Hucknall small business owners urging people to explore town's hidden gems off the High Street

An independent Hucknall business that started in lockdown is calling on residents to look beyond the High Street and sample the delights of shopping on the side roads.

The Bees Knees Pre-Loved Boutique on Watnall Road first opened its doors in August 2020 and has survived through more lockdowns since to bang the drum for small shops in the town today.

Owned and run by mother and daughter Jane and Emma Webster, the shop is an Aladdin’s Cave of clothes, gifts and trinkets.

Jane said: “We’ve both always had too many clothes and we’d always talked about something like having a shop.

Jane and Emma Webster are calling on people to support non-High Street business in Hucknall

"Previously, we always used to sell old clothes through flea markets, or on Facebook, and then we thought we could turn that into a business.

"The lady who had this shop was retiring and we got in there first, put the deposit down and that was it.

"We got the keys on March 4, 2020 just before the first lockdown but it didn’t matter because the shop needed doing up – nothing had been done to it for about 10 years.

"All the time we were shut though, the landlord at the time still charged us full rent.

Read More

Read More
Bulwell Toy Library holding event to celebrate National Play Day

"The ceiling fell down three times and he wouldn’t fix it and then he presented us with a bill for £1,500 because the electrics weren’t safe.

"We did sit in the shop and cry at times but thankfully we’ve now got new landlords, who are lovely and made time for us, and we finally opened on August 23, 2020.”

The shop sells second-hand clothing, samples, chain store seconds and homemade gifts, as well accepting clothing donations.

But Jane and Emma use their shop for more than just selling items.

The pair regularly pass on clothing donations to support the charity Sharewear and the Hucknall branch of the Salvation Army.

They have also use part of their profits in to buy items for charities, community groups or supporting things like the cleft pallet ward at the Queen’s Medical Centre.

On their Facebook page, they also ask people to nominate groups to help and they then use more of their profits to buy items for the chosen cause.

But now, after the lockdowns and amid the current cost of living crisis, Jane and Emma are appealing to the public to discover there is more to shops in Hucknall than just the High Street and help them keep supporting charities and good causes.

Jane said: “Since the last lockdown, the footfall has dropped off because people have got no money.

“Although it’s not long we’ve had the shop, even we’ve noticed that ever since they pedestrianised the High Street, Watnall Road, Annesley Road and Portland Road seem to be almost segregated.

"We seem to be cut off from the High Street and we don’t feel included.

“It feels like we’re almost not part of the same town.

"We businesses all try and support each other and those like us who are slightly off the beaten track feel exactly the same way as we do.

“So we just want to put it out there that we are here and want people to come and try our shop and the others that are in the town, just not on the High Street.”