AN award-winning independent jeweller has set up shop in Richmond thanks to a council grant.
Gem, in Rosemary Lane and which sells a mixture of silver and gemstone jewellery, opened its doors on Friday to an already enthusiastic customer-base.
Owner Carolyn Grant, winner of the North Derbyshire Business Start-Up Award in 1994, said: "I have been very excited about opening Gem, especially as it’s in my home town of Richmond.
“I’ve always enjoyed being creative, and now thanks to Richmondshire District Council and my supportive family and friends, I have the perfect place to showcase and sell my creations.”
Ms Grant secured the assistance from the district council after applying for its Business Funding Scheme 2013 to 2014.
The funding helps businesses by providing grants to cover up to 75 per cent of the applicant’s venture, and can help with basics such as IT equipment to help businesses get online as well as marketing.
She added: “As an art and design graduate, with over a decade’s worth of experience in jewellery retail, I thought it was about time I take that terrifying step to open my own shop. I’ve had a huge amount of help and financial support from my partner, Andrew, and my parents, so I’m determined that Gem will be a success.”
As a public supporter of independent retailers in Richmond, district councillor Stuart Parsons is happy to see another local start-up business fighting against the ever-growing chain store.
Coun Parsons said: “Richmond has become a wonderful tourist destination, and we have a duty to provide the community and tourists alike a diverse and unique shopping experience.
“By supporting new shops, like Gem, we’re helping the local economy, the local community and the local spirit. Not many people can say no to that.”
Open Monday to Saturday 9.30am until 4.30pm, Gem also sells gemstones and crystals, men's and children's jewellery and locally made cards. For more information, visit www.gemrichmond.co.uk.