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The story behind Ipswich's newest shop

PUBLISHED: 18:25 22 October 2019

Artist Ana Negru has turned here hobby into a business and operned a gift and craft shop in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich close to the Regent Theatre. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Artist Ana Negru has turned here hobby into a business and operned a gift and craft shop in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich close to the Regent Theatre. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

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Artist Ana Negru, who came to Ipswich from Romania, has opened her own gift and craft shop in the centre of Ipswich.

Artist Ana Negru has turned here hobby into a business and operned a gift and craft shop in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich close to the Regent Theatre. Picture: DAVID VINCENTArtist Ana Negru has turned here hobby into a business and operned a gift and craft shop in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich close to the Regent Theatre. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Three years ago Ana Negru arrived in Ipswich from her native Romania with her husband and two young sons, ready to start a new life.

Now, the fledgling business woman has opened her own gift and craft shop in the centre of town, is mastering the language and has proudly seen her boys settle at school here.

Her business idea was born out of her love for handicraft and as well as selling her own jewellery and crafts, she also takes on portrait commissions and upcycles furniture.

She said: "I had been looking for a job, I have always been interested in art and making things. It was my hobby. Now it is my first business.

Artist Ana Negru has turned here hobby into a business and operned a gift and craft shop in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich close to the Regent Theatre. Picture: DAVID VINCENTArtist Ana Negru has turned here hobby into a business and operned a gift and craft shop in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich close to the Regent Theatre. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

"This is exciting for me. I would just like to get a few more customers in."

The 42-year-old, who previously worked in banking and finance, opened Ana's Gift Shop in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich just over the road from the Regent Theatre.

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She has her own range of unique hand-made jewellery and jewellery boxes, furniture pieces and other craft items and she will gradually be introducing Christmas decorations over the coming weeks.

Artist Ana Negru has turned here hobby into a business and operned a gift and craft shop in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich close to the Regent Theatre. Picture: DAVID VINCENTArtist Ana Negru has turned here hobby into a business and operned a gift and craft shop in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich close to the Regent Theatre. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

And portraits are big business for her.

She said: "I do portraits for people, usually from their photographs and frame them.

"They are often for personal gifts and as a surprise. I hear from my customers that people love to receive them. They say "wow" and "it's beautiful,"

"Each one is unique. I have just done my first dog portrait too."

Ana's husband Viorel works as an auto electrician in town and their sons David, nine, and Daniel, six, are at school and doing well, she said.

Mrs Negru said: "We like it here in Ipswich. It is very good for the children and their future now.

"It is hard for me to learn English. My English is not so good but the boys speak very well, and my husband speaks it well."

Ana's Gift Shop is open from Monday to Saturday at 6 Upper Orwell Street.

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