Mum-of-11 celebrates opening of Kettering’s ‘first prom shop’

Newlands Centre manager Neil Griffin and mayor Keli Watts, at the new Prom Shop, believed to be the first one in Kettering

Newlands Centre manager Neil Griffin and mayor Keli Watts, at the new Prom Shop, believed to be the first one in Kettering

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A mother-of-11 whose house burned down two years ago has opened a new shop in Kettering’s Newlands Centre.

Caroline Dumpleton, who is also preparing to celebrate her 38th birthday on April 1, says the Prom Shop is the first of its kind to be opened in the town.

Newlands Centre manager Neil Griffin, Caroline Dumpleton and mayor Keli Watts with Ruby Dumpleton, four, at the new Prom Shop, believed to be the first one in Kettering

Newlands Centre manager Neil Griffin, Caroline Dumpleton and mayor Keli Watts with Ruby Dumpleton, four, at the new Prom Shop, believed to be the first one in Kettering

A number of schools in the Kettering area hold proms at the end of the school year, although items have been sold to customers for a variety of different styles of events.

The family home in Irthlingborough was damaged by a fire in March 2012, forcing the family to live in static caravans while repairs were carried out.

Today (Monday, March 31), the day after the second anniversary of the blaze, the Prom Shop was officially opened by Kettering mayor Keli Watts.

Caroline (pictured left with daughter Ruby, four), whose eldest child is 18 and youngest is five months, already runs the next door shop in the Newlands Centre, Body Gems.

She said: “There’s nowhere like this in Kettering. Every day I am trying to get people in here – I never stop.”

The Prom Shop sells dresses, outfits, accessories and jewellery. Items are available to hire, although Caroline said that was usually a less cost-effective option.

Centre manager Neil Griffin added: “People are going to different towns for prom shops, so it’s all about keeping people in your town.

“People complain they don’t have shops so they’ve got the chance to use this one.”