WE have had a fantastic response to our #TalkUpIlminster campaign with both businesses and shoppers keen to enjoy what is on offer to them.

After launching with one of the town’s longest running businesses in Bonner’s the Butchers, last week we moved to one which has only been going for a few years.

Even then, Bargain Box’s image has completely transformed over the past three years, with owners Kirsty Woodard and Marie Upshall recently enjoying a successful relaunch (full feature below).

Just like Clinton Bonner, Kirsty was quick to heap praise upon the town of Ilminster and its people.

She said: “It is a really friendly community and there is a lot of that good community spirit here.

“Everyone is willing to help everyone else, and I think Bargain Box is a part of that.

“It is a business, we do get a cut, but it is also about helping people, especially those working parents.

“Being in Ilminster, I talk to so many people in the day. It is all positive in Ilminster, and positive about keeping things local.”

They noticed that support more than ever when they recently dropped some of their products to focus solely on selling second-hand children’s clothes.

Kirsty added: “Everyone took our change really well, even some people who only came in for the cards, even they were positive.

“It is a local business so they want to support it regardless.”

Make sure to cut out your vouchers, including another chance for a Bonner’s sausage roll, and look out for next week’s feature.

EVEN in the sometimes cut-throat world of business, life in Ilminster is all about helping people.

That is perhaps nowhere more true in the town than Bargain Box, a company which has seen a near meteoric rise over the past three years.

The business was launched by two Ilminster mums as a market stall, before taking up residence in a small shop on Silver Street.

Initially Kirsty Woodard and Marie Upshall started the company selling a variety of cleaning products, toys, cards and paper.

Soon they received an idea which would change the business forever - selling second-hand children’s clothes.

Kirsty said: “The idea of sell for you was given to us after about a year and it became a sideline in the shop.

“Very quickly it became successful and we had a lot of people, sellers and buyers, finding it a benefit to them.

“Parents don’t necessarily have the time to have a full clear out and sell all the pieces individually, and everyone needs a bit of money.

“There is a great quality and variety of things we have got. There is always something people need.”

First, Kirsty and Marie were forced to move into a bigger shop at 26 Silver Street, where they still reside, and recently they took the plunge to focus their business entirely on second-hand clothes.

“Recently it became clear that the old side of the business was a bit of a dying trade, and so we have been moving to just doing sell for you,” said Kirsty.

“It was a brave move but we are pleased we did it.

“It has so many selling points, but really we have made it easy for people with busy lives.”

The business now has 127 signed up sellers.

Kirsty added: “I know from experience I would sort it all out and then eventually it will all just go to a charity shop because I want it out of the way.

This way we allow parents to make a bit of money first, and then if it doesn’t go a lot of our sellers are happy after three or four months for it to be donated to charity.”

Bargain Box then work with Children’s Society to make sure remaining clothes still find a good home.