Twenty years on, Ipswich independent retail business Maud’s Attic has become a family affair

Wendy Childs of Maud's Attic with sons John and Robert.

Wendy Childs of Maud's Attic with sons John and Robert. - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich town centre retailer is celebrating a major milestone this autumn when it will be 20 years since it first opened its doors to customers.

Maud’s Attic, in vibrant St Peter’s Street, started trading as an independent retailer in 1996, and over the last couple of decades it has grown into a flourishing business that is well known for its quirky character and eclectic mix of jewellery, gifts, furniture and lighting.

“This October marks our 20th birthday and we’re thrilled to be celebrating such a big milestone,” said owner Wendy Childs.

“Maud’s Attic has become widely recognised as one of the longest running retail outlets in the Saints area of Ipswich and this is something we’re hugely proud of.

“Twenty years in business has seen a lot of change in the marketplace and, with the support of our customers, we have been able to successfully compete with the rise of major high street brands and the boom of internet shopping. Customers visit us from all over the region, as we have built a reputation for stocking a range of products that are quirky and unusual, so we attract those who are seeking out a unique gift for family, friends or themselves.”

Wendy enjoyed being part of the local business and retail community so much that in 1998 she decided to open a second shop, Merchant House, just next door to Maud’s Attic and managed by her son Robert Manning.

Then, in 2011, a rare opportunity to acquire the second adjoining shop on St Peter’s Street came up, and son John Manning opened up another outlet, the House in Town, which specialises in selling contemporary, on-trend furniture, interiors and artworks.

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So, the business is now a family affair with Wendy’s two sons, John and Robert, both involved with the operation of the three shops.

Wendy continued: “Maud’s Attic, Merchant House and the House in Town are three completely unique shops with their own characteristics, however all born from a dream to provide a retail outlet that sells something a little bit different.”