Two Janes, Four Beach Huts, and Seven Years of a Thriving Business!
In 2012, Jane and Jayne had a coincidental meeting in a school playground and a firm friendship and successful business was born. We don’t all know what we want to do career-wise, and sometimes, it’s chance that the thing we love ends up being a money spinner. Mersea Island is a beautiful place in Essex, just 10 miles outside of Colchester and has already been featured on Colchester Streets. All year round, tourists from all over the country flock to the island to sample the delicious, fresh seafood and to relax on the wonderful, sandy beaches. It’s also a place where you will see simply the most stunning sunrises and sunsets in the country. When the two Janes met, they discovered that both of their sons are called Tom and owned a beach hut that they had restored. Thus, The Little Beach Hut Company was born!
When they first met, Jane already owned Betty and Jayne owned Bertie - they had always had a passion for beach huts. Soon, as the business really took off, they acquired six more; Hattie, Kitty, Dotty, Percy, Peggy and Winnie - the beach huts were all unloved and they were transformed into the now shabby-chic, beautiful and charming huts they are. The two Janes didn’t have a business plan to start with, just some front row beach huts, passion and individual talents to work well together and provide the public with a perfect day out.
To begin with, the only ‘marketing’ they used was word of mouth, but as with many things, increased popularity meant that the Janes decided to delve into the world of social media. This isn’t an easy thing to do. But they have done an outstanding job, having almost 10,000 followers on their Facebook page and over 2,500 followers on their Instagram account - which they started 3 months ago! Any social media ‘expert’ will know how impressive this is.
Not only are the beach huts famous amongst Mersea locals, they have appeared on many magazine covers, This Morning, Good Morning Britain, and in 2015, Phil Spencer made a guest appearance at the huts to give them the prestigious award of ‘Beach Hut of the Year’. It’s truly remarkable how a hobby has built a business that is thriving. As filming is regular occurrence at the beach huts, the two Janes get the Art Cafe in West Mersea to bake them a traditional Victoria sponge for all the crew members to enjoy and make everyone feel as comfortable as possible. It’s just in their nature to put you at ease!
The beach huts are all whimsical, charming, cosy and full of love. I think this is down to the fact that all of the decor is sourced locally and are made by people who live on the Island - even down to the cushions and blankets! It’s a beautiful way to support one another as a community. Community spirit is something that the two Janes want to build and encourage. By promoting Mersea they know that the surrounding businesses will also benefit from visiting people. A good example of this is Dukes Seafood, the food provider for the Little Beach Hut Company. When you hire one of the beach huts for the day you have an option of choosing from two menus and all of the food is provided for and made by people on Mersea Island.
After seeing all the pictures, I’m sure you’re probably thinking they’re out of your price range for a day out on the beach, right? Well, this is the beauty of the business. They’re so reasonable! Bertie is the smallest of the beach huts and costs £60 per day and the others are just £70 per day. I think it’s such a bargain! Peggy and Betty can have a maximum of 8 people, and Bertie and Kitty can have 6. So, if you’re thinking of a mates’ day out at the beach, it will be cheaper to hire a beach hut than going to the pub for the day.
As a personal touch, one of the Janes will ALWAYS be there to greet you. Their aim is to make you feel cherished and well looked after. They provide first class service and want you to feel at ease - after all, it’s your beach hut for the day. It’s the little things that add up and make the experience so unique and special. The fact they owned the huts themselves and restored them, makes it more than just a money-making business. It’s encouraging people to embrace old fashioned days out and being at one with nature, while enjoying the excellent, personable touch the two ladies bring.
The Janes really think of everything. You can even buy gift vouchers to give as a present. We all have that one person in the family that’s impossible to buy for at Christmas, so now you have the perfect thing to purchase! It’s something that can be shared and memories that will be cherished forever. Lifestyle shoots have been a regular thing at the huts by photographer Emma Gosling as families and generations of families have wanted a memento of their day out.
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that it’s a fantastic, unique business that is run by two fabulous ladies. They will put the biggest smile upon your face and make you feel so welcomed. Their hearts are imprinted in the interior and exterior, they truly want to give you a day you will remember for a long time, and it’s so important to get behind businesses like these!
Thank you so much for inviting us!