A unique High Street business which prevents usable items ending up in landfill has opened its doors in Leigh. Martina and Jamie Tudor recently signed up to Wigan Council’s Deal for Business and opened the doors to M & J Unique after expanding their existing online trading company to a customer-facing store on the town’s busiest street.
The couple started online trading at home in 2015 using the storage space underneath their staircase for stock. As their company grew, the couple moved into a Leigh town centre unit but they felt there was a gap in the market for a business encouraging people to swap their clean, working goods for store credit, providing an alternative option to the tip run.
Speaking at their opening ceremony, Jamie Tudor said: “Trading online has been great for us and is something we have continued to do alongside M & J Unique, but we felt so strongly about helping our local community and the environment that we wanted to bring something different to the market.
“Our business provides an alternative to people just throwing away completely usable items, which can end up in landfill. “We heard about the incredible support that the council offers to local businesses and we got in touch with them straight away. They have wished us well on our new venture and we look forward to seeing how we can work with them in the future.”
M & J Unique accepts a range of items, providing they’re in working condition and clean. The shop operates by giving store credit to the individual who donates the item before it is then sold on by Martina and Jamie through their online trading company. The money is then re-invested back into their store.
Currently, the shop holds a wide range of brand new stock from hand-made lanterns to rag dolls made from recycled Sri Lankan tree sap. The shop also sells soft toys, children’s rucksacks, shoes, accessories and more.
Martina Tudor said: “We’re extremely excited to see where this opportunity takes us and have many ideas in the pipeline to give back to the local community. I’d love to build a charity that can provide support to start-up businesses who are finding their feet. We’ve worked really hard to get where we are but it’s not always been plain sailing, so we can use our expertise and experience to help others.”
Wigan Council has recently celebrated The Deal for Business surpassing 100 sign ups since its launch in October 2017. Emma Barton, assistant director for economy at Wigan Council said: “We constantly engage with local businesses borough-wide to offer as much support as possible through The Deal for Business.
“We’ve had a phenomenal response over the last seven months and look forward to continuing this work into the foreseeable future. “We work hard to really understand the needs and requirements of a business so we can provide the best support for them, whether that is financial help through our Business Booster scheme or advice and guidance around employment, book-keeping, training opportunities and more. “The basis of Martina and Jamie’s venture is fantastic. We wish them all the best but our support is ongoing and we will continue to promote Wigan Borough as a leading place to work and invest in.”
For more information about The Deal for Business, please visit www.wiganworks.com.