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Shoreliner business profile: Understory's story

As part of our highlighting of the best of Kemptown to Newhaven we recommend a visit to our friends at 'Understory' where art and ceramics blend with houseplants beautifully.

Our Shoreliner friends Beth and Harry pooled their creativity in June 2020 to open their fantastic shop 'Understory' in Kemptown to create relationships with local artists and makers, and to curate products to complement houseplants.

When did you start your business?

We took over the lease of the shop space in February 2020 and planned to open in April. Unfortunately, by then we were in lockdown and so waited until the restrictions were lifted and ended up opening in June 2020!

How did you get into what you do?

Beth has always worked in retail and more recently trained as a florist, so has worked among plants and flowers for some time. I (Harry) have worked as a chef for many years, and we both wanted to start and build our own business together so we decided to pool our creativity!

What do you love most about your business?

We both love creating relationships with local artists and makers and curating the products we stock to complement the houseplants. We also love having the freedom and autonomy to develop the business in the way we would like!

What’s the hardest thing about running your business?

Starting the business and opening our shop in the midst of the pandemic has obviously been really challenging. We've worked really hard to maintain the momentum even through several lockdown closures. However, it's also presented us with new opportunities and has forced us to think creatively to make the most of the situation. Balancing home and work life can be tricky too...working, living and parenting together is intense!

If you had 3 wishes to improve your business what would they be?

1. That we have a better understanding of digital marketing and super SEO skills!

2. For more people to know we're here and to know about all the services we provide.

3. That we're successful in our upcoming grant application so that we can develop an exciting new strand of the business!

What advice have you got for people thinking of starting a business like yours?

Build relationships with other small businesses as it's so helpful to be able to share ideas and advice and to support and promote one another. Prioritise great customer service as word-of-mouth is an excellent marketing tool!"

Contact Beth and Harry

Tel. 01273 608250



If you would like your local business profiled, please contact Pennie Long, The Shoreline Editor on 07934 173794 or email


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