Who won the Nailsea Win a Shop competition? Fran and Emily!
By KenHarrison | Friday, September 06, 2013, 11:46
Judges of the competition to Win a Shop in the Crown Glass Shopping Centre, Nailsea have announced two winners.
Win a Shop winners Emily Rickard (left) and Fran Hunt.
More than 30 local people submitted their ideas to win the 15 Colliers Walk shop in the Centre free for a year, and shortlisted applicants faced a panel of judges in a Dragons' Den style pitch. The judges were so impressed with the entries they received they have instead decided to give away two shops, free for a year.
Fran Hunt of party and wedding supplies sale and hire business Partysmartys will move into 15 Colliers Walk in Crown Glass Shopping Centre. Meanwhile, Emily Rickard will open the Ewe-Knit 20 shop at 20 Colliers Walk, a few doors away, to provide machine knitting classes, materials for creative and hobbyist knitwear, and her own range of knitted clothing and accessories,.
Mark Robinson of Crown Glass landlord Ellandi, who was one of the judges, said: "We had a fantastic response to this competition from local people keep to run their own business and we simply couldn't decide between Fran and Emily, who both had great ideas which were well thought through and which will add to the Nailsea shopping experience.
"So we decided to give them both a shop free for a year."
Each of the winners will be given a retail unit in the shopping centre, free of rent and rates, for a year. In addition, they will receive free mentoring help and support from local financial, banking, retail and marketing experts. The prize is worth over £25,000 to each winner.
At the end of the one-year period of occupancy the winner will have the opportunity to sign a commercial lease to continue occupancy if they wish.
The competition to win 15 Colliers Walk for a year was open to residents of North Somerset and Bristol aged 18 and over
A number of local business specialists have volunteered their time and expertise to support the new retailer. Local mentors include Wards Solicitors, Neil Houghton Accounting, Waitrose, HSBC Bank, Ontrac advertising agency and HPR public relations.
Keep up to date with all Crown Glass events on Facebook.com/crownglassshopping.
Fran Hunt, Partysmartys
Fran Hunt, who lives in Portishead, has been running Partysmartys online for the past six years. The business provides party supplies including party bags, fancy dress costumes, tableware, and gift ideas. When the shop opens it will also offer everything for weddings from DIY stationery and favours to the hire of faux flowers.
Fran had previously worked in a number of retail businesses in the area, including BHS and a local grocery, a baker and newsagents. She said: "I started the business when my children grew up.
"I was shell shocked when I heard I had won the shop – I was up against such strong competition. I'm delighted and very excited, and thrilled that I will be getting some business advice from local mentors. Their advice and support will be a big part of the prize."
Emily Rickard, Ewe-Knit 20
Emily Rickard lives in Nailsea. She aims to create "a vibrant hub of creativity for knitters and textile lovers of all ages", offering machine knitting classes, materials for creative and hobbyist knitwear, and her own range of knitted clothing and accessories for sale.
Emily studied at Nailsea School and at Bristol School of Art before taking a fashion design degree at Bath Spa University, where she showed a range of knitted clothing designs at Graduate Fashion Week. She was Highly Commended in the Knitted Textile Awards 2012, organised by the UK Hand Knitting Association.
She also has 10 years retail experience gained from working in larger high street brands, Monsoon & Clarks, alongside smaller independent shops within Nailsea itself.
She said: "Knitting is a real passion and my love is machine knitting. At Ewe-Knit 20 I will be offering courses in machine knitting and selling the equipment itself.
"Winning the competition is amazing and gives me the opportunity to open a shop that I simply could not have considered otherwise."