A TEESSIDE designer who started making socks inspired by the area during lockdown has set up an airport shop.

Stella Coombe, who owns Polyester in Saltburn, is now selling her quirky gifts at Teesside Airport.

Her range includes gifts, mugs, tea towels and puzzles and games, as well as her seaside-inspired socks.

She decided to start designing the socks – with themes including I Heart Parmos, the Mighty Redcar Lemon Top and the Saltburn Cliff Lift – after doing a business development training course during lockdown.

She said: “I’m excited to be branching out from Polyester to give passengers an opportunity to pick up a bit of the Teesside seaside from our airport. Whether it’s local people proud of their area and wanting to show it off, or visitors who have enjoyed their time here keen to take something back with them, I’m sure they’ll prove popular."

The Northern Echo:

“I named my shop Polyester partly in homage to the material and its ties to our region with the nearby former ICI site, but our ethos is high-quality, reusable goods and, where possible, using sustainable resources. These socks certainly represent that, and highlight some of the things unique to Teesside, as well as being a lot of fun.

“I’m really pleased to be working with Teesside Airport and I’m excited what the future holds, as it brings more people in to experience our fantastic towns, beaches and countryside – including Saltburn!”

The airport’s News and Essentials, in the departures lounge, is the first stockist for her creations outside of Polyester and its online store. It also features products from Darlington's House of Zana and Rejoy.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Like our airport, our region has a rich history, fantastic opportunities ahead of it and people who are happy to put in the work to see it succeed - but sometimes we need to embrace the sense of humour, fun and friendliness that our area is also rightly famous for.

“Stella’s socks shine a spotlight of some things that people love most about living here or visiting, giving people going seaside from Teesside a reminder of their own area and tourists a reminder of their stay.

“I’m delighted she’s come on board as the latest business that can benefit from the airport’s transformation and growth. This is alongside those local companies that have worked tirelessly to transform the terminal building and those that are also operating out of the airport right now. Once again, this shows we are more than just flights to Alicante and are thinking outside the box to support all types of local firms and people.”

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