A ‘destination’ high-end fashion shop has become the latest addition to Merthyr Tydfil town centre’s eclectic mix of independent traders.
Tezzabelle’s in Pontmorlais is the ninth shop to be launched through the County Borough Council’s innovative ‘Meanwhile’ programme, which gives local entrepreneurs business support and short-term rent-free accommodation in vacant premises.
The store is Bedlinog mother and daughter Donna and Terri Jones’s first close to home after moving the business from Brynmawr.
“Almost all our customers were from Merthyr Tydfil and they begged us to set up here” said Terri.
The former bookkeeper found out about the Meanwhile scheme after popping into neighbouring shop The Bait Shack while on an expedition to find a suitable base. The only fishing tackle and accessories shop in the county borough is also a product of the initiative.
Council Leader Cllr Kevin O’Neill said Tezzabelle’s was an impressive addition to the ever-broader spectrum of niche independent stores that made Merthyr Tydfil town centre an exciting and eclectic place to shop.
“It’s Meanwhile’s very first independent ladies’ boutique and will quickly become a destination store, with people travelling here specifically to buy from its unique-to-the-Valleys range of clothing.”
Cllr O’Neill said the Meanwhile scheme had been one of the authority’s great success stories, having nurtured eight businesses now flourishing and continuing in their premises after a successful first six months.
These included Lunah Tearooms, JOL’s Restaurant and the recently-opened Oporto Portuguese Grocery Store.
“We are rightfully proud of what Meanwhile has achieved in supporting budding entrepreneurs like Terri and Donna,”
“The team not only helps them find property, but also provides business planning advice, financial support and skills development from the Merthyr Tydfil Enterprise Centre.”
After switching from bookkeeping, 30-year-old Terri was a sales assistant at Cardiff luxury designer store Flannels and dreamt of opening her own place.
Urged by Donna to start one up together, Terri went about sourcing wholesalers and was soon selling clothes that were ‘different – everybody loves different!’
They buy from designers based in London, Portugal and Dubai, with labels including the on-trend In Love With Fashion, and describe the outfits as ‘limited, up-to-the-minute fashion. When it’s gone, it’s gone’, she said.
Meanwhile is supported by the Merthyr Tydfil Enterprise Board and Merthyr Tydfil Enterprise Centre (MTEC), which comprises representatives of the local authority, and Business Wales.
Visit Tezzabelles website at www.tezzabelles.co.uk
If you’re thinking of opening a shop in Merthyr Tydfil and would like some support from the Meanwhile scheme, contact Merthyr Tydfil Enterprise Centre (MTEC), Tydfil Training, 114 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8AP. Tel: 01685 727 509