TRADER SPOTLIGHT – ROMANTICA
When were you established
Romantica was born in November 1988 when Chilean exiles George and Iris Furet bought a run-down shop in Horfield. Seven years later they bought the premises in Bishopston. Fast forward to their retirement in 2013 and Nik and Teresa Gornall bought the business, adding the Henleaze shop in 2016.
A Brief Over view of what you offer -Talking shop
Put simply, we offer the biggest and best range of cards in the South West of England. This is the view of the trade organisation that recently awarded us this accolade. We use over 150 suppliers and refresh products every week, often daily. Alongside the cards we have a huge range of gifts, from sentiment driven to quirky to downright useful. Our biggest draw is probably Jellycat soft toys, which never cease to amaze with their innovative and crazy new designs.
What did you want to be when you were growing – up?
A computer whizz-kid! I did achieve this to a certain degree and it enabled me to work abroad for a few years in Bermuda and America, where I found my amazing wife Teresa.
So why gifts and cards?
I have always been interested in art, photography and design, so when I decided on a change of career and we were looking for a successful business to acquire, the temptation of working with thousands of inspiring images every day seemed like the ideal fit.
Any adventures? Travel/ Inspirations that led you to where you are today?
We are lucky to have travelled in all 5 continents and seen some amazing and inspirational sights over the years. Peru, India and New Zealand provided the most diverse range of experiences but if I had to pick one corner of the world that I yearn to visit time and time again it is southern Utah and the incredible scale of beauty that is rewarded at every turn.
Any local community stuff?
We introduced a section of the shops devoted to local artists, which has proved very popular with local customers and tourists.
We have also started an initiative with the cafes along the Gloucester Road to co-ordinate the discounts given to people using their own take-away travel cup. To support this we sell a lot of recycled bamboo cups and stainless steel water bottles.
Awards and Recognition?
Our proudest achievement was winning the “Best Independent Retailer in the South West”. Hearing Romantica called out at a glitzy awards dinner in London made us realise that we are involved in something very special.