QUIRKY gift shop Eclettico will leave a hole in the heart of Colchester’s independent shopping district when it closes this year.

Ten years ago Judith Naylor, 59, went from a customer to owning the shop in Trinity Street when she took over from the previous owner who had been there for more than 20 years.

The site is steeped in history which regretfully the Naylor family must bring to and end on to make way for a new chapter in their lives.

With Judith’s daughter and daughter-in-law giving birth within months of each other this year, and her nearing 60, it is with a heavy heart they decided to close.

Businesswoman Judith said: “It’s something that’s been on the cards for a little while.

“Retail just isn’t quite like it used to be and I’m not sure it will be again.

“I’m sad to close but it wasn’t without a lot of thought.

“It’s a new chapter for the family and I’m going to have a lot of fun looking after my grandsons, who are growing so quickly.”

Judith believes Eclettico began as the Rainbow Shop and was near the Vineyard Gate steps before it moved to the Timbers site and then its current venue in Trinity Street.

Five years ago the Naylors changed the shop’s name from the Craftsman to Eclettico to better reflect what they were selling - uniquely sourced items for all the family.


Inside the unique gift shop

She said: “Initially we were looking to buy a building, it was an investment, but the business was for sale and as I used to shop there a lot myself.

“I thought it would be such a shame if the business closed so we decided to keep it as well.

“My daughter was at Warwick University studying art history at the time and when she finished she came back to manage the shop for us.

“My husband, Gary, used to do some of the buying, he has quite quirky and edgy taste, and we were always trying to find something different.”

Leaving a shop with a special item wrapped in tissue paper having had a chat with a store assistant, is what Judith says she adores about shopping.

However, it is impossible to ignore changes in people’s shopping habits.

She said: “It’s a shame the way retail is going but everybody is coming up to the age now where online shopping will be the norm.

“I’m probably a bit of a dying breed.

“We tried to go online once before but we decided we were a bricks and mortar business.

“We were trying to be a bit different and instil some old-fashioned values, and maintain our identity which is somewhere you come for a chat and hopefully find something nice.”

On August 25, there will be a Thank You and Farewell event for anyone who would like to say goodbye and share a cup of tea and cake.

Eclettico will also be open for Heritage Open Days Weekend, starting Thursday, September 6.

The shop will continue to wind down until the building is sold.