Answering our 20 Questions today is Stephen Barr and Katy Khamisa, the owners of the new Urban Attic shop in Southport.
Urban Attic opened in September last year on Market Street in Southport, opposite the side entrance of Southport Market.
The shop sells beautiful hand-made and unique home decor and gifts.
It is among a number of new local independent businesses which have opened in Southport’s ‘Market Quarter’ – since last year’s transformation of Southport Market into a new food, drink and events venue.
If you like to take part in 20 Questions, please email info@southportbid
1 – Name? Stephen Barr & Katy Khamisa
2 – Job Title? Co-owners of Urban Attic
3 – What type of business is it? Handmade and unique home decor and gift shop
4 – When did the business open? September 2021
5 – Three words that describe your leadership style: Ste: Collaboration. Passion. Forward-thinking
Katy: Creative, Optimistic and collaborative
6 – Favourite part of the job? Ste: I think my favourite part is providing a platform for local talent to sell their wares, including our own makes
Katy: Creating relationships with customers that allow us to grow the business to meet their needs and wants
7 – Challenges you have overcome? Ste: Personally, I became profoundly deaf in one ear in May 2021. I think this was the universe telling me to follow my passion. So I quit my day job in higher education and met Katy. Then Urban Attic was born
Katy: Like Ste, I left a career in education to pursue a creative vocation. I’m proud that we both had the courage to make those changes
8 – Biggest achievements in work? Ste: I think opening Urban Attic has been a massive achievement for both of us. And also having interest from This Morning to feature my wares was a recent highlight.
Katy: I agree. I’ve always been passionate about my work, but bringing Urban Attic to life has brought me the most joy
9 – Biggest achievements away from work? Ste: Seeing the Northern Lights
Katy: In 2019 I trekked across the Himalayas to support ‘Coppafeel’ a breast cancer charity really close to my heart
10 – Three things that are crucial to a business’s success? Ste: Believing in what you have to offer. Evolving. Engaging with customers
Katy: A positive and supportive local community, passion for your product/service
11 – What is your priority for 2022? Ste: It’s early days for Urban Attic, so the priority is to establish ourselves within Southport and help to grow the Market Quarter
Katy: We’re finding a lot of our business is driven by social media and our online presence, so building on that and establishing our online sales platform are high on the list
12 – How do you unwind? Ste: Walking our rescue dog Cooper. He’s a Portuguese Podengo
Katy: For us it’s all about the dogs. Getting down to the beach with them whatever the weather keeps me going
13 – What songs are on your playlist at the moment? Ste: Anyone who’s been in the shop knows I’m a massive David Bowie fan, so he’s a constant. I also love the Liverpool band Ladytron
Katy: I have quite eclectic taste, but there will always be a Dolly Parton classic in the mix
14 – What do you love about Southport? Ste: Southport has always been in my life. I did my A Levels at Southport College back in the day. I love The Atkinson, the arcades and the ice cream
Katy: The welcome… I moved here this time last year after 18 years in London. It has felt like home in such a short period of time
15 – What is your hidden talent? Ste: I’m a qualified gym instructor and can bust out some martial arts moves
Katy: I love DIY… we are renovating our Victorian semi and I have taught myself to plaster.
16 – What word sums up your philosophy? Ste and Katy: Creativity
17 – Name two other Southport businesses you like and why? Ste: That’s so hard as we’ve been welcomed onto Market Street by all the amazing independent businesses there. We’re a little community
Katy: The Market Quarter rocks
18 – Favourite film? Ste: The Breakfast Club
Katy: My childhood favourite – Watership Down
19 – If you could bring one thing to Southport what would it be? Ste: The tide. Just joking
Katy: More venues for great live music
20 – Why should we shop local? Ste: I think it’s vital for people to shop local to maintain our community
Katy: It’s so important that we reinvest in our community and encourage the younger generations to take pride in their hometown