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Candid Studios, Jenna Patties CO and TIED are the Winners of the "Open Your Shop" Competition

2 May 2024

The entrepreneurial spirit is the backbone of vibrant communities, bringing innovation, diversity, and personal stories to the forefront of the retail world. At Ankorstart, we aim at supporting retail projects not only to be born but also to set the base of their success. That’s why in collaboration with we launched the “Open Your Shop” competition for future retail business owners in the UK. 

Andrea Landi

The contest

The “Open Your Shop” contest helps passionate entrepreneurs achieve their dream of opening and running a successful retail business with a prize of services, support and financial aid.

By giving the means to optimise their cash flow while staying true to what makes the shops creative and unique, this contest celebrates the agility, authenticity and diversity of independent retail. 

Today, we are thrilled to announce the three winners who have demonstrated exceptional creativity, commitment, and community focus in their business plans. 

Let’s dive into their inspiring journeys and the unique concepts they are bringing to their local high streets.

The prize

Among more than 600 candidates we selected these three lucky winners, to offer them £1000 to be spent on their inventory as well as a dedicated coach who will support them on their inventory strategy. We believe that balanced and attractive product selection is at the heart of the success of the retail aspect of their business. Each of them will have the possibility to be mentored by an Ankorstart retail expert who will provide them with exclusive tools, practical tips and tailored recommendations that will allow them to increase their sales, attract more customers in store and create better loyalty.

CANDID STUDIO: Empowering Through Self-Love

Candid is a self portrait studio based in London, owned by two sisters, Aimee and Lily.

To describe their project they say: “We want Candid to feel like a self-love project. For yourself, for your friends, your family, your dog, your brand. We have this vision of Candid hosting the most diverse array of people and their stories, flitting through the door, creating a touch of magic and then leaving, like a twist on Humans of New York. We want to celebrate people and their stories and we want you to leave here feeling like you can do anything. Because we believe you can.”

The studio provides a safe, inclusive, and private space where individuals can explore their creativity and express themselves authentically, without the fear of judgement.

With this mission in mind, Candid is a place that fosters confidence, where anyone can feel safe and seen at the same time. To create this experience in the studio, you will find different items like clothes, hats, accessories, jewellery, and anything that can make you feel beautiful. And the idea is that you also have the possibility to take those items that made you feel special home with you. 

That is how Aimee and Lily envisioned the retail aspect of their amazing project. 

They embarked on this journey inspired by their personal experience. In a world where social media dominates our daily lives and we are constantly exposed to retouched and filtered pictures that push towards unrealistic beauty standards, Lily and Aimee want to change the narrative, showing everyone their uniqueness and beauty, thanks to a space where self expression and authenticity are celebrated.  

Through workshops, events, and collaborations with like-minded organisations, the studio seeks to amplify its message and create lasting change, one candid shot at a time.

Explore more about Candid Studio and their mission.

JEANNA PATTIES CO.: A Taste of Jamaica in Manchester

Jenna Patties Co. takes the name from its brilliant founder Jenna, the entrepreneurial mind behind this bakery project. 

Jenna envisioned her shop as a bakery that celebrates diversity by bringing the tradition of the Jamaican food culture to England. 

With this project, she aims at filling a void in the market of black-owned businesses. She wants to create a space that celebrates her cultural heritage while proposing an offer appealing to a wide market, fostering the meeting and appreciation of different cultures. 

Premium quality offering, exceptional service and a welcoming atmosphere, these are the pillars that Jenna wants her shop to be known for. 

JENNA PATTIES CO. will offer a selection of homemade baked goods, made following the traditional Jamaican recipes, to be paired with a carefully selected product range of european goods. 

This will include both savoury and sweet treats that pay homage to traditional Jamaican and Caribbean cuisine. From the ever-popular Jamaican Patty to light, fluffy carnivals, a range of breads, cakes, and teas, made from scratch using the freshest, most authentic ingredients and a curated homeware selection, this bakery will have it all.

Keep an eye on Jenna Patties CO instagram page as we approach the imminent launch of this exciting new venture and support the growth of diverse and inclusive culinary experiences on the high street.

TIED: A Floral shop in Swanage

Located in the heart of Swanage, Dorset, TIED is a flower shop founded by Selina Kerley

Her passion and commitment for this project is evident in all aspects of the shop, from the meticulously selected cut stems and hand-tied bouquets to the impressive floral arrangements for weddings and events. 

Selina comes to Swanage with over six-years of experience in the luxury floral industry, to bring a high level of service and product quality to the local community. 

This really is my long held dream, to open my own shop in the heart of my home town, and run a florist shop at the same time as running my floral design business from the workshop downstairs.” says Selina 

TIED, in fact, is not just a florist shop, it’s a one-stop-shop for those in search of the perfect gift, thanks to a curated selection of products that complement the floral offerings, including scented candles, vases, chocolates, journals, hand creams, soaps, books, and floristry-related items. 

“My mission is to create unique and memorable moments through flowers, and I’m so excited to share my passion for floristry with the community.” says Selina 

Discover TIED on Instagram and Facebook!

Let’s celebrate them

At Ankorstart, we are honoured to support their journey and look forward to seeing the positive changes they bring to their local high streets. Join us in celebrating these remarkable entrepreneurs by visiting their stores and following them on social media:




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