AN ENTERPRISING South Tyneside woman says she’s started so she’ll “furnish” – after following up a university challenge by setting up her own business.
Kate Richardson decided on a change of course after completing a psychology degree in July – with a little bit of family support.
The ambitious 22-year-old has become business partners with her aunt Sharon Deehan – who already runs two South Tyneside pubs – to launch home furnishing outlet Pretty Things in the heart of South Shields.
The shop, in Mill Dam, which sells everything from made-to-order furniture such as elegant chairs and dressing tables to clothing and Christmas trinkets such as baubles and wreaths, has already proved a big hit since opening its doors last month in time for the frantic festive season.
Miss Richardson, from Jarrow, said: “I have got some business background from working at The Lakeside pub, which my auntie runs, as a supervisor.
“But I didn’t want to start up a business until I finished my degree.
“The building used to be a record shop but has been vacant for about a year. it took about a month to clear up. We started from scratch, including building the stairs.”
She added: “I was overwhelmed when we opened. I thought it might be slow at first but it has been busy from the opening day.
“We set up a Facebook page which has over 1,300 likes already – including 500 on the first day it was set up.
“People keep saying there is nothing like this shop in the town, it is unique.
“People can order items and decide what colour and design they want.”
The bright spark already has plenty of ideas to drum up extra business, including opening until 10pm on Friday and offering customers a 10 per cent discount on goods.
Sharon, 50, runs the Lakeside Inn and the Riverside pub, which is next door to Pretty Things.
She said: “The response has been fantastic already. The people of South Shields have been very supportive.
“Kate has been the driving force behind the business.
“I am very proud of what she has accomplished.”
For more information on Pretty Things, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Pretty-Things-South-Shields/314397695411876