Two local sisters are bucking the trend by opening a new retail business which is already proving successful.
Natalie Charmley and Amie Bickley have launched ‘The Bee’s Knees’ in Oswestry, selling a range of seasonal gifts and decorations, ladies clothing, homeware, jewellery, honey, candles and paintings from local artists.
Natalie explained that she had always been close to her sister and they hatched the idea to go into business together on a rail journey.
“One train trip to London we started chatting. I wasn’t happy with the work I was doing at a national retailer and she had always wanted to own a shop so we developed a plan and three weeks later we opened the Bee’s Knees in Bailey Street.”
Natalie decided to take the plunge and launch the enterprise after completing a ‘Step up’ programme for new businesses run by Bridgnorth business consultancy Good2Great.
She added: “Good2Great have been really helpful. My main problem was that I worried about was the financial side of business and all the administration involved in this.
“Sally Themans at Good2Great was my mentor and is continuing to keep me on track and not let me bury my head in the sand. The shop is doing well and we are enjoying being part of the retail scene in Oswestry”
Sally is involved with retail mentoring and championing high streets through Love Bridgnorth and Love Wellington.
The Step Up Business Programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Telford & Wrekin Council on behalf of partners Shropshire Council.
Pictured: AmieBickley(left) and Natalie Charmley.