Local businesses bring Shopappiness to Wakefield

A LOCAL businesswoman who overcame cancer to set up her own shop named after her pet dog is amongst Wakefield businesses aiming to breathe new life into the city’s High Street.

Tania Howe set up Betty Loves Candles specialising in home and car fragrancing plus personal pampering products last October. She had worked in retail all her life, including as one of the first female car sales people, but took stock of what she wanted from life following treatment for breast cancer in 2013. 

Betty Loves Candles is named after Tania’s pet schnauzer who makes the occasional appearance at the shop in Trinity Walk along with her mini schnauzer sister Nellie. 

“After completing my treatment and turning 50 I decided I didn’t want to work for anyone else again. I came very near to buying an existing candle shop in Halifax but then opted to start from scratch closer to home,” said Tania.

Running a shop at a time when many High Street retailers are closing down might be considered risky business but in Wakefield they are fighting back! Betty Loves Candles is one of 22 shops and restaurants in the city getting together to sign up for ShopAppy.com. Subsidised by Wakefield BID, ShopAppy.com gives local businesses a 24/7 virtual shop window, enabling customers to browse, buy and collect their goods at a time that’s convenient.

Wakefield is the first city to register with ShopAppy.com which was launched in Yorkshire in 2017 and now features 26 towns UK-wide.

“I’m on social media and was on the cusp of setting up my own website but was daunted by the cost and the prospect of having to pack up products to post nationwide. Then I heard about ShopAppy.com. It is perfect for me as it allows me to sell online locally at a fraction of the cost as well as encouraging customers back into the city centre,” said Tania.

Another Wakefield business signing up to ShopAppy.com is Created in Yorkshire. Opened seven years ago, this co-operative showcases the county’s art and craft talent with everything on sale in the Ridings based shop handmade in Yorkshire.

“The High Street is dying and we need something to counteract that. We can’t be open 24/7 and people want to shop when they get home from work. ShopAppy gives us a virtual shop that enables them to do that and is a brilliant way of putting us in reach of those who can’t shop at weekends or in their lunchbreaks,” said owner Lynne Thompson. 

ShopAppy.com founder Jackie Mulligan said she was delighted to be launching in the website’s first city.

“Wakefield fits the ShopAppy.com profile perfectly; it has its share of retail chains that can be found on any High Street, but also has a wealth of traditional, often family owned, small independents. These are the type of shops and businesses which give a location its individual character which needs to be preserved,” she said.

ShopAppy.com officially launches in Wakefield with an event in The Ridings Centre on August 30 starting at 10am and finishing at 12pm.