Florist Christine Fearon has launched her business – Made with Love – at an appropriate and special time.
The shop’s opening in Middlesbrough’s Dundas Market coincided with the date of her late mum’s birthday, as well as the start of the build up to Mother’s Day.
Her family and friends were the inspiration for its name. “I’ve always made things for people – and they’re people that I love – so it just kind of clicked,” said Christine, whose two daughters will help in the shop.
Made with Love has opened in one of Dundas Market’s Enterprise Units which help new businesses, through discounted rents and short term tenancy agreements, during their crucial first months.
“They’re absolutely fantastic. They are a great opportunity for anybody starting out. You can start small and then you can expand,” said Christine, 50, who lives in Middlesbrough and has six grandchildren.
Despite always loving and being creative with flowers – she still has the bouquets she made for her wedding – Christine’s new career represents a major change of direction.
For 15 years she worked in the Criminal Justice System, at police stations and courts, supporting substance misusers. She then became a tutor helping the long-term unemployed gain qualifications.
An interest in starting her own florist’s business started when she helped a friend at Stockton Market and then had her own stall at the monthly Food and Craft fair at Dundas Indoor Market.
“The opportunity came up for a florist in the Dundas indoor market. I know Dundas, I’m from Middlesbrough, I know the whole town centre – and I just thought, I’m going to go for it,” said Christine.
She has high hopes for Made with Love: “I want the business to grow bigger and better. It’s something that I would like to leave behind for my girls. After all we’re always going to want flowers.”
Christine said she has already been made to feel at home by the fellow traders at Dundas Indoor Market and its manager David Harris. “He’ll do anything to help. He’s such a lovely man,” she said.
More than 20 independent local businesses trade at the market and new businesses, like Made with Love, are encouraged.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a college leaver or somebody, such as Christine, who is looking to do something different,” said David. “One of the very good things about Dundas Market is that we have a mix of people who are doing really well because they had a great idea and the determination to see it through.
“Although space on our market is at a premium, I am still are keen to hear from new and established retailers, especially from the types of business we know are in demand and which will enhance our offer. I would be especially interested in hearing from greengrocers, bakers, ethnic food suppliers, vintage memorabilia retailers, sweets sellers, and fruit juice or milkshake bar operators.
“Start-up businesses, like Christine’s, can rent one of a small number of Enterprise Units. They cost from just £60 per week and are available on a short term tenancy agreement.”
Dundas Indoor Market is located in the Dundas Shopping Centre where all the shops offer value for money, from national brands like B&M, Fulton Foods and Cooplands to well-known local independents like The Festival Shop, Tik Tok, Homefair Blinds, Buckshees Military Surplus, LD Printing and Miss Unique, many of which started life trading in Dundas Market.
More information about Enterprise Units and other units at Dundas Market is available from David Harris on tel. 01642 232552 or by email. firstname.lastname@example.org.