A real bottle bank! Schoolgirl makes hundreds selling antique bottles

A real bottle bank! Schoolgirl, seven, is earning hundreds of pounds selling antique bottles from shed in parents’ back garden after digging up items from historic landfill sites

  • Betsy-Mae Lloyd, who is from Wednesbury, West Mids, opened her own business 
  • The seven-year-old sells jars she finds at landfill sites from her garden play shed
  • She flogs antique bottles, jars and teapots – which can date back up to 150 years
  • The young entrepreneur sells 12 bottles for £10 and has already cashed in £600

A seven-year-old schoolgirl is raking in hundreds of pounds after launching an antique bottle shop in her parents’ back garden.

Betsy-Mae Lloyd, from Wednesbury in the West Midlands, opened her business from a Victorian-style play shed after digging up thousands of old bottles at landfill sites.

The primary school pupil has been flogging the antique bottles, jars and teapots – which all date back to between the 1870s and 1930s.

Betsy-Mae and her father Jason, 49, collect their finds from old rubbish dumps across the West Midlands using only a pair of shovels.

After taking them home and cleaning them up, Betsy-Mae stores the bottles in her little pink shop before listing them for sale on Facebook.

The young entrepreneur sells 12 bottles – which she gift wraps herself – for £10 and has already made £600 from her business venture within a few months.

Betsy-Mae Lloyd (pictured), from Wednesbury in the West Midlands, opened her business from a Victorian-style play shed after digging up thousands of old bottles at landfill sites

The primary school pupil has been flogging the antique bottles, jars and teapots – which all date back to between the 1870s and 1930s

Betsy-Mae and her father Jason, 49, collect their finds from old rubbish dumps across the West Midlands using only a pair of shovels

But Betsy-Mae says her favourite part about running Betsy’s Bottle Shop is ‘digging and getting dirty’.

She said: ‘The bottles are from the olden days, I like them as they are different colours and sizes.

‘My favourite part is digging and getting dirty though. I find it really good fun.

‘I’ve got about a thousand bottles in my shop and people come to buy them in person and on Facebook.

‘I think my shop is super. My dad helps me with the prices but I help find them and clean them up myself. I enjoy going digging with my dad.

‘I bought a laptop out of my savings. I play robots on it and I chat with my friends as well.’


After taking them home and cleaning them up, Betsy-Mae stores the bottles in her little pink shop before listing them for sale on Facebook

The young entrepreneur sells 12 bottles – which she gift wraps herself – for £10 and has already made £600 from her business venture within a few months

Mr Lloyd and wife Frances, 32, said their daughter had been helping collect bottles since she was just two.

He said: ‘It has always been a hobby of mine, so I’ve sort of passed the torch. I took her out of her first dig when she was aged two and she’s loved it since then.

‘We were getting fairly inundated with bottles and leaving most behind, so she came up with the idea of selling them and we thought we’d give it a go.

‘I work full time so I can’t really run another business, I do help her out a bit but its mainly Betsy’s operation.

‘We go to farmland which we know used to be old landfill sites – you get everything from milk of magnesia bottles, jam jars and ginger wine, beers and ales.

‘She washes the bottles in her outdoor kitchen after we find them in historic landfill sites, they’re 100 years old or more, it’s not modern rubbish.

‘It’s almost like a time capsule, as sometimes you’ll find an old bus or theatre ticket inside them and it’s a fascinating look at a different era.

‘They date back to between 1870 and 1930, and we’ve found all sorts. Its great to get kids out of the house in this day and age of the internet and she really enjoys it too.

‘She has been selling a fair bit as well. The other day I found £200 on the mantelpiece and I said ‘you better hide that’.

‘Then she said ‘there’s more where that came from’, went up to her room and came down with another £200 odd in cash.

‘That’s not bad going for a seven-year-old primary school pupil and she’s already treated herself to a new laptop.

‘I think it’s a good life lesson for her as she has worked hard and earned that money, she fully deserves it.

‘Antique shabby-chic style items are still in fashion at the moment, so people just buy them for decorative purposes as the colours match their homes.

‘She sells online but people are welcome to come on down and have a look in person, she does little history talks about the origins of the bottles as well.

Betsy-Mae says her favourite part about running Betsy’s Bottle Shop is ‘digging and getting dirty’

Mr Lloyd and wife Frances, 32, said their daughter had been helping collect bottles since she was just two

‘I did the shop up in Victorian style, its like a pink and girly version of the Black Country Museum, and all the signs have been salvaged as well.’

He used to work on fairgrounds and now builds playhouses for a living, but still goes out with his daughter several times a week in the hunt of new stock.

Mr Lloyd, who is also father to 19-year-old Jake, added: ‘We get permission off the farmers and they’re happy as long as we fill the holes back up afterwards.

‘There’s no high tech equipment, we just go down there with a couple of shovels and start digging.

‘We get old maps online and look where there was an open mine, then compare it to a map from about 10 years ago and if it’s been filled in, it’s landfill.

‘We probably go out two or three times a week, or most evenings in the summer.

‘She has a steady flow of customers now, to get money for something that has been left and smashed up, is nice really.

‘Over the years I’ve got a vast knowledge about it all, I’ve been doing it about 45 years, there’s a whole world out there and a lot of valuable things.

‘I never thought my daughter would be so into it though. It’s like history repeating itself. It’s lovely really and a fun thing for us to share.’

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