Welcome to Abi~Lou! We are starting with a small idea, but have big ambitions…
Hi! I’m Zoë, wife to John and mum to four lively children. We live on the edge of the Peak District, in a house full of crazy. It’s rarely quite. Between us we love all sorts, from swimming to dancing, horse riding to rock climbing, walking to camping. Some of us love chips, some pie, some fruit, some chocolate, but all of us love sitting round the table, especially playing a game. Some of us love technology, some creativity, some music. John and I have hopes and dreams for each of our children; like many parents do, we watch for the signs of interest in each child and try to give them each opportunities to develop their gifts, talents and passions. Sometimes we try something new and stick with it, sometimes we find we don’t like it after all. And sometimes I have to take a massive step back and accept our children’s decisions – its hard! For the 3 boys its a journey of discovery, letting them learn and finding out who each of them is. It often includes a headache or three, but its worth it to see the young men they are turning into. For them I worry about are they making the good choices, are they being kind and good friends? Will they enjoy themselves at school and still work hard to get appropriate grades? Will they apply themselves to gain a ‘good’ job and be successful members of society? Hopefully I don’t let them see the worries of a parent, but I’m only human. With our daughter, Abigail, the worries are a little different.
Abigail is twirly, happy, smiley, she loves to dance and sing, loves glitter, jewels and anything sparkly. She enjoys making things, helping and serving others. She was born with Down’s Syndrome. It was a shock, but that is a story for a different day. We have come so far and Abigail has proved again and again that we should never make assumptions about what she can and can’t do. But as a mum I still worry, far more than I do about the boys. How will she make a place for herself in society? Will she be able to hold down a job? Will she be able to live independently? Will she drive a car (she thinks she will!), have her own home, shop and cook for herself? Will she have friends? Actually, I have very little worry on that last one, she makes friends at the drop of a hat and loves people! But still I worry. Many of these things I can do nothing about, and worrying won’t make a difference. Many of these things we will just have to wait and see. Abigail loves school and has a fabulous support system, so I’m certain that many of my worries will come to nothing. I want her to have the same opportunity for success, to be able to make a contribution to society and to have financial security, the same as I do for our boys.
So this is the reason for Abi~Lou. It’s a small starting point, we are making beautiful fabric party bags, experimenting with what Abigail loves, what she likes to make, and what she doesn’t! The idea is that by the time Abigail is ready to take over the business, in whatever capacity she is able /interested in, it will be ready for her. However, I’m not totally foolish, there is every probability that my fickle angel isn’t in the slightest bit interested! Or one of the boys may want to take it on instead. Or it was all for nothing. But I hope not, Abigail is a true people person and loves helping others. One day this could be a way for others like Abigail to earn a living while doing things they enjoy, at their level.
We’d love you to join us on this journey, watch our progress, see our triumphs and failures. Tell us what you think of our business, we’re definitely doing things in a unique order, but that’s what happens when we have ‘proper’ jobs as well!