An independent boutique offering stylish and affordable womenswear, jewellery and accessories has opened at Beverley’s Flemingate centre.
Jo Ja Be Boutique has operated as a successful online business since last summer and owner Jo Briggs has now taken the leap to open her first bricks-and-mortar shop, bringing sought-after fashion brands to the high street.
Jo, a former NHS Clinical Admin Manager, has opened her boutique just in time to launch her exciting spring and summer collection.
Her business was born from a desire to bring a modern twist to classic and unique styles to suit all ages and all within an achievable budget, offering everything from casual to eveningwear in sizes eight to 18.
Named after Jo and her children, Jack and Beau, the shop will stock exquisite fashion lines from upcoming designers, including Q2; Jayley; and Comino Couture London – many of which aren’t available anywhere else in East Yorkshire – as well as favourites from well-known brands such as Joe Browns.
Jo, from Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire, said: “I’m so excited to open my first shop in such a fantastic location. Flemingate is a really vibrant place which offers that whole day out experience.
“As the online store became more popular, I realised many customers wanted to experience in-person shopping and try our clothes on before they buy. The internet is great and fills a gap, but women really want to come in and browse and enjoy hands-on shopping.
“I love clothes and shopping and enjoy making people feel good about themselves, no matter what size or shape they are. I’m looking forward to people being as passionate about our fashion lines as I am.
“We aim to be a place where customers can visit time and time again and always find something new. By carrying limited numbers of each item and changing the stock regularly, we can offer a fresh shopping experience every time.”
Jo will be supported in the 840 sq ft shop by boutique manager and friend Sarah Rhodes, with Beau joining them as a shop assistant at weekends.
The boutique’s décor has an industrial-style feel, complete with white walls and pops of colour in the fixtures and fittings, allowing the colourful clothing to bring the space to life.
The boutique adds to the mix of leading national retail and leisure brands and local independents at Flemingate, which is owned and operated by Hull-based property developer Wykeland Group.
Jo said: “Wykeland have been supportive, positive and approachable from the very beginning. The team at Flemingate and all the other business owners have created a real community spirit and make you feel very welcome.”
Opened in 2015 as Beverley’s largest ever regeneration scheme, Flemingate is continuing to grow and attract investment. The popular retail and leisure destination recently welcomed the UK’s leading homewares retailer, Dunelm, into the 41,000 sq ft former Debenhams department store.
Other openings in recent months have included Sports Direct, the UK’s leading sportswear and sports equipment retailer, streetwear and fashion brand USC, Vintage & Co hair and beauty salon and a One Stop convenience store.
Wykeland Property Director David Donkin said: “We’re pleased to welcome another new business to Flemingate and we’re sure the boutique will be a big success.
“As the retail landscape changes, independents are coming to the fore and that’s reflected in the growing proportion of local businesses at Flemingate.
“The healthy mix of big national names and unique independent outlets adds even more variety and appeal to the centre’s offering.”
Jo Ja Be Boutique’s prices range from £30 to £300. The store’s opening times are 9am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays.
Pictures: Neil Holmes Photography