Fashion lover's shock as partner buys her Tilly's in Hull for her birthday

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 20 Apr 2017

A fashion lover was given the surprise of her life as her partner of more than 13 years secretly splashed out thousands of pounds to buy her the shop of her dreams for her birthday.

Jayne Armitage had worked as a manager for Bolo clothing but, when the business shut down after years of trading, Ms Armitage was left jobless and contemplating what step to take next in her career.

The 51-year-old had always wanted to open up her own clotheswear shop and knew that the lease was up for an empty store in Chanterlands Avenue in Hull.

Ms Armitage never went through with the deal but fortunately her devoted partner, Ray Edmondson, 56, worked behind her back and surprised her by telling her on her birthday that she was now the proud owner of a ladies fashion store in the heart of the Avenues.

She said: "My partner worked behind the scenes and he had already made this plan for me and for it to be revealed on my birthday on March 26.

"He surprises me a lot but this was the biggest one I've ever had. I was absolutely amazed. I've had some surprises in my time but this was just fantastic and it's nice to know that he has got that much faith in me.

"He is quite impulsive and I do mull over things and I probably would have mulled about it forever but he obviously wanted us to go for it.

"He just overwhelms me. He must have heard me talking about it and I knew the premises were coming up to let but everything I'd said was just in passing.

"I thought it had fallen on deaf ears but this time he really did listen. It's just unbelievable and I am so lucky."

Mr Edmondson, who lives with his partner in Bricknell Avenue, is thought to have invested up to £15,000 renovating the building and bringing in stock ready for the grand opening of 'Tilly's,' which took place on Saturday, April 1.

Jayne has been working hard to stock clothing items for the store.

The store, which sells handmade dresses as well as a range of casual clothing, is now in its third week of trading and Ms Armitage is amazed at how well it has been received by shoppers.

She said: "It's doing really well. On bank holiday weekend it was absolutely fantastic and the response I've been getting from customers in store and on social media has been brilliant.

"The women of Hull always want something new but they only get a certain budget at the end of the week. I want it to be affordable so that they don't feel like they're missing out."

After finding out about her new business venture less than one week before opening, Ms Armitage has had to work hard to source clothing from contacts she has built up over the years.

Jayne was taken by surprise when her partner Ray told her he had bought her a shop for her birthday

However, despite a hectic first few weeks, she is relishing being in control of her own affairs and is encouraging women in Hull to see what her store has to offer.

"I am absolutely loving being my own boss and I am quite chilled out at the moment," she said. "I've been constantly buying since I found out about it so it has been a little bit crazy.

"It has been non-stop resourcing to try and find new brands and working hard to bring something new to Hull but overall it seems to be going alright.

"The prices really are affordable so I would encourage any women who want a treat and something a little bit different to come in store and have a browse. It's a very relaxed atmosphere and there is no pressure to buy."

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