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Testing business ideas

A family run shoe and boots accessory store has opened in Ipswich thanks to Test Trading.

Test Trading is the scheme that supports budding entrepreneurs, and has helped local business Lumati Shoes to open a retail base in Ipswich town centre.

testLumati sell fine Italian leather shoes and boots accessories and following a successful trading period in the Tower Ramparts Test Trading store, the business is set to open their own store just two doors down from the Test Trading unit.

The Test Trading store is now home to Bohemian Chic Boutique, selling Ready-to-Wear designer clothing, partywear, contemporary and vintage apparel and accessories for women. Featuring designers from Europe and America the unique pieces are either new with tags or used once for photo shoots or samples. The business partners behind Bohemian Chic are sisters Janaina Batista and Laura Santana who have over 20 years of experience in modelling, fashion styling and clothing retail.

Mike Sorhaindo, Tower Ramparts’ Centre Manager said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to continue our support of this exciting business initiative and to be a part of helping new retail and business to come to Ipswich town centre. It offers something unique for our shoppers and we are delighted that Lumati Shoes are continuing their venture at Tower Ramparts with their own unit.”

Successful applicants to the Test Trading scheme are based in a unit at Tower Ramparts for up to 12 weeks, with no rent, business rates or insurance to pay, so they can concentrate their efforts on selling their ideas to customers. All that is asked is a contribution of £20 per week to cover the cost of the utility bills. The Test Trading scheme is run by Ipswich Borough Council, Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and provides opportunities for aspiring retailers to test their products in a business environment without the cost. Application forms are available from the Borough Council’s Economic Development Team or on www.ipswich.gov.uk to download.

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