A BRAINTREE online shop owner and market stall trader who has been active for six years is “excited” about finally opening their first ever physical store in the town centre.

Olivia Washington is the owner of Olivia’s Curiosities, a business which sells goods such as unique fabrics, haberdashery and handmade skulls.

The business had an online Etsy store dating back to 2012 whilst Olivia was at university, but it was “really started” in November 2018.

Over the years, the shop owner has only had a physical presence at markets across the county and Braintree’s annual street market.

Braintree and Witham Times: Stall owner - Olivia WashingtonStall owner - Olivia Washington (Image: N/A)

After Lingard Fabrics closed its doors in Rayne Road on April 27, Olivia’s Curiosities will finally open its own physical shop next month.

Olivia said: “It was just because Lingard Fabrics has closed. I’ve been looking at shops over last three years, but knowing they’ve been here for 60 years, I didn’t want to step on their toes.

“I felt it was perfect opportunity, so we could have a fabric replacement shop in the town centre.

“I’m either nervously excited, or excitedly nervous. I am very fortunate I am in this situation - I’ve never done anything like this before.

Braintree and Witham Times: New chapter - a better look at the unit's current exteriorNew chapter - a better look at the unit's current exterior (Image: Olivia Washington)

“We’ll find out and I’ll figure it out.”

The shop is based at the unit at in Little Square, and the whole process happened very quickly.

After discovering Lingard Fabrics was closing, Olivia went into the town centre on April 22 and viewed properties the following day.

By April 26 Olivia had an acceptance letter, and picked up the keys for the shop on May 1.

The unit just needs a few touches to get it ready, which will take place throughout May.

Braintree and Witham Times: Popular - an older image of Olivia at an eventPopular - an older image of Olivia at an event (Image: Braintree Council)

Olivia’s Curiosities should be opening in early June but if the unit is sorted beforehand, there is a small chance it could be earlier.

Olivia said: “The most important thing is I’m not just fabric and haberdashery, I’m going to have a rent a shelf for other market stall traders.

“There is going to be something for everyone, not just the sewists.”