Two Stockton entrepreneurs who started selling their goods temporarily from a pop-up shop in the town's Enterprise Arcade are taking the next steps towards establishing a permanent business.
Shoppers visiting the Arcade will be delighted by the vast assortment of new enterprises offering high quality, unusual and often hand-made merchandise.
Darren Hughes moved his saddlery and leather business into the Arcade's pop-up shop last month and Derek Slark spent two weeks selling original oil, water colour and acrylic paintings, and limited edition prints from his Fine Arts Gallery in the pop-up earlier this month.
The time in the pop-up went so well for both traders that they have each decided to sign a six month lease.
Darren crafts a wide range of leather items including saddlery goods as well as walking sticks. Anyone visiting the Arcade can see him at work, crafting and repairing quality leather and wooden goods.
Darren is delighted with how his business is progressing: "I originally signed up to trade from the Enterprise Arcade for a couple of weeks to test out the trade and see what customers in Stockton liked. So far it's been a great experience. I have been inundated with interested customers and I'm delighted to be in a position to sign a six month lease. The Arcade has given me the opportunity to test my ideas and I am now confident to go forward with my business."
Derek, sells original oil, water colour and acrylic paintings, he added: "I really enjoyed my first few weeks in the Enterprise Arcade. Its central position on the High Street means it benefits from a lot of passing trade which is helping me build up my customer base.
"I'm really looking forward to growing my business over the coming weeks and plan to add artisan jewellery, studio glass and ceramics to my product range very soon too."
Stockton Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Councillor Mike Smith, said: "The Council is proud to support as many new, independent businesses as possible. Darren and Derek's businesses are yet another example of how the Enterprise Arcade can support fledgling retailers along the road to success - it is a perfect place for budding entrepreneurs to establish themselves.
"What's more the Arcade is a real treat for all shoppers. From dolls and baby clothes to handmade knitwear and even a milkshake bar, there is something for all tastes under one roof. The pop-up shop adds yet more to the eclectic mix of independents, with new traders regularly having the opportunity to pilot their business ideas on a fortnightly basis."
Situated at 35-37 High Street, The Enterprise Arcade opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5pm. Visit www.rediscoverstockton.co.uk email [email protected] or call 01642 605198 to find out more about opportunities at the Enterprise Arcade.