Couple believe their luxury lingerie can capture a niche

IPSWICH: A couple have launched out into a new direction by opening a lingerie shop in the centre of town.

Stuart Smith and Rachel Brown have opened Mi Amore in St Nicholas Street.

The couple, who are planning to marry in the Spring, have been working together for seven years in retail but have decided to take a completely different direction.

Their existing internet-based business involves selling mats.

“It is a very different business,” explained Stuart.

“Rachel has always wanted to open a shop and we felt there was a niche for an independent lingerie shop in Ipswich, outside of the department stores.

“After all women like wearing beautiful underwear - and men like to look at it. I like to see it.”

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Rachel, a trained bra fitter, provides a free fitting service for customers.

She said: “Women are getting more curvy.

“They really should have bras fitted. You should be fitted every six months.

“I love wearing beautiful underwear, it makes you feel glamorous.”

Brands featured include Curvy Kate, Chantelle, Passionata, Lingadore, Monsoon and Hot Milk.

They are pleased to have found the St Nicholas Street shop, which was most recently used as an art gallery.

Stuart added: “This is a lovely shop and a lovely area. We thought it was ideal. It is the nicest area of town, on the route between the centre and the Waterfront and with restaurants like the Galley and boutiques such as Caramel all nearby.

“Our stock includes imported French and Dutch brands, Monsoon lingerie (which they don’t stock in their smaller stores), and UK brands you won’t find in the High Street.”

A website is about to go live and they already have expansion plans.

Stuart added: “We hope to open one store a year over the next five years.

“We are thinking of places such as Oxford, where I went to school, Cambridge and perhaps Covent Garden.”

Contact 01473 219319 for more details.

n Are enough independent shops opening in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstar