Brightly-coloured mural gives ‘shop of lovely stuff’ a funky new look
- Credit: Archant
“I never thought my little shop would look this funky” - that was Annie Debrick’s reaction when an artist created a “beautiful, stunning” mural for her quirky independent store in Ipswich.
Colchester-born Mrs Debrick had been working in media analysis when she decided to take a “big leap” and pursue her dream of opening her own shop after giving birth to her child in 2015.
Starting off by selling at markets in London and Snape Maltings, the jewellery design graduate opened Rockafella Industries and boutique store Kaleidoscope Eye in Ipswich’s Eagle Street in May 2019.
Her vision was to create a “shop of lovely stuff” with a variety of clothes, gifts, accessories and homeware on offer, with space also given to local artists to sell their creations.
The coronavirus crisis, which forced the closure of all non-essential stores, has been tough on even the biggest high street brands – let alone independents not in the immediate town centre.
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However, the Colchester-born 28-year-old is determined to prove that “it’s a good time for creative industries” - and decided a lick of paint outside would help to attract passers-by.
Enlisting the help of artist Catalina Carvajal Reeves, the shop now boasts a colourful mural that is certainly eye-catching.
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Mrs Debrick said: “The shop is very colourful and I wanted something to reflect that.
“I wanted something eye-catching, as we are a bit out of town and I wanted something you would notice if you were driving past.”
Mrs Debrick said the coronavirus lockdown meant business had “definitely been slower than before,” adding: “We don’t have many browsers now. People are coming in specifically to buy something.”
However, she launched the shop’s website during lockdown, which has been doing a strong trade – and she believes the enforced closures of lockdown have opened many retailers’ eyes to what is possible in the future.
“As an independent business, you can’t just be a shop and be a shopkeeper,” she said.
“You have to wear many hats.
“As bad as it has been for people financially, it is good that it has opened people’s eyes to doing different things.”
The shop is open 10am until 5pm Tuesdays to Fridays, and between 10am and 6pm on Saturdays.
For more information, visit rockafellaindsutries.com