Gem of an idea leads to second store

Jill and Kate Watkin with many beads Jill and Kate Watkin in the new Jesmond store

The wife and daughter of a prominent North East entrepreneur are expanding their jewellery business with the opening of a second store.

Jill and Kate Watkin - wife and daughter respectively of the entrepreneur Karl Watkin - last year launched LeBeado, a jewellery and accessories retailer designed to deliver an individual approach to style.

The first LeBeado store opened in Durham last autumn and the success of the venture has led the pair to open a second store in Jesmond, Newcastle. Further outlets are planned as the Watkins eventually look to take the LeBeado chain national.

Kate Watkin said: "The reaction to the LeBeado store in Durham since we opened it last year has been just fantastic. Business has been going really well and people have really taken to the concept and love what we are doing."

LeBeado stock more than 5,000 different types and style of bead from rare 2000-year-old Roman Trade beads to the latest colours of the current fashion season, sourced from the Watkins' buying trips around the world.

Kate said the new store in Jesmond's Acorn Road was ideally placed for Lebeado's target market. She explained: "The LeBeado concept really works here and the area attracts the kind of people we get coming into the shop in Durham, but in greater numbers."

Kate is due to head off on a buying trip to the Far East next month and has plans to eventually open further LeBeado stores in the UK.

She said: "We have some plans in the pipeline, possibly for another three to four shops at first and eventually take it national because there is nothing like it at the moment."

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