Friends Jayne Hadfield and Nicky Bradley took a risk opening a town centre shop after the first lockdown but the move has paid off for them.
The co-owners of Jola Designs ran the business successfully from their homes before opening the Beech Lane store in September.
Jayne and Nicky have chosen East Cheshire Hospice as their charity of the year for 2021.
A percentage of sales from a Hospice collection, including cushions, aprons and bags, have already being donated to the charity.
The two Macclesfield women met while working for Arighi Bianchi.
Their careers then went in different directions but they remained close friends and eventually turned their craft hobby into a profitable business, starting off at trade fairs selling cushions and cards to retailers.
The shop and website now boasts an extensive product range, including gifts, clothing, home, baby and accessories.
Jayne said: “We had no expectations after opening the shop, especially as it was probably the worst time in history to start a business but the support has been amazing.
“We’ve traded for a few years and having a shop window allows us to show people in Macclesfield what we do. So for many we’re a new company.
“It’s been a weird time for everyone but felt we had to be brave and there’s a lot more we can do.”
Nicky Bradley (left) and Jayne Hadfield with their Hospice collection at Jola Designs.
Jola Designs is a family affair. Nicky’s parents Paul and Carol help out, while daughter Ellie runs NaughtyBirds, a women’s clothing brand based at the shop.
Nicky said: “Jayne designs and is the creative inspiration, while I focus on sales. We spent a lot of time between homes where we had workshops in our garages.
“It then reached the point where we had to decide whether to go full time. Some products are generic, but we also specialise in creating personalised bespoke items. ”
Their only regret is that Jayne’s husband Ged is not around to see their success. Ged died of a heart attack in 2016, aged 53.
Jayne said: “Ged urged us on and backed us all the way. He would have been so proud to see how we’ve done. Nicky was my rock and saved me when Ged died, encouraging me to carry on and make it work.”
Although they started January with the shop closed due to restrictions, they continue to trade online and look forward to reopening again soon.
Find more ways to support the Hospice by shopping online here.