Sam is hoping to leave benefits behind with new hippy venture

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 8 Jun 2018

A HIPPY-LOVER is hoping to leave benefits behind with the opening of her new shop.

Pure Alternatives, a hippy shop selling unusual items, opened on Freeman Street a few weeks ago.

It’s a bold step for owner Sam Towers, who is recovering from epilepsy, anxiety and depression.

The 48-year-old said the shop is “unique” in Grimsby, selling everything from dream catchers and hippy clothes to Tibetan singing bowls and Himalayan salt lamps.

“There’s no other in this area, which is why I wanted to do it,” said Sam.

“I love hippy clothes, fair trade and helping out countries, so I thought this would be an ideal venture.”

The entrepreneur started up after she was referred by the job centre to E Factor, a Grimsby social enterprise run by business people to support new businesses.

“I am on benefits so I can only work 16 hours a week,” said Sam. “I can only open 16 hours – so I do four afternoons a week at the moment until I build up my business. I am hoping to do more in the future.

“I now need to let people know I’m here. I am doing OK, but it is just passing trade at the moment.”

Sam stopped working in 2007 after struggling with health issues. 

She is currently in receipt of PIP and ESA, but is now looking to move into full-time employment as her business develops.

She said: “I didn’t want to go back into a main job. I wanted something of my own. 

“I have been ill for the past few years. I needed to come away from my job. I am starting to get better, so I want to do something but not too much. Because I can only do so many hours, it’s just right for me at the moment.”

She added: “My health is improving. There’s no way I would have been able to  do this when I was ill.

“When I was bad, I couldn’t even answer the door or telephone. I have been able to move forward and do something with my life.”

Sam said she is “completely alone” after the death of her husband, Gordon “Floss” Towers, in November, but is determined to make the business a success.

Pure Alternatives, at 167 Freeman Street, is open Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday between 12.30pm and 4.30pm.

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