Asquiths, the first specialist teddy bear shop in UK is moving to a new shop at 26 Hart Street (former Cecilia Quinn shoe shop) with new owner, Rachel Hollinrake.
The shop was originally opened by Joan Bland in 1984 in Friday Street and moved to the corner of Bell/New Street in 1991. She started the business after working in gift sales and then taking over a retail shop. The idea for teddy bears came after many people came into the shop asking for pottery bears that the previous owner had sold.
Rachel will open the doors of Asquiths Bearpawrium on Hart Street this Saturday (25 March). Rachel said, “It is so important that the true essence and incredible legacy of Asquiths be sympathetically maintained and nurtured whilst continuing to the develop the brand and proposition to be appealing to a wide market and an exciting place for people and children of all ages to visit, explore and imagine.”
Staying true to the essence of Asquiths and its incredible reputation, the Teddy Bear shop will continue to offer the beautiful traditional Teddy Bears from some of the most historically famous Teddy Bear companies around the world and from here in the UK, whilst also introducing exciting new sustainable and up and coming small independent brands adding some cheeky and playful characters. Rachel is excited to bring to Henley some fantastic new ranges from the softest rabbits to the most adorable mice. From one off collectable bears to soft furry friends there is something for everyone to enjoy at every budget!
Rachel is proud to finally be able to realise her lifelong dream of becoming the owner of her very own teddy bear shop in our beautiful little town. Rachel first fell in love with all things teddy bears when she worked part time for Asquiths at the start of her career under the guidance of Joan. Having spent the last 22 years as a successful and passionate marketing professional who has continued to feed her love of bears and soft toys, becoming somewhat of a connoisseur collector herself, the time to open her own store and finally live her dream has arrived. She is immensely proud to be able to take on Asquiths.
Rachel added, “Owning a Teddy Bear Shop is a lifelong ambition of mine and I am so very proud and honoured to be taking on Asquiths, I have admired the shop for many years and everything that Joan has done – she has built a worldwide reputation for Asquiths over the last 39 years and I honoured to be carrying the huge responsibility of preserving and developing the Asquiths legacy. I am looking forward to working alongside the many lovely independents shops in Henley and being part of the retail community and thank everyone so far for their support, encouragement and warm welcome.“