In 2013, local couple Adam and Jessica set up Chosen by Jessica, which sold home decor and accessories on eBay and Amazon.
Alongside working as a district nurse, Jessica would select all items whilst Adam owned and ran the business. However, when a key supplier closed a few years later, Adam and Jessica took the ultimate leap of faith and launched the store on Colne’s high street in 2019.
They wanted a shopping destination where people could take their time and relax, so decided to also house a cafe within the premises at Norway House on Albert Road.
All was going well, and people sat outside enjoying lunch and coffee became a common sight on the high street. Its popularity meant Adam’s step dad Tony and mum Deborah came on board to help – then COVID hit.
“It was a nightmare. We’d not had a high street presence before and it felt like our timing had been terrible. Throw in Brexit and rising energy costs and running a business has been much harder then we could have ever imagined,” Adam explains.
Thankfully, the decision to sell items on the Chosen by Jessica website alongside a physical premises helped to keep everything afloat and that part of the business has become so successful, a separate unit has been taken on in the town to house stock.
A family affair
As well as Tony and Deborah joining the business, younger brother Jos helps out every now and again. The popular cafe is looked after by Elaine and Charlotte, after the combination of shopping and coffee turned out to be a winning one.
“It really has gone down a storm, customers love it. Our clothing range has actually overtaken interiors as the most popular items in store, along with handbags and costume jewellery,” Tony says.
Chosen by Jessica’s convenient location and attractive frontage means it’s been a hit in Colne, which Tony describes as being a great place to be based.
“We are opposite the Post Office, so you can imagine how well used that is, it’s like our own little bank on the high street.
“When it comes to some of our favourite businesses here, Birros is really handy for lots of things, and Live Like The Boy is a great, unique shop. It was a huge risk going to the high street and it’s been a turbulent few years, but it’s paid off,” Tony concludes.