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NiRetail Spotlight

Promoting the ‘shop local’ ethic in Ealing

Liz Pilgrim opened babye in 2004 in Ealing, West London, not far from Ealing Studios, after finding a niche in stylish maternity and baby products. The online shop was launched in August 2006 and is going from strength to strength. Nursery Industry finds out why Liz is leveraging her position as a successful business woman to bring about change in the local community…

You have a strong background in marketing, how did you make the move into nursery retail?

I wanted to work after having my first baby but not in the stressful career I had before getting pregnant, I knew I wouldn’t be able to carry on doing the job I was doing as it really was a full time role, so I had to do something else that was more family friendly.


Your store was badly affected by the London riots – has it recovered? It was such a surreal, emotional and simply unbelievable experience to go through – sometimes it still feels quite raw. I was so lucky to have had such great support – family, friends, the business community, Ealing Council, residents and customers all helped. The insurance finally got sorted but it’s a very depressing situation for some of our neighbours who were under insured – I’m trying to leverage my profile to campaign for them, as its amazing how I still get people recognising me in the street. We got so much coverage; I am now seen as a permanent connection with the Riots and recently attended a reception with the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband. It seems my involvement will continue - as I’m very much in support of restorative justice I have been involved with meeting the young offenders, which of course is another distraction from doing what I should be doing, but I suppose I am intrinsically involved whether I like it or not.

Liz Pilgrim •

As an active member of the local business community, you have been involved in a number of campaigns over the years haven’t you? I have been an active Board member of the Ealing BID since its inception in 2006 – I galvanised my neighbours to do a joint rates appeal to the Valuation Office which was successful and enabled us to get a 20% reduction. I have also worked closely with our landlord to get a rent reduction – unheard of

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