HAVING lit up Tavistock Pannier Market with her children’s clothing ranges, Lisa Wright is now brightening up the high street with her successful shop.

Lisa opened Rainbow Nation, which sells children’s clothing, books and toys from a sustainable origin, on Brook Street, after 15 years making a name for her unusual lines.

She credits the Pannier Market for turbocharging her business, which also operates online, offering families ethical products which are made by independent companies in sustainable organic ways.

Lisa said: “I chose Tavistock for my business, rather than Plymouth where I live, because the town is a perfect fit for an independent trader and where customers actively look for reasonable priced products they can’t get anywhere else. Many of my customers are grannies and aunts who are buying for their young relatives. Their priority is to buy something that is good quality, and that they can be confident the parents haven’t got.

“My customers also appreciate that the majority of the brands stocked are either registered as Fairtrade, or have similar ethical criterion governing the whole production process, from growing the cotton for the clothes, for instance, through the production process. So, it includes a fair wage and good conditions for workers.”

Her business is called Rainbow Nation because originally she sourced her products from South Africa where they were ethically produced, and the country is often called the Rainbow Nation. However, she now buys her products from elsewhere after exports were stopped and the producer was no longer independent. She now sells Fairtrade brands such as Kite, Piccalilly and Lanka Kade which match her strict requirements.

Lisa said: “The pannier market was a perfect environment for me as a new small business. The council was flexible about allowing me to not have a stall at the same times and the same days. This was because they recognised I needed to grow and reach out to new customers by also selling at the county and one-day shows. The market also allowed me to work part-time around childcare when my daughter Lucy was little. However, it was a very popular place when I started. Stallholders had to jump through all sorts of hoops to get accepted and there were days that were dedicated to food and antiques. I eventually was offered a full-time stall and finally achieved my dream of getting a shop. But I’ll never forget my market roots where the community was so supportive.”