediately signed up around six businesses in a morning. I discovered she was a natural salesperson – something I’d never realised about her before!  In no time at all she was virtually running all the early signups throughout the UK. I later employed more local coordinators to work in different regions as there was so much interest and the business was growing so fast, and mum then moved on to a crucial role in planning and problem solving.  She’s absolutely brilliant at finding solutions - whether it’s in logistics, technical issues, customer relationships or sourcing information.  In fact she’s so good at sourcing info that the ShopAppy team (now around 20-strong) call her “Vera” as in the TV detective series!

“My daughter Harriet (now 12) has also been heavily involved from the start. She is passionate about the concept of supporting local shops and once even asked her maths teacher to stop talking about spending money in the “supermarket”. It should be “your local greengrocer” she told him. On one of our team outings to find out the public’s views on supporting local shops, Harriet gained over 100 signatures in an hour. With crafting skills passed down from her grandmother, she has also designed the pattern for our Easter “bunny” mascot this year, too.   It’s a real family affair!

“What’s great about having my mum, Maureen on board is that she really does know me so well and I can carry on with the creative, planning side of the business while she effectively sorts out the crucial nuts and bolts.  Harriet adds a young, refreshing pair of eyes and tons of creativity. And we all have such a laugh in the process!”


Louise Canny - Eloise Jewellery

Eloise Jewellery in Kirkcaldy is a unique and very special jewellery business born of a mother-daughter relationship which has now gone on to inspire a granddaughter too.  Three feisty ladies all learning skills from each other through the generations.

As a small girl of just eight years old, Louise Canny would help her mother Ella out with her antiques business.  They would travel the country together in the 1970s, visiting antique fairs, buying, and selling. Louise was soon buying a few tiny items with her pocket money for 50p or a £1 and then managing to clean them up and sell them on for more.  Ella would help and advise all the way.

When Louise was just 15, she left school and opened an antique shop of her own in a building in Kirkcaldy that belonged to her father.  It was going well but a devastating robbery cleaned out most of the stock and it looked like the business would have to close.  However undeterred, Louise happened to see a disused, gypsy-style mobile stall shortly afterwards and thought it might be the ideal place to display what little stock she had left – mainly antique jewellery. She managed to rent the stall, named it “The Strawberry Duck Wagon” and filled it with her products.  The stall did so fantastically well in Kirkcaldy that Louise was able to open her current shop Eloise Jewellery a few years later.  The shop is named after both women – Ella and Louise.  Says Louise: “My shop is a tribute to the wonderful mother who “taught me everything I know”.

Louise’s own daughter Poppy also became involved in Louise’s jewellery business at around eight years old and loved buying and selling with her pocket money which Louise encouraged. Poppy would arrange craft fairs at school and organise fetes with amazing goods she had sourced herself. She has now also gone into business for herself at a very early age with a highly successful online beauty business called “Soaked in Pink” while studying fashion at college, mentored by her mother all the way.

Mother Louise’s coaching and nurturing skills don’t stop with her daughter. She organises the Kirkcaldy High Street market every Friday, starting off with eight traders in 2019 she now has 30. From these market traders, there are now five new shops in the town.  Local MP Neil Hanvey has now nominated Louise for a “Community Connectors” national award for the work she has done to encourage entrepreneurship in the town.

Take a look at the beautiful jewellery Eloise offers, perfect for that special mother's day gift.


Gemma Winter and Robbie - It Started With A Stitch

Talented embroiderer and businesswoman Gemma Winter owns and runs “It started with a stitch” in Grimsby.  Both Gemma’s son and her father are involved in the business.  Step inside 9 Abbeygate to discover an exquisite and enchanting collection of independent shops – all individually run by talented craftspeople and artists who sell their own work here.  Everything is also available on so during lockdown there is no need for shoppers to visit and Gemma is a highly enthusiastic advocate of the platform. You can visit, browse, and buy at

Gemma’s son Robbie (12) likes being involved in the promotion of the business and helps to make short explanatory videos for social media - both as camera operator and star.  He’s also started to take an interest in pricing and is a whizz with the pricing gun according to mum Gemma.

Gemma says: “I think it’s important for young lads to see their mums do a day’s work outside of the home and not be running around after them all the time.  Robbie is growing up seeing and experiencing for himself that hard work equals rewards and that nothing is handed out on a plate.  Because he works with me on a regular basis he’s getting far more of an insight into the challenges and complexities of business and the world of work than most boys of his age and I think it will give him a real advantage when it comes to deciding his future career.  My dad has started to create decorative items from reclaimed wood to sell here too and it’s great to see Grandad and Grandson working together – two totally different generations learning from each other.”

Gemma has recently been named one of the top inspirational businesspeople in the UK in the F Entrepreneur 2021 #ialso list

You can shop Gemma's products here


Rachel Harvey and Austen - The Paint Box

Rachel Harvey, who runs The Paint Box in Cleethorpes has been inspired to introduce new, creative projects by her four-year old daughter, Austen, who is also the poster girl for the company.

The Paint Box is a child-centred business where laughter, mess and joy are compulsory.  It specialises in making memories through hand and footprint keepsakes.

Rachel says: “I bought the business in 2015 as an established business with a fantastic reputation. Once I became a mum, I noticed that our baby print service was becoming more and more popular. As a first-time mum wanting to capture every moment, I understood why memories were so important. This inspired me to really focus on the keepsakes and make it my specialty. I was surrounded by new mums and babies and it just felt like the natural thing to offer. I often joke that having my daughter was the best marketing strategy ever. 

“Austen is too little to help physically yet but as she gets older, I hope to take her in to work with me and one day hopefully we will work side by side.  

“Being a mum gives me an inside understanding of what my customers want. We all just want to slow down time to stop our children growing up so fast. Making memories together and capturing milestones is so important and I'm so pleased to be part of that. Children are the life blood of my business and ate highly valued as such. I just love everything they bring. 

“ShopAppy has given me an invaluable online presence. It's helped me focus a very hands-on business and adapt to new ways of working. It saves me so much time and is so easy to use. “

You can find The Paint Box at

Stay in touch