Uncovering a Gem: Jennifer Marshall, Graham Williams of Dinsdales and Kathryn Shillito. Photograph courtesy kindly of Hull Daily Mail
Hull Business Improvement District (BID) is backing the city’s small independent retailers by providing a new guide to help drive business to their shops.
More than 30 outlets will be featured in BID’s new Hidden Gems brochure, which will be distributed in late October to local residents and businesses as well as through tourism organisations.
Hull BID is covering the cost of the initiative. All the businesses had to do was submit an application form with relevant details. The participants range from retailers with only a few weeks of trading behind them to shops that have been in existence for more than 50 years.
What they have in common is that they are all small, independent operators offering bespoke products and services and adding local character to the city centre.
“Small, niche independent outlets are vital to the success of a retail centre and we have some of the best, but sometimes they go unrecognised,” said Kathryn Shillito, Hull BID City Centre Manager.
“So to help them promote their business we offered independents within the BID area the opportunity to feature in the brochure, project managed by our Marketing Co-ordinator Jennifer Marshall. There has been a lot of interest and we are confident the Hidden Gems brochure will live up to its title.”
Among the businesses that will feature in the guide are Dinsdale’s - a joke shop in Hepworths Arcade that has been in business for nearly 70 years - and three businesses that have only been in the city centre for two months - The New Vintage Clothing Company in Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Birdcage Boutique and Pineapple for Interiors in Savile Street and Oresome Gallery in Humber Street.
“These are all fascinating businesses that bring something totally different to the city centre, and there are many more,” said Kathryn.
“They help create a buzz in the area and they also provide encouragement and inspiration to other people who may be thinking of setting up in business.”
Opened in Humber Street two months ago by four local women who met while studying jewellery design at Hull College and decided to set up a business together.
Oreseome sells jewellery, textiles, glass and ceramics - unique creations made by the owners and their contacts locally and further afield. It also hosts workshops and a rent-a-bench service which enables customers to learn the skills to craft their own products.
Gill Weaver, one of the founders, said: “The brochure is a fantastic idea and we’re very grateful to Hull BID for their support because a hidden gem is exactly what we are.”
Contact Gill Weaver: 01482 213881.
Hull’s famous joke shop in Hepworths Arcade, opened by George Dinsdale in 1833, passed to George Dinsdale Junior and now run by his nephew, Graham Williams.
“I’ve been here for about 30 years and it’s clear a lot of people have fond memories of the shop,” said Graham.
“We get a lot of people who came here as kids coming back now with their children and grandchildren. But business is difficult and there are some people who don’t know where we are so a brochure like this is very welcome.”
Contact Graham Williams: 01482 223622.
New Vintage Clothing Company
Opened two months ago on the Harbour Deck in Princes Quay Shopping Centre in partnership with the owners’ wholesale and online business in Holderness Road. The business sells high quality vintage clothing, re-worked vintage items and new clothing with a vintage twist.
“We have very strong contacts within the industry and as a result of that we offer items that are not available anywhere else,” said James Ash, managing director.
“The idea of a Hidden Gems brochure is great. Every business needs a push at times like this and it’s even more difficult for independent shops to compete because we don’t have the marketing power of the big stores.”
Contact James Ash: 01482 216904.
Birdcage Boutique and Pineapple For Interiors
19-year-old Amylia [correct] Todd ran her own clothing section in her mum’s shop, Pineapple Interiors, before setting up on her own two months ago in Savile Street.
Birdcage Boutique sells women’s clothes, bags, accessories, occasion-wear. Pineapple For Interiors was inspired by Amylia’s mum’s ongoing business and supplies “everything for the home interior.” In time Amylia plans to introduce some of her own designs to both sides of the business.
“I’ve been working hard to set up the business and to let people know I’m here and I think the Hidden Gems brochure is a great way to help me do that,” said Amylia.
Contact Amylia Todd: 01482 215303.