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From IT to boutique at new Reepham dress shop

PUBLISHED: 16:24 14 March 2009 | UPDATED: 15:06 07 July 2010

Lucy Mears, who has set up Layla Mays at The Little Shop at the old Reepham Station.

Lucy Mears, who has set up Layla Mays at The Little Shop at the old Reepham Station.

Being made redundant due to the credit crunch was just the push a mum of three needed to set up a new dress shop in north Norfolk.

Lucy Mears was made redundant from her IT job of eight years just before Christmas.

Being made redundant due to the credit crunch was just the push a mum of three needed to set up a new dress shop in north Norfolk.

Lucy Mears was made redundant from her IT job of eight years just before Christmas.

But instead of letting it beat her she has followed a dream and set up Layla Mays, an evening and prom dress shop with clothes for hire and to buy.

It is named after Mrs Mear's daughter Layla May and is based at the old Reepham Station in Reepham, opposite Kerry's Pine.

It is something she has always wanted to do - and in fact has run a dress hire agency from her home at Bintree before.

But having a permanent job in IT it always seemed too big a jump.

“I was made redundant before Christmas, they were making cut-backs and working part-time I was an obvious choice,” she said.

“I did some voluntary work at the high school in Reepham and looked at business ideas and found this building empty.

“I had run a business from home renting dresses. It was just a case of looking at the jobs section and saying I didn't want to do any of those jobs so what could I do a bit more interesting that would earn a bit of income.”

She has used the contacts she made during that time to help launch her new business at The Little Shop.

As well as prom and evening dresses, the shop stocks shoes by Mima Lee, a shoe designer from Melton Constable, glass jewellery by A Splash of Colour based at nearby Bawdeswell, and Swarovski jewellery made by jewellers based in Poringland, Norwich.

She also has some children's clothes and will have a range of Soil Association certified organic clothing.

Mrs Mears has three children, two boys and one girl, aged five to 16, with husband builder Ian and has lived in Norfolk more than 20 years.

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