Get to Know Your Neighbour

Miss Pretty London is an independent, creative gift shop which opened on Church Street, Twickenham, in February 2019. Inspired by the colourful and unique markets of London, this store offers a selection of individual, special and handmade gifts, all chosen with love.

What challenges do you face and how do you overcome them? The biggest challenge was taking the jump from being employed (I was previously a PA) to being self-employed and accepting that my little business wasn’t a hobby anymore. Support from family, friends and similar entrepreneurs has helped me find the self- acceptance and confidence to reach where I am today.

What made you start your own business? I had a city office job which was very stressful, and I needed a creative outlet. I grabbed my sewing machine and started to make accessories, as a hobby. Fast forward to many years later and my little hobby is now a busy little business. It’s taken a long journey to get here, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

What’s your favourite part of the day? That’s the lovey thing about running a shop – every day is different. You never know who will walk through the door. It’s tricky to pinpoint a favourite part of my schedule when each day is so varied.

Who inspires you and why? Being outside is a huge inspiration to me: I love nature and the outdoors, especially during the springtime. Colours, patterns, textures – they can all be found during a lovely walk in the park. I’m very lucky to work close to the river and some beautiful parks, so I make sure I take a break and go there every day.

What lessons have you learned? It’s ok to get it wrong sometimes. In fact, it’s better to try new things and maybe get it a little wrong than to stay stuck and not move forward at all. My journey to opening up a shop has been a long one; during the start of my business, I lacked the confidence to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I now understand that in order to progress you need to take a little jump from time to time.

What would the closest person in your life say if I asked them for the one characteristic that they totally like about you? I am really chatty and friendly; there are some days when I have quite a lot of work to do but I still can’t resist a natter. People are so interesting, and I love to talk and learn new things.

What is your favourite place in Twickenham? Marble Hill – it was the first park I went to when I moved here, and it is still a very special place to me.

Tracey Pretty
Miss Pretty London
23 Church Street, Twickenham, TW1 1JT

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