THERE are loads of good reasons for launching a start-up but Lou Brown’s were the most basic: “I didn’t have a job, money or a career,” she says.

A singer-songwriter with performances at Glastonbury under her belt, Lou had just given birth to premature twins and because of this and having Crohn’s disease; “No one would employ me,” decided to set up her own enterprise with £600 she borrowed from her mother.

“I had a sewing machine and started making cushions to sell,” she says. “I was fortunate enough to be picked up by Notonthehighstreet and started selling through them.” Seizing the moment she wrote a book called ‘Why My Daddy Is Brilliant’ and entered it for a Father’s Day competition. “It won!”

That was three-and-a-half years ago and now she’s not far off shifting her 28,000th unit. “It’s starred in two TV adverts and has been a major seller for me,” she says.

The flexibility this gave her allowed Lou to set up her eponymous design company, employing five staff. “We needed somewhere bigger and when the bloke who owned our studio offered us a shop in Boscombe to work out of, I leapt at the chance,” she says.

Swiftly realising that: “There was no point in having a beautiful shopfront and not having a shop, I decided to open one and Two Little Mockingbirds was born,” she says.

Named after her twin daughters Scout and Harper: “Because I love the book To Kill A Mockingbird,” the shop stocks her own Lou Brown Designs as well as a carefully curated selection of artisan craftware, including Hannah Turner ceramics and work by Arthouse Meath, a community for adults with severe learning disabilities in Surrey.

However, it was not all plain sailing and Lou learned some valuable buying lessons along the way. “You have to spend a lot on stock and you can’t always predict what will sell,” she says.

Because her Wild & Wolf retro phone was so admired by customers, Lou took the plunge and made an order although: “The minimum order was massive and I’ve not sold as many as I’d like.” On the plus side: “Our stock of Edison bulb lamps was quite small and we seemed to sell out in a couple of minutes so it’s definitely a learning curve.”

Now her distinctively-branded shop is established in Boscombe’s Christchurch Road she has turned her attention to her e-commerce site which will kick in during October, ready for the Christmas rush.

“Our aim is to sell good artisan products but without the London prices,” she says. “We want to make it accessible.”