Law firm helps jewellery chain expand | 14 October 08

THE wife and daughter of one of the North-East’s most prominent entrepreneurs are expanding their jewellery business with the opening of a second store - with help from law firm Ward Hadaway.Jill and Kate Watkin of LeBeado

Jill and Kate Watkin (pictured) – 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.

Leading North law firm Ward Hadaway advised Jill and Kate Watkin on the leases for both stores.

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 is aimed at revolutionising the way people buy and make jewellery and beaded gifts.

The stores 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.

Bead and jewellery lovers then mix and match the beads to create unique and individual one-off pieces of jewellery, gifts or clothing

They can also bring in an outfit they want to accessorise and let LeBeado’s staff help design the perfect piece.

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.”

Ward Hadaway advised the Watkins on the lease for the new store, having previously advised them on the original Durham outlet.

Alex Cox, associate in the property team at Ward Hadaway, said: “Kate and Jill have hit on a great idea that is really taking off so we were delighted to help them with their expansion plans.”

Kate is due to head off on a buying trip to the Far East 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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