North East Shopping with an African Influence

September 28, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
To mark her move back to the North East after 30 years living in South Africa, Julie Umpleby has launched an online store selling African gems, essences and products for colour therapies.

Middlesbrough-born Julie returned to the region just under three years ago from her home in the suburbs of Johannesburg and recently enlisted the help of The North East Regional Portal (TNERP) to launch her store Rezonate, on its website.

Selling crystals, oils, home accessories and therapy workshops, all either sourced from or inspired by Africa, Julie is also trained in bio-energetic bodywork and incorporates colour therapy to provide relaxation treatments to her clients.

Julie explains: “I provide a range of self help tools and therapies that can enhance people’s well being, as well as gift, jewellery and accessories for both people and the home. Colour therapy in itself is growing overall in popularity and has a very strong base in South Africa. Colour can be used by anybody wanting to improve their well-being, and doesn’t need expensive products or training to access it. It is also easily incorporated into any other form of therapeutic treatment, for example aromatherapy, Reflexology or Indian Head Massage.

“The use of colour is very powerful and it can influence the subconscious daily decisions we make and the way we live our lives. For example yellow can inspire confidence, so by wearing something yellow or using the yellow oils or sprays, you can boost you self esteem.”

Although the store has only recently launched, Julie has been overwhelmed by the response from purchasers in the region and the help and support she has received from the team at the regional portal.

Julie adds: “The website was up and running very quickly and the whole process has been extremely easy as the staff at TNERP have taken care of everything for me”.

Norma Foster, chief executive at TNERP, says: “Like many of the retailers who contact us, Julie had an idea to open her own business, but she didn’t have the huge financial outlay necessary to open a retail outlet.

“The shopping mall,, has become an extremely popular choice for retailers of all sizes, and we have found that start-ups in particular, have found it to be the best route into a large sales channel that is already well-established.”

To find out more about Rezonate visit and choose the Health & Beauty option.