Jessica Hogarth, founder and creative maestro behind Jessica Hogarth Designs has fulfilled a long-held dream of opening her own shop and on top of this has secured a retail manager who is very close to her heart!
“Oh, I love it! I have wanted a shop for about 15 years, so it really is a dream come true for me,” exclaimed Jessica after the recent opening her contemporary card and gift shop in North Yorkshire’s picturesque Robin Hood’s Bay, the village in which she grew up, not far from the publisher’s base in Whitby. “We have had a great few days so far. It’s so exciting to know that people want to buy the products we have selected,” she added.
Jess’ new retail venture offers a potent mix of products from her own card and homewares portfolio as well as those from many other companies.
“We are selling lots of my greeting cards, but we have also bought ranges from Eloise Hall, Louise Mulgrew, Megan Claire, Penguin Ink, Rosie Made A Thing and The Art File, among others. I wanted to make sure that cards had a decent space in the shop as I think they will become our bread and butter in the ‘out of season’ months with our locals,” said Jess.
The securing of the shop unit was the catalyst for Jess’ boyfriend, Phil Hammill to leave his Manchester retail job, move in with Jess and undertake the running of the shop.
“Having Phil’s retail knowledge is fab which combines with my knowledge of running a business,” said Jess. “While I have been at the shop every day so far, going forwards I will only really be in there one day a week as I am much busier than expected with the original business coming out of lockdown and I don’t have any intention of slowing down this side of things for a while yet anyway!”
Jess admits it was “quite difficult stocking a shop completely from scratch and in whistlestop time. “While it was a shop before, the space has been completely renovated – and we could only start putting stock in a few days before we opened. Phil and our dads have done a huge amount of work inside, taking old pallets apart and re-building them to form two of the walls. Another wall features my Coastal Cottages wallpaper on it in a new colourway. It has certainly been a talking point so far and we sold rolls of it on the first weekend!”
While Jess acknowledges these are “weird times” the opening of the shop is in keeping with her belief that “UK tourist destinations are going to be even more popular in the coming year or two for those staying at home and a shop in the position we have would not come up often. I realise how lucky we are to live on such a beautiful part of the coast.”