Borough Parade in Chippenham has welcomed two new shops this week, after the winners of a one-off competition opened their doors to the public.
Vintage clothing and accessories shop Vintage Couture 77, run by Karen Jones, and children’s clothing shop, Jim and Jemima, which will be run by Anne Rudd, hosted their grand opening on Saturday.
The women won the premises in April after spotting a promotion inviting fledgling companies to ‘win a shop’ – with two spaces available for six months, rent-free, as well as covering the rates and service charges for the first two months.
Mrs Rudd said she has barely had time to catch breath since Jim and Jemima opened.
“I’ve had a lot of good feedback already, which is great,” she said.
“I had a major disaster on Friday, when the credit card machine decided not to work, and so I feel I’ve only been set up properly since it all got sorted at lunchtime on Tuesday.
“I still need to get into the swing of things, including making sure the stock is topped up, and once I’ve got into my stride I’m sure it will all become second nature.”
Mrs Rudd said there are still lessons to learn. “I’m on a steep learning curve, but it’s exciting to be doing this,” she added.
Mrs Jones, who previously worked in management consultancy, is already planning to expand her stock.
She said: “The first day I was open was wonderful.
“It was a really great day, very busy but fantastic. It’s very exciting for me.
“The space I’ve been given is brilliant, so I’m really pleased – it’s very spacious, and there’s a lot of room to display all the goods.
“I’ve decided to include a bridal section, which is a big step too.
“There will be everything from shoes to dresses and accessories, and it will all be vintage, so it does offer something new.
“I’ve even managed to source some designer dresses, which will still have tags on, so I’m really looking forward to that.”