Two entrepreneurs have taken the keys for Liverpool’s latest £1 shops – with both owing a debt of thanks to their family!
Jayne Hayter, who previously worked on Smithdown Road for 10 years in the Old Bank, is returning to open her shop ‘In Loving Memory Of’ – specialising in providing services for bereaved families – at the end of August.
And just two doors away Derry Boorman, who graduated with a photography degree at Liverpool Hope University 10 years ago this summer, is set to open her first studio in the Autumn.
The pair received their keys today and will join three other £1 shops – a beauty salon, fashion store and an Italian cafe – on a previously vacant row of units once earmarked for demolition.
And the duo both have their families to thank for making their dream of opening a shop come true.
Derry said she was alerted to the City Council’s £1 shop scheme when her father sent her a link on a WhatsApp message, whilst Jayne said she wasn’t aware of the opportunity until her son Michael did the same!
Derry, who has specialised in event photography and is looking to widen her portfolio into commercial shoots, said: “When I first began there were so many different avenues I could take and it was a little overwhelming to know where to start.
“I always assumed I’d get into concerts and tours, and it wasn’t until I was asked to shoot a wedding that the business took off in an entirely new and unexpected direction.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to eventually own a studio space – but I never in a million years thought it would happen like this! Being handed the keys felt like a dream! I kept the news close to my chest for months, only telling close family and friends until I had the keys in my hand, as it all felt so surreal. It’s been great to finally tell everyone the big news, and I’ve had a lot of love and support so far.
“I have big plans for this space, with a substantial focus on commercial/product photography and content creation to help get small businesses off the ground, as well as wedding portraiture, headshots, individual and family shoots, and social media focused shoots.
“I’d love to host workshops for all ages to bring out the creative side of our community. Liverpool has always been extremely proud of their creatives, and it would be great to utilise the space as somewhere where individuals can learn and experiment with like-minded people. I’m really interested in hosting creative events, and getting everyone involved.”
Jayne said her shop will provide bespoke service to the bereaved, including grave maintenance and care, memorial accessories, floral tributes and sympathy cards.
She added: “The idea first came to me through my own family experiences. Moving through bereavement can be truly painful but I found spending time at the cemetery caring for the family memorial helped me find some comfort and peace.
“As a family we still wanted to find ways to express our love, to recognise birthdays and anniversaries and love is best expressed in giving. I came to realise that these little acts of love helped with the feelings of sadness.
“But there didn’t seem to be a place that catered for people’s needs under one roof and I thought that might have potential to be a business.
“The business plan submitted is something I have been thinking about for a while but the opportunity to move forward has never cropped up until I heard about the £1 shop scheme, I am so glad I decided to apply and my son Michael who sent me the link to it is delighted with the outcome!
“Going down the £1 shop route was an easy decision for me, firstly because it means a return to Smithdown where I feel at home and also because of the strong sense of community in the neighbourhood and those involved in the regeneration project.
“The process was tough, creating the business plan and moving through the interview but the people at the Council were real professionals, very kind and supportive.”
The £1 shop scheme is a variation on the city’s council’s Homes for a Pound programme.
Like the homeowners, the successful applicants have to carry out repairs and refurbishment themselves and must have finance in place. Tenants like Derry and Jayne will pay £1 a year in rent for the first three years, with a capped commercial rate for the following two.
The Council set the terms of the scheme by setting out that each proposal must be for a new, commercial business and cannot compete with an existing business in the neighbourhood.
Gambling establishments, fast food takeaways, tanning salons, off licences/pubs and pay day loan shops were also not permitted but bids for community cafes and healthy takeaways will be considered.
Cllr Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “Shops and businesses are a vital and integral part of a successful local community.
“The £1 shop scheme has been about giving people with great ideas and a solid business plan the chance to get their venture off the ground, without having to worry about rental costs in the first three years.
“We didn’t want to disadvantage existing local businesses so the ideas couldn’t duplicate what’s already on offer and we didn’t want more shops selling services linked to fast food, gambling, pay day loans, alcohol or tanning.
“I’m delighted for Jayne and Derry. They’re both local, each with a unique offer and their new businesses will be great additions to the growing offer on Smithdown Rd which is fast becoming a vibrant retail hub.
“I wish them and the other £1 shops that have recently opened there every success.”