Shop Local: Look to Harpenden High Street for gifts you ‘won’t get anywhere else’

PUBLISHED: 12:07 10 November 2020 | UPDATED: 14:10 10 November 2020

Serena Hart on Bower's Parade, Harpenden. Picture: Mary Durkin

Serena Hart on Bower's Parade, Harpenden. Picture: Mary Durkin

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With new lockdown restrictions meaning our beloved indies have to shut their doors, it’s more important than ever to shop local.

Serena Hart on Bower's Parade, Harpenden. Picture: Mary DurkinSerena Hart on Bower's Parade, Harpenden. Picture: Mary Durkin

Mary Durkin, owner of Serena Hart on Bower’s Parade in the heart of Harpenden, spoke to the Herts Ad about the importance of both businesses and shoppers diversifying their retail habits to help the high street stay afloat during the pandemic.

“We have our own website with most of our products available online. We’ve actually built a new website since last lockdown, and we offer free local delivery,” she said, explaining the importance of having a user-friendly online presence.

Mary founded Serena Hart in 2006, and moved her business from London to be nearer home. Her shop houses much loved designer brands together with small British and hyper-local artisan makers and creators, and is named after her children; Serena, Harry, Arthur and Thomas.

Serena Hart on Bower's Parade, Harpenden. Picture: Mary DurkinSerena Hart on Bower's Parade, Harpenden. Picture: Mary Durkin

Supplying jewellery, accessories and other Christmas-perfect gifts, Mary also added that a shoppers desire to buy from a larger or national brand doesn’t mean that you can’t also support a local retailer.

She said: “We sell quite a few well-known brands, which customers can get through our website. For example, we sell Annie Sloan paint, which a lot of people buy from us. We do quite a lot of the more popular brands.

As well as supplying beautiful cards and giftwrap, Mary noted that a lot of the magic of shopping at an independent retailer is that you never quite know what you’re going to find, whether in-store or online.

“We sell a lot of things that they won’t get anywhere else,” she said. “We get a lot of niche products, and I think that they’ll find more unusual things in here.”

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Featuring a new handbag range, Depeche, Serena Hart – like many high street independents – is decked with seasonal gifts.

Mary said: “We sell Hultquist Jewellery, who have just brought out some lovely stuff. Our stock of Hultquist is all quite seasonal as well, with little acorn earrings and pine cone earrings with little coloured jewels in them – they’re just gorgeous! We also are doing very well with Sophie Allport aprons and tea towels. It’s an English company and they’re really nice quality.”

To shop at Serena Hart, visit serenahart.co.uk


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