Trader returns to pursue fashion dream

Mariam Kuna says she’s back with a bang after having to close her business because of the lockdown.

African Hair Design was doing well at the Dundas Indoor Market in Middlesbrough until Mariam had to shut up shop.

But now she has returned with a new name and even more reasons for customers to call on her.

I.M. African Hair Designz 4 U not only provides expert hairdressing, Mariam – who studied Fashion Design at Teesside University – is also offering customers bespoke African fabrics, clothing and accessories which she will design and make.  She plans to create and sell jewellery as well.   

“As a former model, I got to see how things were made behind the scenes.  I loved the production of the show and found it fascinating to watch the designers go about their work,”

she said.

With the pandemic behind us Mariam is looking forward to focusing on her ultimate dream of creating her own international fashion label. 

In the meantime she expects to be very busy.  “When I’m not doing hair I’ll be sewing,” said Mariam, whose bespoke clothes and accessories which will be available at her shop in the market as well as the online store Etsy.

I.M. African Hair Designz 4 U is one of a number of new and returning businesses at the Dundas Indoor Market.  The Protein Café – described by its owner Lili Piper as Middlesbrough’s first healthy takeaway – also opened at the start of June.  Another new business, The Party Shack, sells cards for every occasion, and mother and daughter Julie and Kaye Dalton have just taken the wrappers off Bubble ‘n Sweet which makes sure everybody – regardless of health issues, food and cultural preferences – can enjoy good old-fashioned sweets.

David Harris, the market manager, said: “There’s a real mix of new traders – and that’s one of the main hallmarks of the market.  All the businesses offer something you can’t get anywhere else: whether that’s a unique product or service as well as genuine value for money.

“All retailers have found the last couple of years really tough and we’re no exception.  But we couldn’t be working any harder to kick start the retail revival.  We provide a great deal of help to businesses opening here to ensure they can afford to get going without having to fork out lots of money before it starts coming in.”

Despite the influx of new traders Mr Harris would still like to hear from people who want to re-locate or start-up new businesses.  “A lot of people used their time in lockdown to pursue a hobby and interest to the point where they feel they are ready to go to the next step.  If you feel you’re ready, get in touch.”

For more information about opportunities at the Dundas Indoor Market contact