A PAIR of mums have taken a leap into business together for the first time.

Friends Karina Duke and Louise Foot were both seeking a new challenge as their children approached school age and opted this summer to buy a beach hut rental company on West Mersea.

The pair, both from Colchester, had been determined to invest legacies from their respective mothers who both died in the past three years.

After seeing a Facebook advert to buy the Little Beach Hut Company, which itself had been started by two friends, they collected the keys to the three properties within two weeks.

“We are so thankful to have the business and it has changed our lives but we want more than anything for our mums to be here and enjoy it with us, said Karina, 35.

Louise, 36, added: “Our mums would be so pleased they have been able to give this to us.

“It was a big responsibility and we wanted to find something that would be a lasting tribute to them.

“The last day out I had with my mum was in West Mersea so it just felt so right to be here.”

The pair had met through a mutual friend about four years ago and have been close ever since.

They have four children between them, aged from two to eight, having taken time away from work in recent years to focus on bringing them up.

Louise had previously worked as a midwife and more recently as a nanny, while Karina was an accounts clerk at the University of Essex.

Taking over a business during the height of lockdown was a baptism of fire for two novices but they said they quickly embraced the task and got the three beach huts open for daily rentals for the whole summer season.

Karina said: “We had to get used to the booking system very quickly and prepare the huts to make them Covid-safe.

“It felt like there just weren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we needed and to look after the children, especially with home schooling.

“That first night when we opened for bookings was so exciting – our phones were pinging non-stop with inquiries and we were fully booked within days for the summer.”

The business, which consists of the three huts Kitty, Bertie and Peggy, perhaps benefited from people staying in the UK during the pandemic, but has also been hit by other coronavirus challenges.

The pair have already appeared on This Morning when they were interviewed by Towie favourite Fearne McCann about the hidden joys of Essex.

Bookings are already being taken for summer 2021.

Go to www.thelittle