We started our Christmas side hustle to inspire our kids – now we’re making £17k a week & are stocked in Selfridges | The Sun

DESPITE their incredible success, two mums behind a trailblazing Christmas decoration brand still work their full-time jobs.

Alison Burton and Natalie Duval are the angels behind the first ever Christmas decoration brand, March Muses. 

The mums set up their side hustle back in 2019 on a mission to create change for their daughters, who didn’t see themselves represented in their Christmas decorations.

It came after Natalie’s daughter asked the innocent question of if angels could have brown skin.

Co-founder Alison told Fabulous: “Natalie replied, ‘Well, of course they can. What a silly question. Why would you ask that?’ But as she was saying that she realised actually we're hanging up white angels, white Santas and we have a white elf on the shelf. 

“It really was quite a valid question that her daughter posed.”

Read more Christmas stories

I was trolled for spending £1k on presents for daughter, 1, but I had my reasons

Cheapest shops to buy chocolate stocking fillers this week – prices start at 75p

When the pair went searching across the high-street and online they couldn’t find any decorations for sale in the UK.

“On the back of that we decided to launch our own range, so we started the design process sort of early to mid January 2019,” she explained.

But there was a lot of “back and forth” as Alison commented: “We were asking manufacturers to create something that they've never really seen before for the UK. 

“We were saying, ‘Can we have black angels and a black Santa?’ and the samples came back when I say as Black as charcoal! We had to use words like African American.

Most read in Fabulous


I'm a chubby queen with big boobs… trolls say I should shop at a tent store


I spent £500 trying to pass my driving theory test, then had the practical


I have two bums – I'm trolled for it but who cares, I look hot

Trapped & tearful

Woman given brutal Secret Santa gift at work & claims she’s being bullied

“We were slowly getting closer and closer to the products that we were looking for, and so that process really did bring our visions to life – we launched in 2019 with just six products,” the entrepreneur shared.

Their beautifully crafted, handmade Christmas products launched in October 2019 and sales of figurines from their kitchens were a huge success – selling out in just two weeks. 

They now have over 25 products in their Christmas range. 

FABULOUS BINGO: Get a £20 bonus & 30 free spins when you spend £10 today

But they’re still working in their same jobs full-time, somehow managing to balance all the madness. 

Alison said: “I work as a pharmaceutical recruitment consultant, so I work across loads of global markets all within clinical operations and life sciences and Natalie works as a culture manager at Red Bull.”

The brand has since seen the likes of Liberty of London, Selfridges and Dragons' Den investors Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones all wanting a piece of the (Christmas) pudding. 

The two long-standing Dragons invested £50,000 in exchange for 15% of their business between them.

Alison said of her 'whirlwind' year: “It's just been amazing. Obviously, with the backing of the Dragons and the advice that they give.

"We've started working with a fulfilment centre based on knowing that we were going to be aired, so we don't fulfil orders ourselves from home. 

“We have new products, both for Christmas and throughout the year. We have like a digital marketing company that we work with now. So much has happened, but all in the steps to grow the business.”

As well as Dragon’s Den, a 40 second clip on the ITV morning show ‘Lorraine’ brought March Muses into the mainstream, and brought in £10,000 worth of business earlier on in their journey.

On their best sale week in November, March Muses brought in £17,000, and that's before the Christmas sales really got going.

In the coming months they’re planning to bring Valentine’s, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and other concepts to their range. 

Read More on The Sun

People have always slammed my baby’s name but now it’s gone too far

Hospice nurse shares 3 things people should know about dying & everyone’s shocked

After Christmas, Alison is excited to get some rest: “I already can vision like you're waking up looking a couple of years younger, it's such a busy, busy time.

“[The business] has grown way beyond us and we're in the cost of living crisis, we've had a really abysmal couple of years with the pandemic and people having health issues and all sorts and it's just delightful that our business, even with all those challenges, still continues to grow,” she concluded.

Source: Read Full Article