Three retailers who were drawn together by the Wallingford pop up shop project have opened their own permanent shop in the town.
Hayley Shaw, Madeleine Tanner, and Devon Masters have opened a vintage fashion, accessories and crafts shop together under a joint brand name, Sew Very Vintage, at 10 St Mary’s Street Wallingford. After successfully running their individual businesses from one of the town’s pop up shops at 29 High Street, they decided to continue to work as a joint venture in a long term shop of their own.
Hayley, who set up her business, Frocks in Swing Time, due to her own passion for vintage fashion, says: “I am thrilled by the enthusiastic response from both local customers and those visiting the town; it really spurred us on to take the next step and to set up the shop on a permanent basis.”
Madeleine, who launched her craft business, Create-ability, last year, says: “My love of craft and all things creative inspired me to run craft workshops while selling exciting and unusual craft products. Sharing the responsibility of a shop gives us time to do the things we love most.”
Devon Masters at The Button Room has been running her jewellery and accessories business in the Wallingford area for some years and says getting her own premises is a dream come true: “I am very much looking forward to the next chapter.”
The High Street pop up was the first in a Wallingford Town Council initiative supported by South Oxfordshire District Council, which has seen town centre specialists Flashop UK Ltd work with Market Town Co-ordinator Kate Rayner to support efforts to reduce the number of empty shops in the town centre. The pop up shop project is now focusing on the other end of town, which has the Pettits store undergoing a major refurbishment project at its heart. The unit formerly occupied by Beauty Corner on the corner of St Mary’s Street and New Road is now available to hire by would-be town centre businesses, who’d benefit from the opportunity to test their venture and build a track record to present to future landlords. Priority is being given to businesses that add to the mix of independents in the town, and those that strengthen Wallingford’s reputation as a shopping destination. Negotiations are underway with the landlord to find a new occupier for 29 High Street.
Wallingford Mayor, Ros Lester, says: “It’s great news that the pop up shop initiative in the town has delivered on what it set out to achieve – to generate viable businesses to fill empty units in our town centre. Pop up shops give people who are new to High Street retail and selling a great taster. These three businesspeople obviously want to continue in retail, and Wallingford is all the better for having an exciting range of products. I wish Sew Very Vintage all the best in their new venture and look forward to seeing further pop ups appearing soon.”
Flashop UK had the unit at 29 High Street, Wallingford open as a pop up since July 2015. In December the pop up theme was added to by returning Wallingford record store, Music Box, as it popped up in a long-term empty unit on Castle Street.