A BUSINESSWOMAN has given a shop a makeover as she opens a new shop on the Herefordshire border.

Julie North, 53, from Kington, has opened a new bookshop selling new books and beautiful things in the Borders book-town of Hay-on-Wye – a place she holds dear to her heart.

A former journalist for the Hereford Times, Julie has a background in books having worked for a few other bookshops and recently achieved a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University.


"It was time to try it my way," said Ms North, who has always dreamed of running a bookshop.

She said the coronavirus pandemic made everyone take stock and make decisions that they might have been putting off.

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An opportunity came up to buy the shop, a former commercial bakery, in the town where her children were born.

Hereford Times: The shop taken over by Julie North used to be a bakery. Picture: Billie Charity The shop taken over by Julie North used to be a bakery. Picture: Billie Charity

"The shop had been closed for business for a number of years, although many people have fond memories of the former shopkeeper, Brian Harris," she said.

"I hope to do his memory proud and give the property a new lease of life. It has looked quite sad and tired of late."


North Books opened with a stock of fiction, YA and Fantasy, Welsh literature and environmental and eco writing.

She added: "Over time I aim to add a coffee bar and a few other elements to the bookshop, including a range of book-groups that may appeal to locals. I think there is a market for book-related events that will compliment other activities in the town famous for second-hand books and the Hay Festival of literature."