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Jacky Featherstone opens online business DaisyHardcastle.co.uk
A WOMAN who thought she had lost her business after damp forced her to close her shop is back on the up.
Jacky Featherstone, who ran independent homeware and gift shop Serendipity in Gillygate for five years, has reopened as an online business.
Now trading as DaisyHardcastle.co.uk, Jacky has regrouped her suppliers and makers of curtains and blinds, and is bouncing back after a successful Christmas trading period.
Harris Tweed accessories, made by independent producers in the Hebrides, have been a best-seller over Christmas, attracting trade from celebrities. She also sent out 200 packages of Fairtrade fairy lights made from banana leaves by families in Thailand on the last posting day before Christmas.
Her first order of 2013 saw her success spread to the United States with a new customer in New York.
Jacky originally set up Serendipity in 2000 with her Aunty Barbara and traded for 18 months in Bishopthorpe Road before moving to Gillygate in 2002.
The shop turned over about £7,000 per month, and was one of the first independent retailers to partner with now well-known website NotOnTheHighStreet.com
But damp in the building started to damage stock and her insurance company said the water in the electrics was too dangerous for her to continue to trade.
She began a year-long battle with her landlord. However, when the problem was finally fixed, Jacky owed £12,000 in rent and had to close the shop. She is still paying it off despite receiving some compensation.
She said: “I was stuck in this crazy situation where I couldn’t trade. I had to move the stock out and into storage. I worked so hard for five years and it was wiped out overnight. I was devastated.”
Jacky has been determined to bounce back and now has a loyal customer-base for which she will create new products, repaint older products to keep them in use and add to bespoke items, such as personalised notice boards, if a new member of the family is born, for example.
She retains the link with NotOnTheHighStreet.com and is hoping to expand with producers on her books.
Jacky said: “I feel for the first time I am on top of the game again and doing well. Now I feel confident again and I am glad I did not give up. It has taken me two years to get back to breaking even and I feel very proud now that for a second time my business is doing well.”