A Community Interest Company has taken out a permanent lease on a Shropshire shop with the goal of taking the next step to tackling the stigma associated with mental health issues.
Designs in Mind moved into the former Chrissie’s in Cross Street, Oswestry, following a successful trial period there as a pop-up shop earlier this year.
The shop is called Jolt and sells vibrant homeware and prints for the home in bold colours and patterns. It also provides workshops for the public to try their hand at screen printing and lino printing.
Jo Watkins, from Designs in Mind, said: “We opened Jolt on the last Saturday in November (NOV 25) and this follows an extremely successful trial period earlier in the year. The shop is next door to our Designs in Mind studio and is in an ideal location.
“There are fewer and fewer retail opportunities in the town these days and Designs in Mind has been there for 10 years so when the opportunity came for us to take on a trial period at the shop next door we jumped at the chance. We moved out after our trial period but when the call came that the premises were still available we moved back in.
“It is the first time we have had a retail presence and it’s a natural expansion. Our aim is to sell lots of items now and draw as many people as possible into the shop in our challenge to take the stigma out of mental health.
“Most of the products we sell are designed by members who have been referred to our studio through the mental health scheme and we sell products from other like minded companies, with a focus on tackling care for mental health.
“Our aim is to make mental health challenges part of regular debate and an ideal way of doing this is to produce things we can sell and generate public interest – challenging the low expectations that surround our makers.”
Rebecca Welch, of halls Commercial based in Shrewsbury, said Oswestry is going through a large period of change and this is another feather in the cap. She said: “ Designs in Mind have been a great asset to this town for a long time and we were really pleased when we were able to offer them the chance to become a pop up there for a short while.
“We knew they would be a success and are glad they have decided to take out a permanent lease.
“It’s just one of the deals we have done in Oswestry recently, there are new businesses opening all the time.”
JOLT members Ellie Lee, Marion Alcock, Gary Thomas, Helen Whitehead, Allison Scott
Jolt members Gary Thomas and Amy White