An Essex mum who took the plunge to give up her career during lockdown has opened her second store. 

Gemma Veale, 34, from Clacton, in Essex, decided to leave her job as a carer during the pandemic to launch Little'Uns in September 2020. 

After being inundated with orders, she has now opened a second store at Clacton Shopping Village. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Gemma Veale launched Little'Uns in September 2020. Picture: Ceidog CommunicationGemma Veale launched Little'Uns in September 2020. Picture: Ceidog Communication (Image: Warren Page, Pagepix)

It means all 22 units at the village are now occupied, as the mall continues to buck national trends, with footfall and sales rocketing. 

The mum-of-two, who was Tendring Counci's first ever Women in Business Award winner, said: "I'd been a care worker for 14 years but I'd always wanted to run my own business.

"I was very nervous about it at first, I'm not going to lie, but we built a website overnight and we were quickly inundated with orders from new mums who couldn't get out of the house.

"We ended up outgrowing our original unit and expanding from just myself to a team of seven members of staff, it's been fantastic and we've got some lovely loyal customers."

As a result of the launch, Gemma has been able to expand her stock from clothing for babies and children up to five, to selling prams, nursery equipment and furniture. 

Leanne Pfrang, operations manager for Clacton Shopping Village, said: “It’s great to announce that the Shopping Village is full with all the units here taken and very positive footfall and sales figures.

"We’re especially glad to welcome Little’Uns, another local independent store, to the Shopping Village as it continues the trend of new openings here.

“We have major retailers such as Home Bargains and JD Sports and have also seen a steady stream of local independents opening and this is very much in keeping with the retail offer of the town."