Banbury town centre business reflects on first week of trading after reopening of non essential businesses
A Banbury town centre business owner is encouraged and hopeful by the footfall during the first week of trading again.
Deb Hunt, who runs the home decor business Doodledash Interiors in Parsons Street of the town centre, said: "The first week back has been varied, but I'm still positive. Some of the people who did come in last week said how nice it was to pick things up again inside a shop.
"It was a promising first week. Let's hope it continues."
Like many businesses Deb had reverted online sales for her business during the pandemic. She used the click and collect method, which she plans to continue using after lockdown.
Deb added: "We've been completely closed as a non essential business. It's been 15 weeks in total. We've been able to adapt to stay alive."
Throughout the pandemic Deb has seen the upcycling side of her business grow exponentially.
She said: "It's taking a piece of furniture and transforming it into something more modern, into something that fits into your own decor.
"The thing that really strikes me is the number of people who said it got them through lockdown. It was so nice to hear that. The whole thing has just taken off.
"I think people just being trapped at home started to think how can I be useful? I think now, people are realising the value in recycling and reusing.
"You can, actually do it, and at the end of the day create something unique. It's creating your own style."
One example, is how she found an old Victorian pot cupboard on Facebook Marketplace, and gave it a 'bit more of an aged look to go with its time.'
Before the pandemic she ran upcycling workshops from her town centre business.
She added: "It's more of a creative therapy for some people, as well you get groups of friends who come in too."
Deb hopes to restart the upcycling workshops by mid to late summer.
Deb has continued serving as a distributor and seller of Frenchic, a popular UK paint company. It's described as an eco-friendly chalk and mineral paint. She has served as an administrator for the company's Facebook fan page for several years. Over the last year during the pandemic she saw its members increase from 80,000 to more than 500,000.
She added: "It's absolutely huge. They worked really hard to keep us stocked. I painted my whole kitchen with one tin of paint. It goes a long way."