New shops open in Houghton

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A mother and daughter have opened two new shops in Bedford Square, Houghton Regis.

Mae’s Boutique and Beauty By Ladies, opened their doors to the public earlier this month.

The boutique, previously known as Exclusive Tots Online Boutique, sells clothes, shoes and accessories.

Beauty By Ladies, offers sunbeds, massages, facials, hair and beauty treatments, the salon will be run by Amanda Millard and her friend, Dawn Sinclair.

Julie Bowles, Amanda’s mother and owner of the boutique, said: “We live in Houghton Regis and know from first hand experience what the town is missing.

“We want to turn Bedford Square into a place where you won’t have to go far to get affordable fashion.”

Ms Bowles used to run Exclusive Tots in Dunstable, selling premature baby and children’s outfits, which has now closed.

She said: “It was very sad to close but it was hard to run a small business in Dunstable and my son was very ill so I took time off to spend it with him.

“I knew I had to work, but times are hard, it just was not viable to work for someone, knowing that sometime in the future, I may require time off to be with my son, also by working for yourself, there really is not a retirement cut off point.”

She said: “The upper level shops became available, I still had stock, and I was constantly being asked by previous customers when am I going to open, so I decided to take up this venture with my daughter and her friend.

“We have all worked long hours, through blood sweat and tears, to get these shops open, it is a big challenge because we have decided to take on, not one but all three shops.

“I have changed the name because I now sell ladies clothes, I am also selling mens, women and children’s shoes through a brochure.”

The salon and boutique will be run separately from each other and the third shop may be turned into a store for boys and mens fashion.

The 54-year-old said: “I know I must be mad at my age to take on a new venture, but one thing I must say, if you have an idea, you must act on it, life is too short, you must never live a life of regrets.

“We hope that both the boutique and salon will bring a new lease of life to Houghton. We have all worked really hard and hope these businesses are a success.”

The stores are next door to each other, on the upper level of Bedford Square, above Brown and White Opticians.