Sunday, 19 September 2021

Shop puts you in the frame

A SHOP specialising in personalised picture mounts has opened in Henley.

Memories 4 U is in Market Place Mews at the former premises of Sno' and Surf Gear, which has moved to Market Place.

The business sells handmade, personalised, framed mounts in a range of colours and materials as well as bespoke mirrors and gifts such as dream catchers and jewellery.

It is the first shop for owner Richard Ellis, who has worked in sales for much of his career and was previously a policeman.

He has been involved in theatre productions in Henley, being a former member of the Henley Operatic and Dramatic Society and the Henley Players, and is the only living person to have won the best actor award twice at Henley Drama Festival.

Mr Ellis, 50, of Kennylands Road, Sonning Common, moved into the shop five days after calling to enquire about the premises.

He said: “It was all a bit of a rush. We saw the shop, made a phone call and within five days we were in here doing it all up.

“We decorated it for about a week and then opened. It all happened very quickly and I’ve not had much sleep recently!

“We put a big question mark in the window while we were decorating and that was all people could see. It was amazing what people thought was going inside. A lot of people said ‘not another café!’”

The picture mounts mark family occasions such as birthdays and weddings and customers are given the opportunity to design the products themselves at no extra cost. Mr Ellis said: “We are unique in that everything we do is handmade and people can decide what they want the mounts to say and how they want them to look.

“They design everything and it doesn’t cost any extra to do that. Our ethos is the opposite of a big, commercial company. We are trying to keep it very crafty and very personal. People can walk through the door and let their imaginations run wild.”

Mr Ellis started the business two years ago by running stalls at shopping centres in High Wycombe and Maidenhead. He had stalls at the Chilterns Craft Show at Stonor Park in August and the Henley Show in September.

A grand opening of Memories 4 U will be held at the shop next Saturday (October 18).

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