Bra-vo for Rotherham's High Street

Published Tuesday, 18th November 2014
Opening of new shop
Last year's opening of La Bella Lingerie pop up shop.

There’s a bloomer-ing marvellous addition heading to the town centre as the latest “Pop-up Shop” says knickers to shopping anywhere else, Rotherham is the place to be!

La Bella Lingerie, which opened at 30 High Street on Friday November 7, is set to become the place to be in Rotherham Town Centre for tasteful lingerie, including bras, underwear, briefs and loungewear in all sizes.

The long-term dream of owner Karen Carr, the shop, which becomes the third “Pop-up Shop” in the town centre, will be officially opened by Cabinet Member for Business Growth and Regeneration, Councillor Dominic Beck and Rotherham United Chairman, Tony Stewart.

Karen said: “The Pop-up Shop concept has given me a fantastic opportunity to showcase my dream business.

“Right from the start of the process, Rotherham Council’s Town Centre team recognised my enthusiasm for this project, helping me along the way with support and advice.

“The opportunity was so good, that I gave up my career as a teacher to pursue my dream of running my own shop.

“I’m fully trained in bra fitting and the shop will carry a wide range of sizes, right up to K cup. We will also have post-operation bras available and sportswear.

“We offer a ‘wish list’ service, making whatever you want, and also gift vouchers which are perfect for Christmas! It really is all about you at La Bella Lingerie.”

The pop-up shop scheme, which is funded through the High Street Renewal Fund Rotherham Council won in 2013, have become increasingly popular across the country as a means of offering retail space to new start businesses looking to try out their markets, gain valuable experience to shape their business model and enable decisions to be made before potentially investing in setting-up costs and committing to a long term lease agreement.

Thanks to funding from the “Portas Pilot” initiative in 2012, the Council secured premises in the Imperial Buildings and launched the first Pop-up Shop, Vintage Dolls, which is still going strong.

In more good news for the town centre, the Makers’ Emporium, also located on High Street, is officially a success.

Since its grand opening on April 15 by the Queen of Shops herself, Mary Portas, the Makers’ Emporium has exceeded its expected sales figures for its first six months of trading.

When hearing the news, Mary tweeted: “Well done. Not at all surprised. Brilliant concept.”

Funded by the High Street Renewal Award and delivered in partnership between the Council, The Source and Rotherham Youth Enterprise, The Makers' Emporium is supporting new start-businesses looking to trade for the first time, raise awareness of their products and letting them see for themselves what takes to run their own business.

The Emporium, which offers individuals low-cost, shared, professionally managed retail space, focuses on providing locally designed and hand crafted items with an array of items available to suit all tastes and budgets.

Makers’ Emporium Manger, Tim Watmough, said: “We’re celebrating a happy six months and we’re all overjoyed that the Makers’ Emporium is such a success.

“We have a team here that have shown dedication to creativity and customer service to be proud of from day one.

“There’s a real reason why we’ve been such a success and that’s by having an extensive range of products to suit all budgets in a wonderful building. People love shopping with us and seeing the ever changing range of items we have for sale.

“We currently have 34 creative individuals selling their products through us and that number has been consistent throughout the first six months here, showing that there is real need for a retail space such as this.

“I’d like to thank all our customers, staff and makers for their dedication, loyalty and effort. It’s great to see all the hard work has paid off and that we’re able to offer ever more people the opportunity to both start, and expand, their businesses.”

Cabinet Member for Business Growth and Regeneration, Councillor Dominic Beck, concluded: “La Bella Lingerie certainly does represent a beautiful new start for this determined entrepreneur.

“It’s a great example of the fact that not only does Rotherham town centre continue to grow and diversify, but also that people are willing to start their dream businesses with us.

“La Bella Lingerie is certainly a welcome addition to the High Street redevelopments and sits proudly alongside other High Street success stories, such as the Makers’ Emporium.

“The Makers’ is a wonderful business and has quickly become a town centre favourite with its ever-changing line up of fascinating goods and products.

“Best of luck to Karen and her new business and, again, well done to the Makers’. Rotherham town centre is certainly a better place because of them!”