Two businesses join forces to open new shop near Wymondham

Two entrepreneurial women have combined their businesses to open a new store selling eco-friendly toiletries and hand-crafted jewellery near Wymondham.

Deirdre Marr, who runs Perfect Scents, and Debbie Gothard, who runs Raggle Taggle Beads, threw open the doors to their shop at The Old Garage business park in Hackford on Saturday.

The friends, who first met while performing for the Norfolk-based Livewire Opera Company, had been using the unit just as a work space for about two years and were selling their products at a number of local fairs, but recently decided it was time to welcome customers into their own premises.

Their shop also boasts a special area for parties and workshops where families can come and make their own jewellery and toiletries.

They said the public had responded 'very well' to their new venture and encouraged other small, home-grown businesses thinking about opening their own stores to consider joining forces.

Deirdre said: 'It's very exciting and a whole new venture for us. Working together makes a big difference to our overheads. It's a huge step because it's not just the basics of rents and rates, but electricity, heating and all those other things too.'

The former teacher, from Attleborough, began Perfect Scents about eight years ago when she started to create soaps for her sensitive skin.

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She now sells a range of eco-friendly and organic soaps and lotions, as well as specialises in creating bespoke products for businesses such as guest houses and the Elveden Estate.

Debbie, from Hingham, founded Raggle Taggle Beads about nine years ago while recovering from the chronic fatigue illness ME.

'I had to stop work, I had become wheelchair bound but it got to the stage where I needed to do something so I started crafting,' she said.

'I made cards initially but that grew and I went into jewellery making. Now I don't want to go back to being a management accountant - this is much more preferable to me.'

The store, which is located on the B1108 Hingham Road, is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10am to 4pm.