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So far alex has created 9 blog entries.

Independent Retailer Profile – Female Entrepeneur Safia Khalid and Her Beauty Empire

2018-07-27T09:02:08+00:00November 9th, 2016|

Eight years ago when Safia Khalid was a single mum supporting two young children she had a life choice to make.  She could either depend on the state to support her and her family or take a risk and start her own business.  Luckily for her, Safia chose the latter and although she has overcome many challenges along the way and learnt that getting it wrong on occasion is a part of the journey of becoming a success, it’s been an exciting journey so far.

Safia began working on a market stall selling handbags. But, as she had always had a passion for beauty she decided to follow that route. Safia opened her first beauty unit in Gravesend Market and today she has expanded to 15 beauty and barber businesses at locations from Kent to Birmingham.

List of locations and businesses

  • Safia’s Beauty opened February 2009 at Gravesend Indoor Market
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened September 2009 at Ashford Designer Outlet
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar March 2010 at Thamesgate Centre in Gravesend
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened January 2012 at The Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened in January 2013 at New Road, Gravesend
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened in May 2014 at The Vancouver Quarter in Kings Lynn
  • Safia’s Barber’s opened in October 2014 at Fareham Shopping Centre
  • Safia’s Barber’s opened in May 2015 at The Pentagon in Chatham
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened in June 2015 at Westgate Shopping Centre in Stevenage
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened in September 2016 at Dockside Shopping Centre in Chatham
  • Safia’s Barber opened in February 2016 at The Orchards Shopping Centre in Dartford
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened in May 2017 at Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre Birmingham
  • Safia’s Barber opened at Broadway Shopping Centre, Bexley Heath July 2017
  • Safia’s Barber opened in September 2017 at The Priory in Dartford
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened their first retail unit in The Priory, Dartford in September 2017

Safia told us, ‘there have been many highlights along the way’.  Opening her first beauty business unit at Gravesend was a huge achievement and the launch of her first Barbers at Fareham Shopping Centre in October 2017 was a shift in a slightly different direction. Safia’s Barber at Fareham was nominated for and won an Opal Award in 2015 in the Mall Retail (New To Market, Less than One Year Trading) category.  In September 2017, Safia opened her first retail unit inside a shopping centre at The Priory in Dartford,  a deal that was facilitated with Ellandi, by her mentor Paul Clifford.

Safia concluded by telling us, ‘There have been a number of challenges, ranging from finding the right technicians to serve customers to unit design. The greatest challenge is being patient, it’s too easy to become despondent when business is slow or something goes wrong, and it will, but believe in your dream, stick with it and it will happen. It did for me.

For more information on how your business could benefit from working in partnership with Space to trade please contact us on 0800 080 7777 or email us at sales@spacetotrade.co.uk.

Nirmita Budathoki and Nikeeta Rai launch Tambee’s Bubble Tea at Pentagon Shopping Centre, Kent

2018-06-26T12:01:47+00:00November 9th, 2016|

Two friends have taken their first dip into the world of mall retail and launched a Bubble tea kiosk at the Pentagon Shopping Centre.

Former dental nurse of six years, Nirmita Budathoki and friend Nikeeta Rai, a former carer of three years, had been friends for seven years when they decided to go into business together this summer. With nowhere locally offering the popular drink, they saw a gap in the market and decided that the popular Bubble tea from Asia would be a welcome addition at their local shopping centre in Chatham.

Bubble tea is the name given to the wide variety of refreshing flavoured fruit teas and milk teas that are served ice cold or piping hot. The drink contains chewy natural tapioca balls that you suck up through a large straw. The drink is trending on Instagram and extremely popular amongst teenagers and with Kent University and Mid Kent College close by, the Pentagon Shopping Centre was the ideal location for their new venture.

Fortunately for them, another friend and former Bubble tea retailer had decided to return to the army and they were able to purchase their ready-made stand for a reasonable price.  They contacted Space to trade and secured a spot on the mall in June. After support and a little handholding from Tina Shah, Commercial Director at Space to trade, they hosted their launch at the Pentagon within just eight weeks.  The launch in September saw a lot of interested customers and sampling created quite a buzz on the mall – they managed to sell over 300 cups on their first day!

Nirmita told us, ‘Space to trade has been very supportive in helping us to launch our business. The team were on hand to help and advise us with everything from power supply, designing our promotional posters, right down to being there for the installation late into a Friday evening and spurring us on at our the launch event in the centre’.

The duo is planning to expand to other shopping centres in the future, with the continued support of Space to trade.

For more information on how your business could benefit from working in partnership with Space to trade please contact us on 0800 080 7777 or email us at sales@spacetotrade.co.uk.

Jeremy Mutebi Launches Online Style Consultancy and Affordable Couture at Fareham Shopping Centre

2018-06-26T12:01:54+00:00November 9th, 2016|

As a finalist in this year’s inaugural Young Start-up Talent Hampshire, a competition which is open to 16 to 25-year-olds who wish to run their own ventures across Hampshire – 20 year old Jeremy Mutebi, an Economic Undergraduate from the University of Southampton was given the chance to promote his online style consultancy and affordable couture at Fareham Shopping Centre with Space to trade this summer.

Jeremy, whose online services include personal shopping, off-the-peg, made-to-measure and bespoke ensembles for every occasion, told us how he got into his style of snappy dressing and his interest in couture. ‘It all began in college where we had to wear suits every day.  I was aiming for a modern day mix between Harvey Spector and James Bond but the guys at my local suit store didn’t know how to style me that way. I bought blazers and trousers from the likes of TOP MAN and River Island and taught myself how. JeremyMutebi solves the problem of wanting to look like James Bond but you either have don’t have the time or the know-how.’

Jeremy continued, ‘I always wanted to be the next Jordan Belfort and run Wall Street but it was only during my first year at university that I realised it wasn’t so much the job I aspired to, it was the suits, the money and the lifestyle. I first got into suits when I was 16 or so. A gent who worked at Thomas Pink used to attend the same church as me, looking like money; and I aspired to be like him.  I was sold on the look and my trousers went from baggy to fitted and my shoe game went from Air Forces to Air Brogues.’

Space to trade Account Manager, Helen Frost who worked with Jeremy to help in bring his brand to visitors to Fareham Shopping Centre told us what a pleasure it was working with Jeremy. ‘Jeremy was most engaging and very smartly dressed; he certainly practises what he preaches and has a great business mind. He had lots of interest from visitors to the centre and certainly enjoyed his week trading. I think Jeremy is just one of those people that will succeed in life, whatever he decides to do and I wish him the best of success with his business going forward.’

For more information on how your business could benefit from working in partnership with Space to trade please contact us on 0800 080 7777.

Space To Trade Has Acquired The Commercialisation Contract For Bell Court Shopping Centre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

2018-08-01T12:41:36+00:00November 9th, 2016|

Anchored by a four screen Everyman cinema, which opened in June this year, Bell Court has undergone an 18-month refurbishment to become a high-quality retail and leisure destination within Stratford’s town centre. In addition to new shops, restaurants and leisure facilities, Bell Court has delivered new public realm, including a central square with wooden seating, landscaping and feature lighting, as well as a living wall and new art installations.

Tina Shah, Commercial Director of Space to trade said, ‘we are looking forward to working with the team at Bell Court.  Bell Court is now complete in terms of build, with tenants such as Debenhams, Nando’s, Veeno, Lush and ASK Italian already trading. With more retailers due to be announced shortly this is a very exciting time for the scheme’.

She continued, ‘we will always aim to find the right shopping centre or town centre venue for brands across the UK, but the way we work is very different to our competitors. It has to be the right retailer in the right space.  We work closely with our mall retailers, helping them with the most modern and engaging design for their stand, through to the financial projections. We also offer ongoing assistance and support via their dedicated local Space to trade Site Manager. It’s vital to have someone on the ground that knows the area so that they can work with the Asset Manager and the Centre Management Team to compliment and improve the Centre’s retail offering.’

John Stacey, Asset Management Director at UK & European Investments, said: ‘Having opened this summer, Bell Court has already established itself as a key retail and leisure destination for both residents and visitors to Stratford-upon-Avon. In its first month of trading, Everyman cinema had more than 10,000 visitors and, with more restaurants and shops now open, the development continues to get busier and more popular.

It’s great to have Space to trade on board. There is a real opportunity for brands to get key exposure in Stratford by using the promotional space available at Bell Court and bring more life to the square’.

For more information on how your business could benefit from working in partnership with Space to trade please contact us on 0800 080 7777.

Young Entrepreneur Launches Fledgling Business at Fareham Shopping Centre Supported by Space To Trade

2018-06-26T12:02:11+00:00November 9th, 2016|

Space to trade would like to congratulate all those who made it through to the finals of the inaugural Young Start-up Talent Hampshire, a competition which is open to 16 to 25-year-olds who wish to run their own ventures across Hampshire. The finals took place on the 15th June at Fareham Innovation Centre and this year attracted large number of submissions from a variety of business sectors.

Five fledgling businesses were shortlisted in the search for Hampshire’s next ‘newtrepreneur’ and thanks to the support of Space to trade and Fareham Shopping Centre, some of the young entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to test out their businesses on the public for a week at the Fareham shopping centre during July.

Space to trade Account Manager, Helen Frost was one of the judges in June and was very impressed with the calibre of entrants.  She said, ‘on judging the first entrant, I was blown away by their presentation, enthusiasm and passion. Going through the judging process this feeling didn’t change and it was a very tough one to call. All the entrants were excellent.’  Helen continues, ‘I was amazed at how young some of the contenders were and what they had achieved. I found them inspirational, and felt very proud to be judging these future businessmen and women on behalf of Space to trade.’

26 year old Ming Wu was the first young trader to dip his toe in the waters of mall trading at Fareham Shopping Centre with his business idea, The Maker’s Guild. The Maker’s Guild in Portsmouth provides a creative engineering space for users to create physical things using the latest in prototype technologies, such as 3D printers.

This is the second year that Ming has been a finalist in the competition and is described by his mentor as hard working and committed, with an entrepreneurial flare.  Ming is always keen to get involved in educational workshops and is keen to take time to mentor and educate the younger entrepreneurs.

Ming was excited to be given the opportunity to trade on the mall and said, ‘I had a very productive week, with lots of interest from various age groups. I had a great chat with a school teacher and her pupils, and other visitors that knew what my offering entailed and wanted more information. I had several new leads and I am extremely grateful to Space to trade for opportunity and the invaluable experience.’

Tina Shah, Commercial Director at Space to trade believes more companies should be supporting schemes like this. ‘We were approached by Young Start-up Talent and asked to get involved in the scheme. What they do makes a real difference by helping to boost performance, youth aspiration and achievement. The young entrepreneurs who take part in these schemes are the future of UK commerce and should not only be encouraged, but also given every opportunity and the tools to succeed’.

For more information on how Space to trade could help you take your business to the next level, please contact us, we’ll be happy to guide and support you in whatever way we can.