‘Flashop Wantage’ open for business



An independent ladies shoe shop and a baby & children’s clothes, gifts and accessories specialist lead the way as Wantage’s pop up shop, Flashop, opens for business. Helena Wohlfahrt’s, Valentina’s Shoe Box, and Janette Reed’s, Cotswold Kids, will make first use of the pop up shop in Unit 18A on Mill Street, Wantage.

They’ll be the first in a series of pop up shop, leisure and information uses for the venue over the next three months. Wantage’s Town Team has reached agreement with landlords, Wantage Investments, to use the unit at 18A Mill Street and are working with commercial agent, Neil Wild, to make the pop up series happen.

Helena Wohlfahrt, who is looking to add to the ladies shoe shop she has in Witney, says: “I am very excited about this opportunity which allows me to expand and bring our exclusive collection of fine Italian and Spanish shoes and handbags to Wantage.”

Janette Reed, owner of baby and children’s boutique, Cotswold Kids, is looking to expand to another market town in the region, having traded in Witney and on-line for more than 10 years. Janette says: “The Wantage pop-up is an exciting initiative and a great opportunity to test-drive the local market and see if Wantage could be a new location for Cotswold Kids.”

Next in line are:

Young entrepreneur, Jack Andrews who plans to launch his streetwear brand, Lucid Dreamers, with a two-day event at Flashop (August 2nd & 3rd): “Wantage has always been a home to me, and it was always my intention to start Lucid Dreamers in the town that gave me the inspiration to start a business.”

The Oxfordshire Apprenticeships service will make a two day stop at Flashop (August 8 & 9) as part of an ApprenticeSHOPS awareness-raising tour of the county. Oxfordshire County Council’s Economy and Skills Team member, Paddy Patterson, says: “Flashop is a fantastic way for us to start a series of pop-up ApprenticeSHOPS across Oxfordshire. We’re looking forward to speaking to young people and businesses in Wantage about the great benefits of apprenticeships.”

The week August 12-18th will see Flashop play host to a number of the town’s Health and Wellbeing practitioners, including Julia Trinder & Ru Kandola (The Wantage Pilates Studio), Helen Elder (The Healing Room), Liam Downes (Personal Trainer), Anita Elsley (Neat Feet), Steve Broadley (KA Fitness Health Club), Hayden Bedwell (Sports Massage Therapist), Sarada Ward (Massage Therapist), Elaine Ford (Forever Living Products), Claudia Hughes (Progressive Physiotherapy), Katherine Harris (Osteopath), and Rosie Pickerill (Reflexologist). Co-ordinator, Julia Trinder, says: “Few of us have a shop front for our business so Flashop gives people the opportunity to walk in off the street and ask questions about what we do face-to-face.”

Creative Designer, Natalie Bright, will run an Art Club for kids in the unit (August 19-24th) and later return to showcase her gifts business, Hippi Haus, at Flashop (September 8-22nd). Natalie says: “I hope everyone will come out in force to look at what all those involved in the pop up have to offer, in particular our retro products and VW gifts.”

Also planning to join the Flashop is Katie Defrates of Little Cow Creative Cakes (August 28-31st) who says: “As a new business we are so excited to be a part of this fantastic opportunity to have a pop up shop in Wantage. This new project in Wantage will both provide us with some fantastic new customers and also bring people back to the high street.”

Tim Bayley, who’ll showcase his new wine business, Kitchen and Vine, at Flashop says: “We know how much people love to understand more about the wines they enjoy. Flashop offers us the chance to start our conversation with Wantage’s wine lovers.”

Flashop is one of a series of initiatives being developed by town team co-ordinators Iain Nicholson and Mim Norvell as part of a town vitality project involving the Vale of White Horse District Council, Wantage Town Council and Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce, being driven through the town’s Joint Economic Forum. Town Team Co-ordinator, Iain Nicholson, says: “Getting this underway is a real boost to our plans to revitalise Mill Street and add to the shopping offer of Wantage town centre as a whole.”

Dirk Atkinson, Commercial Manager of Bushbuy Ltd, managing agents for Wantage Investments, says: “Our clients are keen to assist retailers who are looking to test their business models before committing to a long term lease, and we look forward to retailers making a success of their new shops via the pop-up concept.”

The Wantage Town Team is also working to open a community shop in another of the available units on Mill Street as well as developing the Wantage & Grove Loyalty Card scheme, creating a town centre display for Vale and Downland Museum, and producing new town maps and what’s on guides for display boards around the central area.


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