TWO successful businesswomen with a shared passion for fashion have made their dreams come true by opening their own ladies’ clothing boutique in Denbigh.
Angela Jones and her friend Mel Jones each already run thriving businesses in the town but have nurtured a lifelong ambition to have their own shop selling stylish yet affordable clothing and accessories.
Now they’ve fulfilled their mutual dream by teaming up to launch a new boutique in Denbigh’s High Street aptly named Mélange, which is a clever combination of their two first names and means “mixture” in French.
The new shop was officially opened by the glamorous singer Sioned Terry who taught music at the former Howell’s School in Denbigh before turning professional three years ago.
Angela, 44, owns and runs Elwy Lettings, a highly successful lettings agency based in Vale Street Denbigh which is due to expand into Rhyl when a second branch opens in Bodfor Street at the end of this month.
Angela began her career by joining the Army at the age of 18, starting out as a driver and eventually becoming a Lance Corporal. After a spell in the UK, she was later based in Germany and did a tour of duty in Bosnia.
After leaving the Army Angela, who has two sons, Oliver, 14 and Robbie, 20, started working at an estate agency in 2000 and joined Elwy Lettings in 2010. Two years later she grasped the opportunity to become her own boss by buying the business and has been running it successfully ever since.
Her business partner in the new boutique, 39-year-old Mel Jones, comes originally from Denbigh and now lives in nearby Henllan with her husband Bryn Jones and their two sons, Morgan, 12, and 14-year-old Bradley.
Starting her working life in retail, she became assistant manager of Co-op stores in Denbigh and Ruthin before spending 12 years working in administration at Denbigh Magistrates Court.
Last year, Mel opened her own hair and beauty salon called Pure, also in Vale Street, Denbigh, with her cousin Paul Edwards, a personal trainer, which has been a run-away success and currently employs six stylists.
She first met up with her new business partner Angela about a year ago when she became a regular customer at the salon and together they fashioned plans to open Melange.
Angela said: “We both have a passion for clothes and dreamt about opening our own shop one day.
“We decided to take things further after spotting what we believe is a gap in the market for our sort of boutique in Denbigh.
“We found the ideal property for our new business, which is a former flower shop in a prime location in High Street. We have since jointly invested quite a substantial amount of money on a major facelift.
“We’ve had a dressing room built and a complete redecoration, which makes it look fantastic for showing off our extensive range of stock.
“Everything is very affordable and priced at less than £40. We’re selling trousers, hosiery, hats, scarves, gloves, jackets, jeans and blouses.
“We’re also stocking shoes, boots, bags and fashion jewellery including everything from necklaces and earrings to bars and studs for belly piercings.
“We spent a lot of time putting the shop together and we’re confident we have something for everyone. We also tried to make our range ageless as there are a lot of ladies of a certain age out there who love to wear something elegant.
“We have a range of plus sizes which we’re planning to add to based on feedback from customers on what they actually want to see us include.”
Angela added: “Mel and myself will both be working in Mélange whenever we can and we’re also proud that we’ve created two part-time jobs at the boutique.
“One of these has been taken by local girl Hannah Woodfield. She’s 18 years old and this is her first job after leaving college.
“The other person working with us is Nia Lloyd Jones, who is 40 and also local. She has her own business which gives older items a smart new look and she’ll also be having her own rail of clothing at Mélange.
“In fact, we’re offering any local ladies’ clothing designers the chance to showcase their creations on their own rails at our boutique because Mel and I believe it is important to give them an outlet.
“Opening Mélange is a dream come true for me, especially in Denbigh which is a town I love because of its unique community atmosphere and the way people have of supporting each other.”
Mel Jones said: “Like Angela, I’ve always had a real passion for clothes and being able to develop this by opening our own business in Denbigh has just been fantastic.
“Over the past few months we’ve had a marvellous time putting everything together, including overseeing the look of the boutique and taking regular early morning trips over to Manchester to visit all the clothing suppliers. What woman wouldn’t enjoy that?
“We’re very excited about opening Melange and the range of great clothing and accessories we’re offering.”
Celebratory corks were popped for the grand opening of the boutique by mezzo soprano Sioned Terry, from Towyn, near Abergele, who once sang for Prince Charles.
She has also starred alongside the likes of tenors Wynne Evans aka Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV ads and Rhys Meirion not to mention the popular Britain’s Got Talent duo Richard and Adam.
Sioned said: “I was thrilled to be asked to officially open the Melange boutique which is exactly what Denbigh needed.
“I love clothes and often need a touch of glamour when I’m on stage so I’ll definitely be back as I will be able to cut a dash without having to break the bank.”
Angela said: “We’re delighted Sioned agreed to come to join us on our very special day as she’s such a big star and also a local girl.
“To follow things up we’re having a fashion show at Mélange on the evening of Saturday, November 22.
“It’s a free evening and we’ll have models of different ages and sizes showing off some of the clothes we have available. It’s going to be good fun and a great night out for the ladies just before things to start to get hectic in the run-up to Christmas.”