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Local business celebrates 20 years on the high street

Husband and wife team Francis and Tess Coulson have been running Tessdesigns Gifts

and Clothing since 2001 and are well known friendly faces on the high street in


Their lifestyle store stocks a range of affordable and stylish gifts including jewellery, bags,

homewares, cards and stationery & the best of contemporary womenswear.

This month they are celebrating 20 years in business and to mark this fantastic milestone

they are offering some special discounts in store. There will be 20% off selected lines of

suppliers who have been with them since the beginning and there will be a hidden £20

gift voucher for one lucky customer each week!

The business started from humble beginnings, with Tess originally selling items from their

home in St Lawrence Lane before moving into their shop premises on East Street. Tess

remembers : “I started off working as Marketing Officer at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen

and this role included displaying the craft work and buying cards and gifts for the shop

and this gave me the desire to want to open my own store. When we started selling a few

items from home it was surprising how many people came to the shop as it was tucked

away down a little lane between two houses. It was a fun start to the business - there

were soaps displayed in the bathroom, candles in the snug and an enormous Christmas

tree in the living room with lots of decorations. Looking back at the start of the shop in the

new premises there really wasn't much stock at all but that soon changed and grew into

the wide range of products we’ve got today.”

Francis says : “Being a small business owner can be challenging but we absolutely love

what we do. We enjoy solving our customers gift dilemmas, sourcing lovely things and

creating an enticing shopping environment. Ashburton is a great place to have a shop and

the local customers are very supportive. We have seen some big changes over the past

20 years with lots of businesses coming and going but the high street always remains full

of independent traders who are knowledgable and passionate about their shops and their

products. It’s this genuine care for customers that keeps people coming back”.

Tessdesigns are open 9.30am - 5.30pm Monday - Saturday in Ashburton and you can

also browse their website or follow them on social media too,

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