Today (8th March 2022) is International Women’s Day, a global day that marks and celebrates the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women across the world.
To mark the occasion Love Salisbury is sharing the story of two young, local, entrepreneurs and sisters, Becca and Nicola Hardingham, who are taking the third-generation female family-run cookware business, Dinghams, to new heights.
The well-loved specialist cookware shop was opened by the sisters’ grandmother, Ann Hardingham, in 1984. Joined by their aunt, Sarah in 2001, the duo served Salisbury’s cooking enthusiasts with Becca and Nicola helping out in the shop as teenagers.
The granddaughters, Becca, 30, and Nicola, 27, took over the business in 2017 and immediately faced the effects of the Salisbury poisonings with Becca featuring on SKY TV as a retail spokesperson.
The last two years have brought their own challenges with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges, the team has pivoted how it operates creating new opportunities for the business.
With big plans for the store longer-term, Dinghams managing director Becca Hardingham says, “Dinghams is already a destination for cooking enthusiasts locally but we wanted to take our product range to a wider audience and so launched our successful eCommerce website.”
“The shop is also now a dealer for British energy-efficient range cooker brand Everhot, which is already proving popular. And above the shop, locals and visitors to Salisbury town centre enjoy the team’s fabulous café – it’s now a multi-faceted business.”
The Dinghams team is growing too, as Becca explains, “We now have an 11-strong team. Nicola and I work on range development and selection together with me managing the commercial side of the business and Nicola leading on the creative – she creates the fabulous windows and store displays and is one of our product experts on the shop floor.
“Our Aunty Sarah has also returned to the business supporting with product and stock management. Dinghams is going from strength to strength.
“Nicola and I have always loved working in the shop. Even when we went off to university to do our art and design degrees, we’d always be popping back to do our bit to help out.
“It got to the point where our grandma wanted to retire and our Aunty Sarah was keen to see more of the world and we saw an opportunity to take the shop on ourselves and we’ve not looked back.”