Poco Nido aims to beat footwear problems

YORKSHIRE-based brand Poco Nido aims to combat footwear problems that parents regularly experience with children’s shoes.

The business is owned by Catherine Lobley, 37, a mother of two who aims to offer stylish and cost effective children’s shoes alongside a range of clothing. Mrs Lobley, from Sheffield, previously worked as a freelance shoe designer for Tesco, but finally decided to take the plunge and become her own boss.

Mrs Lobley said: “Starting my own business is something I said I was going to do for years.

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“I chose to focus on kids’ items, mainly footwear, because it seemed the easiest path because of my experience in shoe design, and problems I had with my children. I want to create footwear that isn’t restrictive and allows children to learn how to move.

“I had all sorts of problems with finding shoes. Wellington boots were cutting into my children’s legs and trainers slobbing off their feet.”

The small business started from a standing start, with Mrs Lobley only having £12,000 to invest. Poco Nido had a turnover of £80,000 for 2012/2013.

Recognising Poco Nido’s growth Mrs Lobley said: “I want to keep my products exclusive so I’m just creating more designs as demand grows.”

She added: “I’m also starting to design products for slightly older children, as at the moment I only make garments for up to the age of two.”

Poco Nido’s products can be bought at the Bird’s Yard in Sheffield and the Makers Emporium in Rotherham.

Mrs Lobley thinks the opportunities provided by these outlets are invaluable for new businesses such as hers.

She said: “The stores are brilliant as they give you wall space and a chance to get all your range out.

“As a small business I cannot afford town centre business rates, so this is the best opportunity to get my products out there.”

Despite her success Mrs Lobley finds the combination of running a business and family life very demanding.

Poco Nido has also teamed up with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. For every pair of the brand’s badger design shoes and blanket sold, the business is donating £1 towards the cause.

Mrs Lobley added: “It’s great to give something back and because of the nature theme of the shoes, this was the perfect charity to give to.”