A mum who organises second hand sales of baby and children’s goods secured £35,000 of investment BBC2’s Dragons’ Den last night 21st February.

Mum of three and founder of mum2mum market Cath Harrop, appeared in front of the Dragons to ask for investment to improve her company’s website in order to cope with the rapid growth the company has seen in the last 4 years.

Cath began Mum2Mum Market – a themed baby and children’s nearly new sale that allows mums to recycle their outgrown baby and children’s goods in September 2011 while on maternity leave and the business was an instant hit.    In spite of having 2 children under 2 and no outside help or investment the business expanded rapidly taking on 50 franchisees.  Cath now has a network of local mums running Mum2Mum Markets in over 100 locations across the UK.  She still holds her own sales in Wimbledon attracting up to 500 attendees at each event and managed to fit in having a third child, Mabel, who was a newborn at the time of filming and accompanied Cath on the day she pitched to the Dragons.  ‘I was extremely nervous about getting through my pitch’ Cath said.  ‘Having Mabel to look after while I was waiting to pitch was a great distraction from the mounting pressure.’

‘Appearing in front of the Dragons and having Deborah invest in mum2mum market was a huge boost to the business and my confidence in my abilities.  Having started the business from scratch it is thrilling to get recognition from someone as astute and well respected as Deborah Meaden.

I didn’t expect to get investment.  The male Dragons seemed to declare themselves out fairly quickly and they were right in the sense that Mum2mum market is never going to make anyone millions.  But for myself and our franchisees the opportunity to work flexibly around our children without the need for childcare makes a huge difference to the life of our families.’

There is a massive demand for flexible work options for women with small children but few truly flexible options. Big businesses cannot compete in terms of flexibility as there is always an element of having to be in a set place at a set time and 100% focused on work. For our mum2mum market franchisees the main day to day business is marketing the events to other mums which fits in perfectly with family life.

Mum of two Laura Bademosi runs mum2mum markets in Runnymede, Woking and Elmbridge . She said ‘As a really small local business getting national exposure on prime time television is amazing and enquiries and stall bookings have gone berserk since the show aired.  I really hope this publicity will introduce more mums to the joys of buying and selling second hand at their local mum2mum market and the huge savings which can be made.’

The next events are:

Virginia Water on 27th February at Virginia Water Community Centre, Beechmont Avenue, GU254EY at 2pm

New Haw on 20th March at New Haw Community Centre, Woodham Lane, KT153ND at 2pm

Cobham on 21st May at Cobham Village Hall, Lushington Drive, KT112LU at 10am

Stalls must be booked in advance at www.mum2mummarket.co.uk  Buyers turn up on the day- £2 admission on the door