An entrepreneur who has swapped solving crime for selling unique cards has realised her dream of opening her own business.
April Rhodes-Baxter, who is a former police officer, opened The Walkley Press, an independent card and gift shop, last month.
The aptly-named store, on South Road, serves the people of Walkley throughout the day and evening.
April said: “I live in Walkley and found it frustrating that I had to make a trip into the city centre to buy a nice card or gift.
“I realised that although South Road is not the busiest of streets in the day time, a lot of people live in Walkley and come back here after a day at work or study, so I thought that a shop that opens that little bit later into the evening would be convenient.
“Walkley already has some lovely small independent businesses that seem to do well and I saw a gap.
She added: “I have always wanted to run my own business. I served five years in the army and another ten years as a police officer, but never really felt like I had found my vocation in life.
“ I enjoy being creative and imaginative and like to share that with other people, so this is my chance.”
The shop stocks a variety of products to suit all budgets including items from local producers and artists.
The greetings cards on offer are a mixture of locally and nationally sourced hand produced cards, including designs by Sheffield-based card-maker Lucy Ledger.
It’s not all about cards, April also stocks a range of gifts to suit all tastes; including traditional sweets, handbags, jewellery, candles, umbrellas, mermaid blankets, scarves, gadgets, toys and much more. She is also the only UK stockist of Italian ’Too Late’ watches.
As well as supporting local artists in the shop, April has also supported them outside of the shop too.
She Creasaid: “The shop that I have taken over had been shut for over 20 years. It was boarded up and dilapidated.
“It has undergone intense renovation and is unrecognisable now. I had Sheffield sign writer Russ Young produce all my signage using traditional sign writing techniques, including gold leaf lettering on the windows.
“Local graffiti artist Peachzz Mountford-Russell sprayed a beautiful mural of a magpie on the back wall of the shop.”
She may have only been open for a month, but April has already received great feedback from the local community.
She said: “I try to keep my prices reasonable and stock interesting items and people seem to be thrilled to have a nice shop on their street.”
The Walkley Press can be found at 385 South Road, S6 3TD. You can find out more online at www.facebook.com/thewalkleypress site. The shop is open Tuesday to Friday from 10.30am until 7pm. On a Saturday, the shop is open from 10:30am to 6pm. It will also be open on Sundays between 11am and 4pm throughout December.