Retail Matters: Karen's Story - Angels & Unicorns - at Parkway Shopping Centre
Posted by Ellandi on 12th Oct 2018
Karen and her brand Angels & Unicorns are a new addition to the centre. She sells angel and unicorn themed items and has recently begun adding other items like crystals! Karen had been working in advertising for 8 years before she made the move into retail.
“I was made redundant on 29 June. It was the 4th time I had been made redundant and every other time I always had somewhere else to go but this time I had no alternatives. I am in my 60s and I had all these transferable skills but no one wanted to know.”
She developed an interest in Reiki and holistic healing which introduced her to gemstones and crystal therapy and her idea slowly began to develop from there.
“I had a friend who had some old stock which he said I could take to sell, however it was all gifts and didn’t really have a theme to them, which made me a little hesitant. I started to think about how I could adapt my interests in Reiki and crystals to make them more commercial and I thought, well, I love angels and unicorns, as do so many people, so it grew from there!”
She had never done anything like this before. She had worked with some independent businesses whilst in a previous role but this was a new venture. Seeing that there was space here at the Parkway Shopping Centre, she decided to meet with the Centre Manager, Zoe France, to discuss any opportunity of renting a space. Zoe offered Karen an 8 week trial at the centre at a massively discounted rate. She has now decided that she would like to renew after her trial period is over and is looking to become a permanent fixture at Parkway.
Karen commented “This is a lovely centre with lovely customers. I've received lots of great feedback from them, with some telling me that there is nothing like this in the local area...
...I even slowly began introducing some gemstones and interest in those grew. The customers are also loyal which has really surprised me, as I have had customers saying that they will come back next week when they get paid. They actually do come back and make a purchase!
I am also amazed by the footfall here. People who shop here come with a purpose to shop and there is so much here that you could pretty much get everything you need. I like being out in the open as so many people walk past and have look, so I get to speak to lots of different people and hear some lovely stories.
Since I have started I have been trading well. The store has been paying for itself which is fantastic and I hope that maybe in the future I can expand this current stall. I want to start to grow my brand."