First birthday for cards and gifts shop in the heart of Ipswich

Bromley & Co, cards, gift and interiors shop in The Thoroughfare, Ipswich. Business partners Sharon

Bromley & Co, cards, gift and interiors shop in The Thoroughfare, Ipswich. Business partners Sharon Baker and Maxine Matthews. The owners are about the celebrate a first year of their Ipswich business - Credit: Archant

Ipswich gifts, cards and interiors shop Bromley & Co is heading towards its own first birthday.

Independent cards, gifts and interiors retailer in The Thoroughfare, Ipswich

Independent cards, gifts and interiors retailer in The Thoroughfare, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Yes, it does sell birthday cards - lots of them.

The independent business, just round the corner from the Cornhill and the Town Hall, in The Thoroughfare, is the first joint venture for life-long friends Sharon Baker and Maxine Matthews, from Colchester.

Sharon said: “We have been best friends since we were teenagers.

“We came to Ipswich to open the shop because we thought it was an up-and-coming town, with a good feeling about it.


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“We absolutely love this building too. We decided it was a great place to open our shop together, last February.

“Maxine had her own business before, in Halstead and I have worked in retail for 30 years. I was a shop manager for a major High Street chain for many years.

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“We have really enjoyed it since we started.

“We have had a lot of great support from our family and friends, and from the shopping public here.”

Maxine had a background working in interior design previously.

And their shop has a mixture of gifts and cards, interiors and other items. There are soft toys and gifts for babies which are particularly popular.

There are some furniture pieces, mirrors and clocks too.

Maxine said: “We have been friends a long time, our mums were friends too, and we even went on holiday together.

“We had spoken about having a business together before, and this chance came along. It is a very big step for Sharon, I think I first worked with her when she was 16.

“Our families and friends have been very supportive.

“We love Ipswich. We believe it is a town on the up, with new shops opening and the new cinema to come.

“We have been busy today again, and it is after Christmas.

“We have a lot of loyal customerss here.”

The town had a great mix of independent traders, like themselves, and national High Street brands, she said.

All their own stock is personally chosen.

“We have most of the interiors upstairs,” Sharon added, “But we are a bit short of stock now. We had a brilliant Christmas.

“We are having a sale to clear stock and then we will be off to the trade shows to see what there is

“There are bound to be lots of new lines for 2017. It is really exciting.”

Bromley & Co, 18 The Thoroughfare, Ipswich

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