Louise’s ‘exciting’ venture at new Sidmouth shop

Louise Cross, pictured in her new shop: The Veranda in Libra Court. Ref shs 12-16SH 8628. Picture: S

Louise Cross, pictured in her new shop: The Veranda in Libra Court. Ref shs 12-16SH 8628. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth shop manager, who was dealt a sudden blow in January, has managed to turn her fortunes around with an ‘exciting’ new business venture.

Soon after Christmas, faced with the bad news that she and her staff would be made redundant, Louise Cross was at a complete loss. But with a stroke of luck and a little help from friends, she opened her shop, The Veranda at Libra Court, by Easter. Formerly the manager of Ribbons and Bows, in Fore Street, Louise said it had been a very difficult time for her and her team since they learnt that the owner was looking to sell all ten of his stores – but all are now looking at positive futures.

Despite the setback, the Peaslands Road resident said she is now incredibly excited to be setting up on her own.

Louise said: “My mum always said do not ignore any signs in life. If a sign presents itself, then go with it. I have tried to follow this. Just after we had been told we were going to be made redundant, I walked past the entrance to Libra Court and they were renovating the end unit that I have now moved into.”

She explained that a spontaneous conversation with the court’s owners, Charles and Susie Lodge, led to her taking on the premises - where she will sell artwork, clothing, cushions, chocolates and greetings cards.

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Louise explained a number of the lines she is taking on were inspired from chance meetings with their creators.

On the redundancy that triggered her new ventures, she said: “I have really mixed emotions, because I really love the ladies I worked with and I had to tell them they would be made redundant.

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“At the same time, I’m extremely excited to be getting back to running my own business and deciding what I want to sell. I have been really lucky because I have a little band of friends who have helped me.”

A former croupier, Louise travelled the world working on cruise ships, before eventually moving to Lyme Regis.

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