03:15PM, Friday 15 November 2019
Dog collars, leather tags and artisan candles are just some of the items on offer at the Maidenhead Gift Emporium, which opened on Thursday, November 7.
The shop, in St Marks Road, is the brainchild of Denise McCormack, who runs the Pink and Perfect florist next door, with help from husband Jason.
Denise was originally based where the emporium is located, but outgrew that site and is now where the former Co-op Funeral Directors used to be.
Up to 17 independent businesses are now operating inside the Gift Emporium, offering homeware, clothes, furniture, and recycled items – all from businesspeople in the area.
One of the new traders who is renting some of the space there is Karen Rosser, who is selling her personalised jewellery from her brand Inspire My Soul.
Assistant manager Karen said: “We have been blown away with the response. The community is just so complimentary about it.
“They have said it is exactly what we need and it is great [they] don’t need to go into town.
“It feels like an out-of-town shopping experience. It was absolutely packed.
“It was [Denise] who actually brought together these businesses, and she has financed getting the shop up and running. Without her, we would not be able to open.”
She added: “I think the traditional high street has changed, and the tide is turning – people are a lot more aware of independent and small businesses.
“People are fed up with the same old stuff in multi-nationals.”
The move has seen Denise able to offer more at her florist shop – she will be using the basement to offer a flower school.
Other people will be able to use this space for events and activities, she added.
Denise said: “I just thought, what can I do to enhance and make St Marks a nicer place to be?
“It stemmed from that – the opportunity to give other people the chance to sell their stock.
“The community has come together. I have already built up a strong business and it is just about letting my customers know about the new shop.
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