Little Jems was inspired by the difficulties experienced by my family when trying to purchase Holy Communion wear in the North West of England particularly in the Manchester area. We were looking for dresses, veils, shoes etc. for my granddaughters, Jessica and Emily, who inspired the company name. Their mum, my daughter Clare, runs the business with me.

We found bridal shops with the odd dress but there was nowhere that gave a choice of styles so we resorted to the internet. There we found plenty of websites in the USA and quite a few in the UK but they were mostly in the South of England and there didn't seem to be anywhere in the North West which offered a one-stop shop for First Communion wear. We decided to rectify that and began our fledgling business by organising sales days in church halls and schools in the region.

At the beginning of 2011 we took on a storage unit at Greenside Trading Centre and that quickly turned into a showroom to accommodate the many customers who wanted to visit and try on dresses and our third and fourth Communion seasons in 2011 and 2012 continued to see our business grow in leaps and bounds, expanding into Christening wear for both boys and girls, flower girl dresses, rose queen dresses and in 2012 at the request of many of our customers, we ventured into Prom dresses with a new separate website

In 2013, we improved our websites and took on brand new premises in the iconic, art deco building which was once the New Inn at the fiveways roundabout in Droylsden, still on Greenside Lane and just a stone’s throw from the trading centre. When we moved we seemed to have acres of space but having opened a new dancewear section and expanded many of our ranges, we’re wondering where all that space went.

For 2015, we have again upgraded our website making it easier for mobile phone and tablet customers and for the new communion season we now stock Sarah-Louise, Linzi-Jay and Poinsettia dresses as well as our old favourites, Sweetie Pie, Emmerling and Sweet Darlings.

We look forward to meeting you soon.

Rita and Clare

Manchester Evening News

See what the Manchester Evening News said about us back in February 2009 - click here to find out more.