The chief executive of ecommerce business Online4baby is in the running for a top accolade at the Northern Power Women Awards 2023.
Christy Foster has been shortlisted for the outstanding entrepreneur prize at the awards, which will be presented at a gala dinner at Manchester Central on Monday, March 20.
The awards – in their seventh year – honour trailblazing women across the region, celebrating their talent and resilience in a variety of fields.
The outstanding entrepreneur category recognises women who are driven by their desire to grow and develop their organisation while having a positive impact on their sector or community. This year’s awards received a record-breaking 1,500 nominations across all categories.
Christy founded Online4baby in 2011 with her sister Cheryl and has spearheaded its development from humble beginnings on market stalls around Greater Manchester into a national success story, with a mission to provide the best possible customer service as a trusted supplier selling high-quality products at great value.
Online4baby has grown into a leading UK e-commerce baby products business which is accelerating towards its goal of becoming a £100m-turnover concern over the next three years.
It sells a vast array of nursery and baby items directly to consumers, with product lines ranging from prams, buggies and car seats to cots, high chairs, nursery furniture, baby walkers, swings and playpens. It sells leading brands such as Joie, Graco and Cybex, and has its own brands, Puggle and 4Baby.
Over the past 18 months, Christy has led a digital transformation of the business, including a new brand identity featuring the strapline ‘Power to Parents’ and a new-look website, while also overseeing a move to new headquarters in Chadderton, Oldham, a strengthening of the senior management team and the introduction of new product ranges. The business, which employs 50 people, sends out over 40,000 orders each month and is looking to soon expand sales into Europe.
Christy’s place on the Northern Power Women Awards shortlist is the latest honour for herself and the business in recent months.
She was a northern regional winner and national finalist in the 2022 EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition, and Online4baby was crowned business of the year at the 2022 Oldham Business Awards for companies with turnover of over £5m.
Christy said: “I’m immensely proud to be shortlisted for the outstanding entrepreneur award and am very excited for the ceremony.
“I’m incredibly passionate about giving people a fair chance at success, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexuality or background and, being a working mum myself, I’m committed to supporting other working parents.
“At Online4baby, we have begun offering flexible working hours, more holidays and longer dinner hours, as well as providing free breakfast and lunch items for the team.
“I’m proud to be a female leader and have 50 per cent female representation at board level. I see it as my role to inspire other women to be strong and nurture their own talents. Winning the award would make me hugely proud on an individual level and would also reflect the achievements of colleagues across the business.”