Life changed two years ago when our son, Archie was born. Myself and my husband Sat were suddenly thrown into the roller-coaster ride of being a new parent!! Part of this new, crazy journey was the induction into the ‘Nearly New Sales’ frequented by many parents in the hope of finding bargains that you are specifically either looking for or something you never knew you needed until that moment it was being sold at a knock down price!!! At the time, these sales were quite sporadic locally but I decided to bite the bullet & go to one with my best friend Karen. What an experience……the sale was in a small venue, lots of ladies with buggies and around 20 stalls. Getting to the stalls was a nightmare in order to view the items but after the tenth walk round, crowds started to die down so I could finally get to look at the items. Naively I thought this experience was a one off but after a few sales becoming it was apparent that ‘space’ was lacking in some sales which was very stressful & frustrating.
I was really excited (sad, I know!!) when I went to a nearly new sale in Gravesend because the venue was larger, softplay for the kids and just more open so didn’t feel claustrophobic walking round. However, at times we were still having “buggy standoffs” especially during the initial rush when doors opened! Constantly apologising and wrecking the front of people’s stalls with buggy wheels, bags or little hands trying to grab their 20th Peppa Pig toy in a row was just normal.
I then began to notice there was hardly any sales being held in Dartford. Definitely a gap in the market for my local area I thought. So, after nearly two years experience as a buyer I decided to start up the ‘Bumps, Bubba’s and Beyond Children’s Market”. I wanted a central Dartford venue with good parking & connections to the local community. I approached Dartford FC and they loved my idea. Before I knew it, my first “Bumps, Bubba’s and Beyond Children’s Market” was held on Sunday April 10th. We’d 23 stalls with the majority being nearly new sellers and had over 80 buyers visit the event. Feedback was positive and primarily about how buyers loved the large space and being able to move around freely especially those with double buggies.
I was so excited and proud of myself for such a successful first sale that I booked the second event for Sunday 31st July, 1-4pm at Dartford FC. Again, the response has been amazing and are currently booking up stalls. We will also have Peppa Pig and one of her minion friends joining us.
At this point, I sat down and thought about what I wanted to do in relation to future events. Where was I wanting to go with this business venture? This probably sounds crazy but I just enjoy hosting the events and I’d like to put something back into our community and help others. Therefore, I decided that all future events will have a nominated charity or local support group to which all the proceeds from stall bookings and entrance fee’s will be donated to. So, I announced my news via the Facebook Group page and was so happy with all the positive comments.
Our event on Sunday 31st July will be donated to Microtia UK. This charity is very close to my heart as Archie has Microtia Atresia. Minutes after he was born we found out he’d microtia and didn’t have any idea what it was. He was born with a normal functioning left ear but his right ear is a lot smaller with no ear canal so he is deaf on the right side. Archie wears a ‘Bone Anchored Hearing Aid’ (BAHA) on a soft band which he wears like a headband. The BAHA transmits sound directly to the cochlear so he can hear on the right side. This will be worn until he has surgery around 4-5yrs old to attach the BAHA directly to his skull.
Microtia UK help support parents like us to understand about the complexities of Microtia and in turn help us to support our children through their life. Although Microtia UK do not have a local support group, I’ve met several local families through the charities events and Facebook group. They hold Microtia ‘mingles’ throughout the UK for us all to get together, meet surgeons, specialists and others who have microtia or family & friends who support those with Microtia. It’s an amazing charity and I don’t know where we’d be without them.
Looking forward, our event on 20th November 2016 will be a Childrens Christmas Market. We will be donating to The Willow Ward at Darenth Valley Hospital. Dr Who fans watch this space for a very special announcement!!
Our first event of 2017 on Sunday 26th February will be donating to ‘Mummies on the Mend’ which is a small local support group for mothers suffering from Post Natal Depression.
Our event on Sunday 28th May 2017 will be donating to Little Buds at Darenth Valley Hospital.
We then also have events on 27th August and 26th November 2017 and will announce the charities / local groups we’ll be donating to over the next few months.
Everyone is welcome at our events, mums, dade, grandparents, expectant parents & grandparents!! We also have stalls ranging from pregnancy then from birth up to around 10yrs old. Something for everyone.
Feel free to join the Facebook group “Bumps, Bubba’s and Beyond Children’s Market” to keep up-to-date with all news of upcoming sales. Also, if you’d like to get involved with any events get in touch via the Facebook or email ‘BumpsBubbasBeyond@hotmail.com’.
We all know babies are expensive, parenthood can be overwhelming and sometimes we all need some help and advice. Let’s get together and help others in our local community. My aim at these events are to bring us all together, grab a few bargains and also raise money for great causes. Afterall, you never know as one day you or someone close may need the help of these charities or support groups.