Adding a splash of colour in Seaton

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:42 09 January 2018

Amber Home of Colour. Ref ehr 49 17TI 4665. Picture: Terry Ife

Amber Home of Colour. Ref ehr 49 17TI 4665. Picture: Terry Ife

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Amber Home of Colour, Marine Crescent, Seaton - Liz Shepherd speaks about her business

Amber Home of Colour. Ref ehr 49 17TI 4679. Picture: Terry IfeAmber Home of Colour. Ref ehr 49 17TI 4679. Picture: Terry Ife

My name is Liz Shepherd, I grew up in Colyford and attended Colyton Grammar School before heading away to University. I have been a PE teacher for the last 20 years working in schools both in the UK as well as various countries in Asia. I moved back to Colyford this summer with my husband and two daughters.

What made you decide to set up shop as an independent trader in Seaton?

Amber Home of Colour. Ref ehr 49 17TI 4677. Picture: Terry IfeAmber Home of Colour. Ref ehr 49 17TI 4677. Picture: Terry Ife

The shop, ‘Amber Home of Colour’ was inspired by four lovely years when our family lived in India. The vibrancy of colour in every-day life was amazing; we enjoyed visits to the markets where there were ladies in colourful saris selling wonderful, fragrant spices in gorgeous colours. The lights at Diwali and the coloured powder at Holi were inspiring. We filled our home in India with bold colours and wanted to bring some of these back to the UK. After 25 years I am pleased to have returned to Seaton, we wanted to be closer to family and my girls have started Secondary School here. I am pleased for them to be growing up in such a lovely place and I am keen to be part of the growth of Seaton’s town centre.

How do you see your business faring over the next five years?

Amber Home of Colour. Ref ehr 49 17TI 4675. Picture: Terry IfeAmber Home of Colour. Ref ehr 49 17TI 4675. Picture: Terry Ife

The first month of trading has been very positive with many lovely comments from supportive local customers as well as tourists. I did my research and strive to be different from other shops so we can compliment each other and work together to encourage trade in the town. I sell homewares, soft furnishings and accessories in bright colours including rugs, cushions, doormats, throws, bedspreads, table cloths and more and I plan to update my range each season to keep the stock fresh. Many of the products are hand-made and Fair Trade so I hope this will appeal to the customers. I will also endeavour to keep my prices reasonable as I hope to attract repeat custom, I would very much like to still be trading in Seaton in five years time!

What advice would you give to anybody considering setting up an independent shop?

Amber Home of Colour. Ref ehr 49 17TI 4663. Picture: Terry IfeAmber Home of Colour. Ref ehr 49 17TI 4663. Picture: Terry Ife

For anyone hoping to set up an independent shop, I would suggest looking for a niche in the market to find out what is needed. When you find a potential premises consider the lease term carefully to avoid being tied for too long if the new business doesn’t go well. For me, it’s been so important to talk to other traders in Seaton who have a wealth of knowledge and experience and I have learnt so much from them. They have been extremely welcoming and given me loads of really useful advice. Social Media has been helpful in promoting my shop, I have a Facebook page where I post when new stock arrives and when I attend events. My website also allows customers to shop online (www.amberhomeofcolour.co.uk) Finally, new traders must put their heart and soul into the new venture, so far I have found it to be an enjoyable, sociable and rewarding experience!

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