A Hartlepool mum aims to support local women in the town by launching a lingerie shop.
After Amy Hanlon had to travel to Newcastle just to buy a suitable bra, she decided it was time to put her shop plans into action.
Despite being broken into twice in the first three weeks, Amy refused to give up and Bellus Amor is now up and running in Stockton Road providing underwear for women of all shapes and sizes.
The mum-of-two has also joined the Against Breast Cancer bra recycling scheme, so people can deposit their old bras at the shop and the charity gets money for them.
Also, the bras are recycled and often sent to third world countries.
Amy, 28, said: “It’s a fantastic scheme and benefits so many people instead of the bras ending up in landfill.”
The support I have had from the people of Hartlepool has been amazingAmy Hanlon
The new businesswomen, who lives in the Rossmere area with her partner, Gavin Steel, 30, and children, Willow, four, and five-month-old Oakley, said it was crazy that there was nowhere in a town the size of Hartlepool that had a bra fitting service for women.
She said: “I had thought about opening a lingerie business a few years ago, but didn’t have the bottle.
“Then a one day I bought a new top which needed a specific style of bra to go with it and I ended up having to go all the way to Newcastle to get one in my size. I just decided then that there must be other women in the town in the same boat.”
However, opening the shop hasn’t been plain sailing because it was broken into twice in the first few weeks.
Amy, said: “The first time they broke in through the rear door, but the alarm went off an spooked them.
“The next time they tore down the grills and broke a front window to get in. Their faces on the CCTV camera were priceless when they realised we had taken all the stock out.”
The young mum said: “It has been a rollercoaster, but I am a very positive person and I won’t give up.
“The support I have had from the people of Hartlepool has been amazing. I was getting messages from complete strangers saying I was doing a great and not to give up.
“They were saying how much the town needs a shop like mine and not to give up. It has been that support which has kept me going really.”
Bellus Amor provides a full bra measuring and fitting service and caters for women from an A cup right up to K cup. It also sells other lingerie and nightwear.