A passion for vintage and an attraction to bonny Colne have inspired a former southerner to begin a whole new life and career in the north.
Sandra Fernandeze, of Derby Street, will be opening the doors to Pendle Belles Vintage and Collectables, in Albert Road, today from 10am.
The former financial advisor moved from the south three years ago, and decided that Colne’s architecture, views, and welcoming locals would make it the ideal location to start a business venture with her husband and freelance pilot Frank Murray.
Her mission is to bring vintage to the high street at affordable prices.
She told the Colne Times: “Vintage has been my passion for 25 years. It started when I bought a 1940s powder compact at Brighton Flea Market. It went on to be a full blown powder compact collection - and I now have over 300.
“It just expanded into other things, other beauty products and accessories, and went on to mirrors, pictures and clothes.
“That’s when a year ago my husband said ‘why don’t you think of making it into a business?’. I sold a property in London and invested some of it buying a shop here.
“The overwhelming feeling now is one of pure excitement. I am nervous as well, because it is different to anything I have done before.”
Since moving to Colne, Sandra has been left overwhelmed by the support and friendly nature of residents.
She added: “An estate agent sent me to view a property in Colne and I knew this was the town I wanted to live in before I even got out of the car. I have not been disappointed.
“I am just waiting for the bubble to burst, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
“The people here have been so welcoming. I was a foreigner, and everybody has opened their arms to me.”
Pendle Belles received a Premises Improvement Grant from Pendle Council for £365.85 via the Colne and District Committee. The money helped to pay for repainting of the shop front and some bright new signage.
Coun. Paul White, who leads on enterprise for Pendle Council, said: “It’s great news that another independent shop is opening in Colne.
“I’m glad that Sandra’s taken advantage of a grant and advice from us.”
Sandra added: “The money the council paid towards re-painting the shop front and creating a bright new shop sign was very welcome. But what was more helpful was the support the council gave us.
“Paul was outstanding. I felt I had a port of call because there were lots of things I didn’t understand.”
Any businesses, existing or new, are eligible for a Premises Improvement Grant to improve their shop fronts. For more details contact Paul Collins on 661677 or email@example.com