MEET THE SHOPKEEPER: PRUDENT NELLIE


Introduce yourself and your store.
My name is Jess, my husband is Ross. We have been married 10 years and decided during lock down to start up a new business outside of our full time jobs. I spend my days hairdressing and own a small salon. Ross has always been a carpenter and general builder by trade and now produces storage solutions, wardrobes and fitted cupboards. We had lots of time during lockdown to decide on a name and figure out what we wanted to sell and from where. Our store Prudent Nellie sits within a large multiple retail centre over 4 floors in Long Melford. We have been trading 12 weeks.

How has Covid changed your business?
I'm not sure we would even have Prudent Nellie without the time we had during the first lockdown and closure of our businesses. Obviously we were aware that further lockdowns could occur and that starting a 3rd business came with risk but with a positive mindset recognised a really strong 'shop independent and shop local' support on social media.

Is there a story behind the name?
I wish there was an exciting story behind our name, Nellie is my late nan's middle name and after writing 100 lists, tonnes of searches and business name generators, Prudent Nellie was the one we constantly came back to. 

How long have you been doing this?
We had been open 9 weeks and then lock down strike 2 hit. 

Best moment of store life so far?
Our best moments are seeing our items in people's homes and repeat visitors. Knowing that people get enjoyment from our store.

How did you come across Text From A Friend?
We came across Text From A Friend during lockdown on Instagram or Facebook and we loved the simplicity and unusual quotes. 

What's your favourite Text From A Friend product?
We love and stock the greeting cards.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A physio I think - random.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't overthink.

When you get time off, what do you do?
When we get time off we chill as much as possible. We see friends family, walk our two dogs and cook.

Favourite city/destination to visit?
Our favourite place to visit in the UK is the Norfolk Coast. Our favourite holiday to date is the Maldives, We have missed travel this year but have learned to appreciate what we have at home. Living in the countryside is lovely. 

What inspires you to buy a maker's product?
The customer service is far superior to larger corporate companies and it's more satisfying to support an independent. 

What do you love most about having the store?
It's great fun it. Feels very much like a hobby and would love that feeling to continue. 

Future plans?
I like that we have no fixed plans we came into this with little to no knowledge of retail the do's and dont's but I like that it's a learn as we go venture and we are not scared to ask people for advice. I guess Prudent Nellie will grow and gain a following and the rest is up to us but at this stage we are enjoying the experience.

Dream product to have instore?
Ross loves anything wooden we use off cuts from his business and we are drawn to recycled cotton and glass, I love rattan wicker and unusual items to its a real mixed bag of everything we like in Prudent.  

Top tips for visitors to your city?
 Long Melford is a lovely village to visit, We live here too so a little biased but the village is Home of The Nethergate Brewery, Kentwell Hall and Melford Hall. There's lovely walks, antiques, gifts, art, tearooms and restaurants. 

Find Prudent Nellie:
Website: Prudent Nellie
Instagram: @prudentnellie
Facebook: PrudentNellie