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Business is in the ... purple

PUBLISHED: 15:13 17 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

FELIXSTOWE is getting a touch of purple.

After 30 years of being successful in Ipswich the Purple Shop is expanding and spreading some colour on the coast.

FELIXSTOWE is getting a touch of purple.

After 30 years of being successful in Ipswich the Purple Shop is expanding and spreading some colour on the coast.

Owners of the Fonnereau Road shop, Lindsay Thomas (known as Tomo) and wife Anne have decided that it is time to spread their wings and are opening another shop in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.

All different types of jewellery from all over the world, some hand made, are sold in the shop as well as clothes, scarves and incense burners.

Body piercing is also one of their main attractions and the thing that Tomo said really keeps them going.

The move has been something of a whirlwind for the couple who have owned the Ipswich shop for ten years.

Tomo said: "We went down just to have a chat with the owner of the premises and came out with the keys."

They are hoping that the new shop will be up and running by the first week of September.

Tomo said: "Felixstowe is on the up at the moment.

"People need to go in there now and get it back on its feet.

"Especially when the new pier is built, it will get the place going again – by that time we should be well-established there."

Although the outside of the Hamilton Road premises is mainly glass, the inside will carry the traditional purple colouring.

The Fonnereau Road shop already has a full complement of staff so the Thomas's will be on the look-out for more when they open in Felixstowe.

The shop is really a family business – Anne's aunt and uncle owned it when it was No-Vin's Curiosity shop.

But the very first Purple Shop was started by her father in Scotland when he came out of the RAF.

Anne's parents eventually took over the Fonnereau Road shop, renaming it the Purple Shop.

They had been there for four years before Anne and Tomo came in as partners in 1989, who then took it over in 1991.

A few months later their first son David, now ten came along, followed by Christopher, now aged seven.

The purple theme however has been running all over the country, because when Anne came out of the Navy in Plymouth (where she met Tomo on HMS Raleigh), she set up a market stall selling jewellery and incense burners, called – the purple stalls.

She had stalls in Plymouth, Looe and Tavistock, where she also sold clothing, but used to have to get the 5am ferry from Torpoint, which really began to take its toll.

After putting in an offer on a shop in Tavistock, Anne suddenly changed her mind, which is when she and Tomo, a former marine engineering mechanic, joined her parents.

Although Anne was used to the shop world, Tomo found it more difficult to come to terms with.

He said: "It takes a long time to get used to being a civilian again – this was like a 180 degree turn for me.

"But I love it now and I could not imagine doing anything else."

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