A new independent shoe shop, Victoria Grace, in Morpeth, is stepping up its business on Friday (May 3) with a grand opening.
The outlet at the entrance of Sanderson Arcade tip-toed onto the ladies footwear market at the beginning of April.
But Diane Scott, who launched the new venture, said: “We wanted to take it slowly at first – not having been in the shoe retail business before, I didn’t know what to expect.”
“I had nightmares of serving someone and not being able to find the shoes! But we were busy from the very first day, even though we didn’t advertise; it was only from passing trade and word of mouth.”
Her idea came during a holiday to Portugal last year, after buying several pairs of sandals from a shop in Corbridge because she couldn’t find anything locally.
“So after lots of ground work, including visiting the largest trade shoe fair in the UK, almost a year on, we’ve made it to our opening day,” said Diane.
“We believe we have a great selection, with brands such as Birkenstock, Caprice, Alpe, Rieker, Remonte and Lotus, but we are open to listening to our customer needs and suggestions. Being independent we are able to do this, where large chain stores aren’t flexible in the choice of stock.”
Diane continued: “We have a great team working in Victoria Grace; manager Jill Batch has been with my health food business for 27 years. She has organised everything so well, it’s all going smoothly.
“My son, Mark Summers, assistant manager, is very artistic and has done some great window displays. Anna Boutflour, my business partner, has attended the trade show and is our main buyer.
“Anyone who is in Morpeth on Friday, we would love you to join us in our official opening. Come and enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly and chocolates, as deputy mayor, Alison Byard, will be cutting the ribbon.”