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Mansfield market stall success leads to new shop

Two market traders who took advantage of a council scheme to encourage new stalls have proved so successful that they have now opened a shop in the town.

Karen and Pete Parr first took a stall selling giftware on Mansfield Market in February 2017 and were able to take advantage of a Mansfield District Council initiative that enabled them to have an incubation stall rent-free for a year. 

Now, less than two years on, the stall has evolved to the opening of their first shop, McHenry's, in Market Street. 

The couple had an official opening on Friday 2 November when the first 100 customers were treated to free gifts.

Cllr Dave Saunders, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth, said: "What a great success story for Mansfield Market and the town centre. It's good to see new independent traders opening and thriving in Mansfield and this is something we aim to encourage to maintain and grow the prosperity of the high street here." 

Karen Parr said they first got the idea for a stall on the market after taking part in a Christmas market at Mansfield Museum in December 2016. 

"There was an offer of a free incubation stall for the first year which encouraged us to start, so we took up this option and began with one stall, progressing to two stalls after a few months, with one fully paid for," she explained. 

"The council helped a lot. The staff were really supportive on the market. Without this support, we would not be where we are today."

The couple started by selling laser engraved gifts and then went on to expand their range. The next stage was to seek a suitable shop and, after a careful search, came across a "quirky little place" in Market Street. 

"We always try to be different and unique," said Karen. "We always wanted to include the Vivid Arts products on the market and started with dog ranges but the big items were too risky on the stall - a slight wind and they would have fallen.

"The name McHenry's is a character from the Magic Roundabout - and the name of our dog! We hope the shop will be a magical experience for everyone."

The couple are continuing to keep their stall on the market going as a taster display for the shop. And their entrepreneurial drive is on a roll as now they are seeking to expand with another shop in Nottingham.

Published on 7 November 

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