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, www.tessdesigns.co.uk