A shop owner has been left devastated and with no money after the collapse of her business.
Amanda Hart, who ran the Revival Exchange clothes shop from a unit at Kersey Mill near Hadleigh, told the Free Press this week of her heartbreak at losing the business after she was hit by a catalogue of misfortune.
Amanda said: “My family and I have lost our home, incurred over £40,000 in debt, and my children and I have no income whatsoever.”
She says the business failed after a series of problems, including lack of customers following break-ins at the complex and a customer falling over a step outside her shop.
This has resulted in an on-going legal case which has seen a dispute between her and the owners of Kersey Mill.
The stress of everything led to Amanda collapsing in her shop. “Very little is clear to me of that day as I must have collapsed. I remember calling the management to plead for understanding [over rent payments.]
“But I do know that Amy from The Flower Shop and Kim from Little Treats helped me through a major panic attack.
“My love and passion for my shop, my dream and commitment to my customers and clients was too important for me to let go of and it took its toll on my health.
“The shop was a dream for my partner and I when we launched The Revival Exchange back in March 2013. I was to run the dress agency and he was to make the bespoke outdoor furniture, hence why we had the courtyard garden.
“My partner was an integral part of the development of The Mill itself as he worked as one of the volunteers to renovate The Mill to its former glory. We were fully committed to the whole concept.
“Sadly, in September last year, only six months after we opened, he left as it was all too much for him.
“Regardless, I continued to pour my love and energy into the shop – it certainly became more than just somewhere to buy clothes.”
Several of the businesses at the Mill were broken into over Christmas.
Amanda said: “I was the only one not burgled, however, the knock-on affect was more devastating than I realised. What I’d worked hard to build was wiped out overnight when we lost not only all our Christmas trade, but all the events I’d promoted and booked over that period.”
She added: “Kersey Mill had lost footfall because of fear and we all felt it.”
Amanda said the customer’s fall was the final blow.
“The footfall since that incident dropped so drastically that our turnover dropped by 85 per cent over the coming weeks. We were floundering.”
Clients with clothes at the shop are asked to tell Amanda if they want them returned.