IT’S a family thing for a mum and her daughters who have opened a new fabric shop.
Moira Massey, 65, and her daughters Paula Garthwaite, 43, and Leighann Ward, 41, have unveiled Material World in Murray Street.
It is the family’s latest venture as the mum-and-daughters combination already run a dance wear shop in Whitby Street South in Hartlepool.
Leighann told Business Update: “People were coming in to the dance wear shop and asking for materials so we thought ‘let’s expand’.”
The dance wear shop was the family’s first entrepreneurial venture and has proved to be a “thriving little business” since it first started five years ago, said Leighann, who is mum to 17-year-old Thomas and nine-year-old Abbey.
“As well as being a successful business, we all get on as well,” said Leighann.
The family have come from a wide range of different professions. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Leighann previously worked in a bridal shop while Paula, who is mum to Laurie, 17, and Harry, aged nine, was a dental nurse.
Leanne said her mum Moira worked for Women’s Aid for around 25 years and helped set up help for domestic violence victims in Stockton, before deciding it was time to retire from that role.
But Leighann said: “Before that and when she left school, my mum was in to dressmaking and has the knowledge of that.”
She said both her daughter Abbey and her sister’s daughter Laurie danced with the Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts which is also where their dance wear shop is based.
Leighann added: “We only stocked dance wear and rhinestones, and everything to do with dance in the other shop but the demand is there for the fabrics.
“We have extended to sell all sorts of fabrics. We are a haberdashers and sell ribbons. We thought we would go for it and hopefully it will pay off.
“It is there for people who are into things like dressmaking and we have a really good variety in the shop. We really think it could take off.”
And to make sure the family connections are really strong, there’s another link for the new business.
Leighann added: “Both Thomas and Laurie are working in the shop as well.”