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Sock Creator Gets Off On The Right Foot At Teesside Airport

Posted: 8th October 2021

The owner of a quirky gift shop has put her best foot forward and been welcomed by the Tees Valley Mayor as she launched her new range of seaside-inspired socks at Teesside International Airport.

Stella Coombe owns Polyester in Saltburn, which began life as a vintage shop five years ago, before morphing into a contemporary gift shop with a retro vibe, selling high-quality gifts, mugs, tea towels and puzzles and games.

During lockdown Stella took a business development training course in Middlesbrough and, as part of this, decided to begin designing her own socks inspired by the Teesside seaside.

The “Forsocksake” range was then brought to life, with themes including I Heart Parmos, the Mighty Redcar Lemon Top and the Saltburn Cliff Lift, with more designs to follow soon.

The airport’s News and Essentials, in the departures lounge, has now become the first stockist for her new creations outside of Polyester and its online store, as it continues to champion local creators, businesses and products.

Stella said: “I’m excited to be branching out from Polyester to give passengers an opportunity to pick up a bit of the Teesside seaside from our airport. Whether it’s local people proud of their area and wanting to show it off, or visitors who have enjoyed their time here keen to take something back with them, I’m sure they’ll prove popular.

“I named my shop Polyester partly in homage to the material and its ties to our region with the nearby former ICI site, but our ethos is high-quality, reusable goods and, where possible, using sustainable resources. These socks certainly represent that, and highlight some of the things unique to Teesside, as well as being a lot of fun.

“I’m really pleased to be working with Teesside Airport and I’m excited what the future holds, as it brings more people in to experience our fantastic towns, beaches and countryside – including Saltburn!”

Stella has become the latest local producer to join the airport after boutique shop House of Zana and Rejoy, from Darlington, opened its newest outlet in the recently redeveloped terminal. The terminal transformation was also supported by 18 local firms who carried out the works covering everything from architects to furnishings.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Like our airport, our region has a rich history, fantastic opportunities ahead of it and people who are happy to put in the work to see it succeed – but sometimes we need to embrace the sense of humour, fun and friendliness that our area is also rightly famous for.

“Stella’s socks shine a spotlight of some things that people love most about living here or visiting, giving people going seaside from Teesside a reminder of their own area and tourists a reminder of their stay.

“I’m delighted she’s come on board as the latest business that can benefit from the airport’s transformation and growth. This is alongside those local companies that have worked tirelessly to transform the terminal building and those that are also operating out of the airport right now. Once again, this shows we are more than just flights to Alicante and are thinking outside the box to support all types of local firms and people.”

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