Independent boutique springs into new Fruit Market home

Tessies is the latest retailer to join the creative Fruit Market community, bringing its collection of eclectic womenswear, jewellery and accessories to the stylish waterfront area. Photo: Neil Holmes

Independent fashion boutique Tessies has opened its doors in Hull’s Fruit Market just in time to launch its exciting spring and summer collection. 

Tessies is the latest retailer to join the creative Fruit Market community, bringing its collection of eclectic womenswear, jewellery and accessories to the stylish waterfront area. 

The quirky boutique has relocated from premises on Newland Avenue in Hull into a new, larger unit in Humber Street in the heart of the regenerated Fruit Market quarter, joining existing fashion independents, 19point4 and Poorboy Boutique.  

Tessies owner Nicola Gibbons said: “This is a new chapter for Tessies. It’s our 10th year and we’re so excited to be on Humber Street surrounded by creative businesses and galleries – we’re now in an environment where we feel we can grow.

“Our fashion style will complement our neighbours at 19point4 and Poorboy Boutique perfectly. We all offer something a bit different so customers can visit Humber Street and come away with some exciting fashion finds.

“There a shift in retail now with people looking to support independent businesses where the customer experience is very personal and friendly and where people are valued and listened to. 

“We’re passionate about making our customers feel happy and positive about themselves, so we’ve created a relaxing environment with some customer-friendly touches, such as spacious changing rooms with solid doors and books to keep children occupied while mum tries on clothes.” 

Lovingly decorated and fitted out by Nicola, with help from manager Anna Carter, the décor includes a leafy feature wall, neon signs, vintage furniture and a blush and mint colour scheme. Trailing ivy hangs from the geometric lighting and luxe accents are dotted around the funky space.   

Nicola said: “It’s taken a lot of hard work to get the look of the shop just right. We’ve really enjoyed having a blank canvas to decorate in our own style.

“We’ve kept the industrial feel of the unit but softened it with feminine colours, retaining our signature style which our existing customers will recognise and our new customers will hopefully love!”

Anna said: “Our customers loved our shop on Newland Avenue so they’ll go crazy for our new shop here on Humber Street!

“The timing of our opening is perfect as we’ve just launched our spring and summer collection. 

“We’re looking to inject some colour into your wardrobe so we’ve got some lovely bright pieces, as well as vintage polka dots, stripes and summery florals. We’ll continue to highlight items which are breast-feeding friendly too, which is something our customers appreciate.

“We also feel we can take a few more risks in our new space, so we have some edgier pieces alongside our trademark style. Our customers will love it!” 

Owner Nicola Gibbons, right, with manager Anna Carter inside Tessies which has just opened on Humber Street, in the heart of Hull’s Fruit Market. Photo: Neil Holmes

Tessies stocks labels such as Parisian brands Daphnea and Sophyline, and London labels Goldkid and Nova – both in store and online. 

Plans for later in the year include a creative studio based at the back of the shop where Nicola and Anna will host classes, workshops and talks in everything from jewellery making to scrapbooking.

Nicola added: “We’re going to take a few months to settle into our new home and then focus on setting up the creative studio.

“We’ll be able to accommodate groups of around 10 people and we’re looking to host some really interesting classes and workshops, as well as inviting local artists and makers to get involved too. 

“We want to create a really welcoming atmosphere where people can come along, try different classes and meet new people.” 

Anna added: “We’ll also be flexible with our opening times so if the weather’s good we might decide to open a bit later, and we’ll stay open when events are on. We want to be fully immersed in the Fruit Market community.”  

The opening of Tessies adds a further splash of colour and creativity to the Fruit Market, which has been transformed from a near-derelict area into a flourishing urban village.

The transformation is being driven forward by Wykeland Beal, the regeneration company formed by commercial developer Wykeland Group and housebuilder Beal Homes, as part of the Fruit Market LLP joint venture with Hull City Council.

Tom Watson, Development Surveyor for Wykeland, speaking on behalf of Wykeland Beal, said: “Independent retail is a key part of our live, work and play vision for the Fruit Market, so we’re delighted to see another local retailer open its doors.

“All the long-established and new businesses that make up the Fruit Market commercial community are very different, but what they have in common is a passion for the area and its unique character.

“That passion is reflected in the experience enjoyed by the ever-growing numbers of people who visit the Fruit Market to shop, socialise and spend their leisure time.”

Tessies is open seven days a week: Monday 10.30am-5pm; Tuesday-Saturday 10.30am-6pm; Sunday 10.30am-4.30pm. 

Follow Tessies on Twitter and Instagram @Tessies_; on Facebook @lovetessies; and on Pinterest at @tessiehearts. 

[Janey Revill – Meehan Media & Comms]