Upcycling firm to open town centre shop after DIY market boomed in lockdown

Pam Perry and Amanda Kane, owners of Hilary and Alice, with their creative assistant, Mary Lambert,

Pam Perry and Amanda Kane, owners of Hilary and Alice, with their creative assistant, Mary Lambert, at their new store in Diss town centre, Mere Street. Photo: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant

An upcycling and home furnishing store is set for expansion, after their DIY business boomed during lockdown.

Hilary and Alice, an upcycling and home furnishing store, is opening a shop in Diss town centre: Emi

Hilary and Alice, an upcycling and home furnishing store, is opening a shop in Diss town centre: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant

It may have been a difficult year for Norfolk’s independent businesses, but the owners of Hilary and Alice, in Diss, are among the small percentage of those who are feeling confident about the future.

Pam Perry and Amanda Kane started their business, which sells upcycled furniture, home furnishings and decor, do-it-yourself products, as well as commissioned work, back in 2016.

And nearly five years later, the shop is set to expand into a renovated site in the town centre, on Mere Street.

Ms Perry, from Hethersett, said: “This move has been a massive project but we have worked extremely hard and every penny we have made over the last five years has been put straight back into the business.

Pam Perry and Amanda Kane, owners of Hilary and Alice, with their creative assistant, Mary Lambert,

Pam Perry and Amanda Kane, owners of Hilary and Alice, with their creative assistant, Mary Lambert, at their new store in Diss town centre, Mere Street. Photo: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant


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“We have a passion and desire to help people create interiors that reflect their individuality and style. That is what we love to do.

“In the shop we have a mix of upcycled furniture that we have done, but we also have some really cool do-it-yourself products, that you can’t get anywhere else locally.

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“There are not a lot of small companies that genuinely grow and do well in spite of everything that is happening. But we have put everything we have into this and I hope that seeing young, entrepreneurial women will inspire others.”

This comes after the business survived solely on sales of paint tins throughout lockdown, as home owners took on DIY projects.

Hilary and Alice, an upcycling and home furnishing store, is opening a shop in Diss town centre: Emi

Hilary and Alice, an upcycling and home furnishing store, is opening a shop in Diss town centre: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant

The business has launched its new website and Ms Kane and Ms Perry are in the midst of renovating the new shop ready to open in mid November.

But they said none of it would have been possible without the community’s support.

Ms Kane said: “Diss has one of the most supportive and loyal communities. It is a fantastic town. We originally considered moving to Norwich but we have built up a reputation over the last five years here and our clients continued to support us through Covid.

“We had to close the shop and hire someone to deliver paint tins for us but it managed to keep us going.

Hilary and Alice, an upcycling and home furnishing store, is opening a shop in Diss town centre: Emi

Hilary and Alice, an upcycling and home furnishing store, is opening a shop in Diss town centre: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant

“We didn’t have an online shop or anything, we did it through Facebook and emails and it was utter chaos. I think we sold about 2,000 paint tins.”

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