“Exquisite oddities, divine ends, beautiful bits and precious pieces” – that’s what you’ll find at New Brighton’s family run gift shop, Lavender and Bone.

An art teacher for 20 years, Esther Brooke became increasingly frustrated with working in education and aspired for a new career path. Her husband had long worked for himself and the ‘be your own boss’ lifestyle greatly appealed to her.

However, Esther had little experience in entrepreneurship: “I had no idea where or how to start, I just had a concept of what I wanted to achieve”.

After a friend recommended contacting The Women’s Organisation, Esther began working with our Business Adviser, Claire Pedersen, who helped her to refine what was just an idea and begin to turn it into a reality: “Being answerable to Claire encouraged me to get tasks – that I would have happily avoided – done. I learnt very quickly that there’s so much more to ‘selling lovely things in a lovely shop’.”

From here, Lavender and Bone was born. Based in the coastal town New Brighton, an area which has experienced drastic development in recent years, Lavender and Bone designs, creates and sources quality, quirky and fun items that make up its ‘gift emporium’.

Conveniently located opposite New Brighton station, Lavender and Bone is the perfect one-stop shop for the more delicate things in life; jewellery, blankets, crochet, ceramics, soaps, prints and more.

Just seven months into trading, Esther was diagnosed with Young Onset of Parkinson’s Disease. In such a challenging time “Having a tight support network of family and friends was essential in enabling the business to continue”. Her son took the lead in many aspects of the business which is a huge achievement and very rewarding as he lives with mild Asperger’s himself.

Having just celebrated the first birthday at Lavender and Bone they have already been planning for the future, they have set up an ecommerce and have imminent plans for expansion. It hasn’t been an easy ride and the first year included “sweat, tears and expletives but most of all there’s been fun”.

Being her own boss is something Esther is valuing the most from being self-employed and calls herself “the best boss I’ve ever had.”

The local community has welcomed Lavender and Bone with open arms supporting what Esther is trying to achieve. Furthermore, the customers see the passion Esther has for the products she stocks, the attention to the detail and the mission behind the brand: “We won’t stock anything we don’t adore; that we wouldn’t wear or have in our own home. This makes us passionate and protective over our products and suppliers.”

Esther’s vision is what drove her to create Lavender and Bone and never give up, even when the challenge seemed daunting. When we asked Esther for a piece of advice for anyone else wanting to set up a business, she said: “Stay true to your vision/concept, there’s a reason why you did it.”

To find out more about Lavender and Bone head over to the website

If you’re thinking about starting a business, contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk to find out how we can support you.