Excitement as Buckingham and Winslow businesses prepare to reopen
We talked to owners across the district as they dusted down their stores ready to fling open their doors
Shops in the Buckingham and Winslow area are getting ready to fling open their doors to customers next week after being locked down - some of them for longer than others.
Anita Stubbings, owner of Body Matters in Well Street, Buckingham, said: "It's been a rocky road. Out of a year, I've been locked down for nine months. And then I got flooded!"
With refurbishment work on the shop newly finished, Anita can't wait to get her customers back through the door on Monday - and her appointment books are already full.
"If we were open till midnight, I think we'd be full," she said. "People have missed it."
Anita hasn't been idle during her time off - among other ventures, she's co-written a book with other beauty therapists, called Beauty and the Best, opened an online shop, set up a Facebook group for her customers and started running five-day menopause masterclasses.
She said: "I'm lucky I've got a business to come back to. I love what I do and I've come back stronger than ever. I'm going to make it the best year."
Mark Green, of Scissors barbers on Market Hill said: "It has been a tough year for the world let alone our own families, friends, customers and their respective businesses. We have had to adapt the way we do things, including introducing our new booking system and we have had nothing but positive feedback from our customers in relation to this.
"The support we have received from our local town and customers has been incredible and we can’t wait to be back doing what we do best in the town we love."
Kim Curle, owner of Beautifully Different boutique in Winslow, said: "We're all very excited to be opening on Monday. It's been very strange not seeing all our lovely customers for months.
"There are lots of fresh colours for spring/summer and plenty of chic, comfortable clothing to top up our tired wardrobes!
"We're having a bit of a clear-out of past season stock too so there will be a clearance rail on the go with some great bargains.
"We'll be open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday with our sanitising processes in place but if anyone is at all nervous they can arrange to pop in for a private shopping session between 9am and 10am or 4pm to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Richard Roach, owner of Intent 2 Improve gym, in Buckingham, said: "Intent 2 Improve is delighted to be reopening at the earliest opportunity on Monday. We've made several changes to how our gym works to comply with the latest guidelines, but most importantly we're happy to do so if that means we can open the doors again.
"We're looking forward to welcoming back our existing loyal members, as well as a limited amount of new members each week. For a full rundown of how our 28-Day Challenge works, please visit www.intent2improve.fit enter your details and one of the team will be in touch to discuss your fitness goals."
Woofs & Washes dog grooming parlour in Buckingham is reopening at noon on Tuesday. Owner Natalie Ayris said: "We have already fully booked ourselves until May and are still continuing to book. We've just had our new shop window painted ready for reopening to advertise all of our retail stock, which will be available both online at www.woofsandwashes.com/shop and in store.
"We also have a new multi-background system arriving in the coming weeks for the upstairs photography studio, and have plans to open this up to humans as well as dogs!"
Clare Barker, of The Beauty Therapy Centre in Stowe Castle said: "This has been the longest time without working in my entire adult life, so it has felt completely alien to not being doing beauty therapy. The Beauty Therapy Centre is such a buzzy, happy environment, it has been so hard to be away.
"My team Toni Jones, Leanne Lay and I work so well together and some of our clients have been with us for the whole 18 years, so it’s like family.
"To prepare for reopening we had a seriously deep clean last week. Every inch of the salon was sanitised and polished. We checked all the electrical equipment, product dates and levels, gave all the gel polishes a good shake, pruned our little garden at the front of the salon and generally got overexcited about being back together."
Rachel Whitehall is the owner of Tylino Touch, in Market Hill, Buckingham, specialising in remedial massage, pregnancy massage, myofascia release and reflexology.
Rachel said: "I have kept in touch with clients with appointments during lockdown and am excited to finally be allowed to reopen from next week
"Everything is strictly by appointment only and I conduct screening Covid questionnaires along with very stringent hygiene controls
"I am keen to welcome clients (new and old) back into their wellness routine, which will be hugely beneficial for mind and body alike."
Husband-and-wife team Jonathan and Georgina Bates, owners of Bates Body Factory fitness studio in Gawcott said: "We have continuously worked to evolve our business plans to accommodate safe and effective exercise in line with the changing government guidelines.
"Prior to March 29 this year we worked tirelessly to get a permanent outdoor space ready for our clients to train in with confidence. We are now very excited to be reopening our doors for indoor training for single households/bubbles as of April 12 and hope this is the first of many positive step to rebuilding the future of Bates Body Factory."
Sonia Norman, of RestoreU, offers AcuEnergetics, meditation and sound therapy at Place Eight Wellness in Swanbourne.
She said: "I am so looking forward to reopening and working face to face with clients again. I miss seeing and being with people, I have missed seeing how they embrace meditation and sound in person.
"I put my gongs away for storage during this last lockdown, and I am bringing them back out this weekend and into the sunshine and I can’t wait to share their joy with everyone."