She certainly means business! Pippa Middleton follows in her mother Carole’s footsteps with an online shop (but you might be disappointed if you’re bargain hunting…)
- Bucklebury Park Farm was bought by husband Pippa’s James in 2020
- The shop seems to cater for an affluent, eco-conscious clientele
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With its biodegradable jute tote bags, diecast toy Land Rovers and wooden train whistles, it might seem to be the ultimate online shop for a certain breed of middle-class parent.
The Bucklebury Gift and Farm Shop, set deep in the Berkshire countryside, certainly has impeccable credentials.
Based a stone’s throw from the Princess of Wales’ family home in Berkshire village, the mail order business is the latest venture for Kate’s younger sister, Pippa Middleton, who bought the 77-acre site with husband James Matthews in 2020 and hopes to turn it into thriving commercial enterprise.
She has not had to look too far for inspiration – her mother, Carole, set up multi-million-pound business Party Pieces from her kitchen table 35 years ago.
Pippa and James at The Albert Hall. They bought Bucklebury Park Farm, formerly a petting zoo, in 2020 and hope to turn it into a thriving commercial enterprise
Now the Bucklebury Park Farm website offers biodegradable jute tote bags for a hefty £83
Pippa’s customers can also order old-fashioned enamel jugs at £34 a piece
But there is unlikely to be any competition between the two operations. While Party Pieces offers affordable paper cups and balloons, Pippa’s online shop appears to be catering to a rather more affluent – and eco-conscious – clientele.
The biodegradable jute bag, sustainably produced in Bangladesh, costs upwards of £70, while other products include waterproof ponchos and ‘Truth Brush’ bamboo toothbrushes.
Cuddly toys – made from recycled plastic – cost from £14.99 for a fawn to £37.49 for a large cockerel or hen, there are children’s tutus for £25 and toy Aston Martins for £8 to go alongside the miniature £10 Land Rover Defenders.
The latter are described on the website not merely as toys but ‘diecast, collectable and generational’.
For those seeking life inspiration, a book advising How to Be More Paddington offers an ‘uplifting collection of quotations’ from Michael Bond’s stories about the bear from darkest Peru.
Drawing on her mother’s commercial nous, Pippa is also offering a selection of flower seeds (£5) in time for spring. You can buy poppy ‘seedballs’ and even seeds that encourage bees to pay a visit to your garden.
Carole Middleton (left) started her own successful business and now she has inspired Pippa
Pippa’s mother Carole set up multi-million-pound mail order business Party Pieces from her kitchen table 35 years ago
Pippa is also cashing in on seasonal activities to get her customers excited for warmer and brighter days.
Events include ‘Lambing season’ in April and ‘Easter time at the farm’ which both have details that are yet to be confirmed.
The venture is just the latest business move by hedge fund manager James and Pippa at the sprawling Bucklebury Farm site, half a mile from the village where her parents Carole and Michael have a £5million home.
The couple, who married in 2017, have three children together – Arthur, 4, one-year-old Grace and newborn baby Rose – and recently bought their own £15million mansion nearby.
The farm project – dubbed Pippa’s Playground – already has a petting zoo, a cafe and cabin accommodation for 30 guests, as well as hosting birthday parties with tractor rides.
Carole’s influence, some say, is clear – and it is claimed it was Carole, 67, who encouraged the couple to launch the online shop.
She has previously been open about how involved the future queen and her siblings were in the early days of Party Pieces, which now employs 40 people and posts around 4,000 orders a week.
Pippa is selling mushroom-shaped candles through the post from £10 and upwards
An eco-conscious bamboo toothbrush will set you back £4.50
‘My children inspired my business and have been involved from the start, and the success that we’ve had has helped us build the life we have currently,’ she said.
‘Catherine started the first Birthday brand, Pippa set up a blog, as we didn’t have one, James came up with the idea of personalised cakes and got them off the ground for us.’
Success for Pippa is not guaranteed, however – despite the shrewd Middleton acumen. Younger brother James’s marshmallow firm, Boomf, went into administration in 2021.
The business grind does not stop there for the married duo, as Pippa and her husband James were granted planning permission in December last year after a row with neighbours over the farm.
They were given the green light for a covered seating area, to refurbish and extend their existing ‘visitor barn’ and to erect to erect a ‘play barn’ and a huge new storage building.
They also got permission for new toilets and a car park which can hold 100 vehicles – a nod to the fact that they wish for their farm to be part of every family’s exciting day out.
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