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Posted: 19th March 2021

A Tees Valley watch entrepreneur has decided there’s no time like the present to join Teesside International Airport and sell her designer timepieces.

Teri Ellington, 24, from Ingleby Barwick, set up Ellington Timepiece from her bedroom in 2017 while suffering from agoraphobia which meant she barely left the house. She used her last £80 to create her first design, The Grey Sheba, inspired by her German Shepherd therapy dog and sold her car and slept on a sofa for six months to keep her business going.

Teri’s hard work and determination has paid off, with her business going from strength to strength thanks to growing sales in the UK and overseas and three lines of watches under her belt.

Now Teri, who is also a mental health advocate, is teaming up with the airport’s House of Zana and Rejoy store to showcase her luxury but affordable creations. The shop was established by Darlington entrepreneurs Amber Kotrri and Erin Harper to highlight some of the fantastic products on offer from independent retailers across the region.

The new shop is part of the airport terminal’s transformation, including new check-in desks, a remodelled security area, the new Goosepool bar and duty free, ahead of an expected increase in passenger numbers due to its expanded range of summer holiday breaks.

Teri, who was named one to watch in December’s Tees Business’ 30 Under 30 feature, said: “I love watches and wanted to create a brand that had that designer feel but that the average person could afford. I had battled with mental health issues for a long time, but with support for that and my business idea, I decided I wasn’t going to be controlled by my anxiety and was able to take the plunge and start on this really rewarding path. It’s been hard work, but Ellington Timepiece is in a great position now and I’m keen to get my work seen by even more people.

“I’m really happy to be joining Teesside International and getting my watches out there to local people flying out from the airport, but also to national and international visitors. We’ve all heard about the buzz surrounding the airport it’s an exciting time to be basing our business here given how it’s growing more and more.

“The House of Zana and Rejoy shop is a great idea for collaboration and to promote our independents and it’s great to be part of the team.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen was on hand to meet Teri at Teesside International and welcome her to the airport.

He said: “Teri’s story shows what can be achieved with a great idea, quality product and a good helping of Teesside grit and determination. As well as being one of our area’s fantastic entrepreneurs and a champion for our region, her story’s an inspiring and important one.

“I’m delighted to welcome her and her company to the airport as we back more of our local businesses and get them in front of a global audience more than ever before.

“When the airport was brought back into public control, saving it from closure, I pledged that it would be more than just flights, helping to support our local people, charities, organisations and small businesses and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

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