Long-standing Clevedon gift store transformed under new owners

Popular independent stores opens under new owners.

Gems, on Hill Road, has reopened under new owners. - Credit: Trudi Richards

The latest owners of a long-standing gift shop in Clevedon have celebrated a successful opening, with customers shocked at its transformation.

Gems Of Clevedon, in Hill Street, has been transformed with a minimalist layout thanks to its latest owners, Trudi Richards and Caroline Penney.

Neither had experience in retail prior to opening Gems but have been more than up to the task.

Trudi, who previously worked in the building trade, told the Times: "‘I wanted to do something girly.

"I have been surrounded by chaps and dust for 33 years - it is nice to just twirl around in a dress instead of climbing up scaffold."

PICTURES: Inside North Somerset's latest gift store.

Customers have been impressed with the stock that Gems' new owners have on offer. - Credit: Trudi Richards

The store was closed for six weeks for refurbishments, reopening on July 16 with its new look.

Caroline said: "I will admit that I never thought of being a shopkeeper but I was getting slightly itchy feet after 20 years as a paediatric physiotherapist for the NHS.

Most Read

"This was such a great opportunity."

A range of sustainable products will be on offer in the revamped store - ranging from recycled toys, rugs and wrapping paper.

Clevedon gift store introduces sustainable products.

Trudi and Caroline have introduced a range of sustainable products in Gems. - Credit: Trudi Richards

Since opening, Mrs Richards told the Times that the opening has gone smoother than she thought it would.

She said: "It has gone really well, we are dead chuffed with things.

"Everything has gone to plan, and beyond.

"Our customers have given us some really available feedback and positive comments. They seem to be liking the set-up and some have told me 'we did not know there was so much space before."

Former owners of popular Clevedon store bid farewell to customers.

Former Gems owners, Juanita and Bob Hughes were delighted that the store's name would remain. - Credit: Bob Hughes

Gems previously belonged to Bob and Juanita Hughes for 27 years before they handed the keys over to Trudi and Caroline.

The former owners have retired and wish the new owners a successful tenure.

They told the Times: "Due to health problems, we made the heartfelt decision to sell up and retire after owning Gems for more than 27 years.

"To our delight, the buyers of the premises wanted to carry on the business and continue the name of Gems, and this made things so much easier to bear. 

"We have been following the progress of the refurbishment and it looks fantastic.

"We wish Trudi and Caroline all the very best with their new adventure."

For updates on Gems and its stock, follow its Instagram page @GemsOfClevedon2021

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter