THE 40-year legacy of a popular women’s clothes shop on Uppermill High Street is continuing as new tenants are taking on the mantle and bringing in a fresh lease of life.
Kryshia Fashion, which was one of the first women’s clothing stores in the village when it opened more than four decades ago, closed its door last March.
But now the premises on the corner of Uppermill Square have been taken over by Suki’s Wardrobe so the fashion spirit lives on.
Bekka Simpson, 30, first launched Suki’s Wardrobe two years ago and was based just around the corner at a shop on New Street.
She has made the short move to her new store and is ready to welcome in customers old and new after opening in April as Covid-19 restrictions were eased.
“We knew Kryshia’s had closed, which was a massive shame,” Bekka explained. “So I reached out to her and asked if we could rent the shop.
“She thought it would be lovely to see it continue as a clothes store so she put my name forward to the new landlord because she was selling the building.
“Time passed and I thought someone else had got the place as I hadn’t heard anything – but then I got a call from the landlord asking if I was still interested.
“I went to look at the building straight away. I remember coming in with my grandma when I was about seven or eight but hadn’t been in for years so it was a bit surreal.
“But I got that feeling as soon as I came in that it would be perfect.
“Kryshia was really pleased for us to be taking over so the building would continue in the fashion business. It feels a bit like she has passed on the baton to me, even though we have completely different stock.”
Suki’s Wardrobe specialises in affordable yet luxury fashion for women from independent brands, with a strong sustainable and ethical ethos. They also sell a range of accessories and gifts.
During the pandemic, their shop on New Street was open when restrictions allowed but otherwise they were limited to selling products online.
Bekka took over the new store this March, just three weeks before Government guidelines allowed shops to reopen, after a whirlwind makeover was ready to welcome customers.
“We had to turn the shop around very quickly but I had lots of help from family and friends, even my grandad who is 88!” Bekka said.
“It was a challenge but quite a fun experience. I was really humbled by everybody who offered to help.
“I wanted to have a warm and friendly feeling so we’ve got natural wood, a varnished floor, and stone walls. Shopping should be a relaxing experience so I wanted the shop to reflect that.
“It is such an ideal location and I am so excited for more people to access the brand.
“We offer something for everyone, so you can come in with your mum or grandma or friends and all find something you like.
“We’ve had a lot of new customers in already as well as old ones returning and we are excited to see it grow.”
With the shop becoming increasingly busier, Bekka is looking to hire new staff to join her and Danielle, who previously worked at Kryshia’s, and Abby.
The shop is following Covid guidelines, so customers are asked to wear masks and use the sanitisation station, there are changing screens instead of rooms, and clothes are steamed regularly.
There is a ‘feather system’ in place so feathers are hung in the window to indicate how many people are in the shop, which can be a maximum of five.