A mum of eight is battling back from tragedy by setting up a shop selling tutus and Teddies, writes Simone O’Kane

FINALLY after a tough upbringing and the tragedy of losing her baby to cot death, one East Lancashire mum can concentrate on achieving her dream.

Mum-of-eight Amanda Logan has recently opened her own shop after being given the opportunity by staff at The Mall in Blackburn.

Amanda who sells tutus and Teddy bears for children, says she has finally fulfilled her lifelong ambition and plans to grow the business, and to continue putting smiles on faces.

In 2000, the 40-year-old lost her son, Lewis, when he was just five months old so now Amanda makes memory bears especially for families who have lost a child.

“I was just 16 years old when I had my first child and I have always suffered from the grief. Lewis was 23lb when he was born, looking back, he wasn’t well and was a complete tragedy that nobody should ever have to go through,” says Amanda who studied dress- making at Blackburn College.

With her children Stacey, 23, Paula, 22, Shelley, 19, Dina, 17, Bradley, 15, Joshua, 14, Amy, 12, Amanda’s life is hectic, as she also cares for her two grandchildren Lacie and Marley.

“It’s hard when I am making the Teddies and more often than not I ball my eyes out. When families come to me, I can relate to them. I know it all too well and they like the fact that they can give their child a Teddy rather than a floral tribute. I found that when I was looking for flowers for Lewis it wasn’t a welcoming experience,” Amanda says.

But the creative dressmaker admits that without her husband Garry, who she lives with in Feniscowles, her business dream wouldn’t be possible.

“I am not saying it’s easy juggling family life but my husband is supportive. It’s hard but worth it. I didn’t want to be nothing for the rest of my life or just a mum. I am so happy to be in this position. My children are all very proud of me. I have always been a stay at home mum, so I went into this with no confidence but now the business is booming,” says Amanda.

Despite being dyslexic and dyspraxic, and suffering from OCD, Amanda channels her energy into the business meeting the demands of her online and shop orders.

“I used to hoover up eight times a day but now it’s under control and I am often up till 3am finishing off the orders.

“I have had a troubled upbringing so I see this as an escapism. I had a bad childhood so all these girlie things and tutus are my child-princess time. I am probably re-living my underprivileged childhood through my business.”

But without support from The Mall, Amanda, who is in the final of the Retail Factor competition, admits she would not have been able to do this, after delivering a ‘nerve-wracking’ pitch to the bosses and winning a place in the pop-up shop.

“The pop-up shop opportunity has given me the chance and I believe in myself now.”

For Amanda the business started from a hobby.

“I made my granddaughter a tutu and posted a picture on Facebook then the orders started coming in and that’s what got me noticed. I am really happy with what I have done and it just shows that anyone can do it. Mums can have dreams even if it takes them longer than others to get them.”