Sarah Watmore

Location: Worcestershire

Name: Sarah Watmore

Business Name: Miss Milly

Miss Milly is principally a wholesaler of jewellery and accessories to retailers throughout the UK. There is just me in the business, which has been trading for eight years this month. COVID-19 wiped out sales for me almost overnight as the pandemic hit and shops (my customers) reined in spending and then a week later, closed. My sales are down 98%. The only financial support I can get is if I furlough myself for £800/month or take out a BBL. I don’t want to furlough as I need to keep working to ensure I come out the other side in a good position.  

I’ve been communicating with customers, chasing money owed, working on the website and have launched two new initiatives to grow our direct online sales. This little pivot has helped a bit, I’m managing to bring in sales roughly equivalent to what I’d get from furlough. Taking out a BBL would be a very last action for me, why would I add debt when I don’t know how, if and when I’ll be back to near normal trading levels.  

I live on my own and have a 13 year old daughter, Milly, who is with me half the time. I have a boyfriend of four and a half years whom I haven’t seen for eight weeks. And there have been times when I have struggled to get out of bed in the morning. There have been lots of tears and my sleep has been affected; I find it very hard to drop off at night and wake up early. But I am determined to survive this.