BearHugs opened their doors on Montrose Road in Carterknowle with a launch event including a special raffle raising money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, and free gift boxes for the first fifty customers.
The BearHugs shop offers visitors the opportunity to build their own personal gift box with free BearHugs ‘hug in a box’ gift packaging, or pick up their favourite individual items to take away. Customers can also choose to have their gifts sent onto recipients anywhere in the UK straight from the gift shop.
“It was so nice to have so many people from the local area come out and say hello.
"We’ve wanted to open our doors for months now, so to finally get to meet all our lovely neighbours was just as exciting as the shop finally opening” said Sian Barnell, BearHugs shop manager.
The last six years have seen BearHugs, which offers flexible working opportunities to those living with energy-limiting chronic illnesses, grow from the bedroom of founder Faye Savory to the new space at Montrose Road.
In that time, BearHugs have employed a team of 20 staff, won Hello magazine’s Hello To Kindness award, and visited 10 Downing Street for a roundtable discussion on flexible working.
“We can’t wait to make BearHugs even more of a part of the local community” says Sian.
"We’ve got some exciting plans with the lovely businesses on our road, and we’re hoping to develop a community space for chronic illness groups to use too.”
The new shop on Montrose Road is open Wednesday-Saturdays.
For every fifty gift boxes BearHugs sells, a special gift box is donated through BearHugs’ charity partnerships with organisations such as Bluebell Wood, Share A Star and Post Pals.