EXCLUSIVE: The town taken over by TOWIE! Reality stars now own NINE shops in Brentwood… with more on the way
12:22 GMT, 28 November 2012
It was once a relatively sleepy Essex town, known only to residents and county natives.
But thanks to the popularity of hit reality show The Only Way Is Essex, Brentwood has quickly become arguably the most famous town in Essex.
And the stars of the ITV2 show are doing their best to slowly but surely take over the town – owning nine establishments in the town at last count.
Taking over the town: Shops owned by TOWIE stars, including this boutique from former castmember Amy Childs, are now ten a penny in Brentwood, Essex
Amy Childs, who found fame on the
show before leaving to pursue other ventures, opened a beauty salon in
Brentwood in November last year, before opening her own boutique there
about her shop as she launched it, Amy said: 'It is classy, elegant,
we’ve got chandeliers in there, beautiful wallpaper with all diamonds on
'I’d describe it as sparkly, classy and elegant … just like me. It’s a glam boutique.'
One of the reasons for the popularity
of both Amy's salon and her new store is the fact that the reality star
frequently visits and works at both establishments.
Fancy a TOWIE tour Brentwood is slowly turning into the capital for all things TOWIE-related, with eight establishments open and another on the way next month
As it was: Brentwood was a relatively quiet town before it hit the map thanks to the ITV2 show
if she gets bored during her work day, she can simply pop down the high
street, where she can catch up with her cousin and former TOWIE co-star
has yet to forge a solo TV career for himself after quitting the show
earlier this year, opened his store Harry's World which, according to
the website, 'offers a variety of fantastic products including clothing,
make up, jewellery, bags, scarfs, shoes and much more'.
Somewhat bizarrely, it also offers a teeth whitening service, with Harry saying of the store: 'I can't believe I'm opening my first shop, it's so nice to bring some bling to Brentwood – it’s a dream come true.'
Selling her wares: Current TOWIE star Lucy Mecklenburgh owns one boutique in Brentwood, and will be opening her second in the town on December 1st
Day job: Beautician Amy also has a beauty salon in the high street
But Harry and Amy both have competition with their stores from Lucy Mecklenburgh, who still stars in the reality show alongside boyfriend Mario Falcone.
Just a few short months after opening her first boutique, Lucy will be opening her second shop in Brentwood on 1st December.
The pretty blonde star tweeted the news excitedly on Tuesday morning, writing: 'Our NEW shop is opening this Saturday 1st December!! 14a Ongar Road Brentwood Essex CM159AZ x'
Successful business: Sam and Billie Faiers' store Minnie's Boutique has proved such a hit that they have taken it around the country on a pop-up tour
Another haven for fans of the glamorous fashion exhibited on TOWIE is Minnie's Boutique, owned by the Faiers sisters – Sam and Billie.
In fact, the store has been such a success in Brentwood that the siblings have also been opening pop-up Minnie's stores throughout the country, including Southampton, Manchester and Sheffield.
Sam explained: 'Minnie's has built such a
loyal following with people travelling from all over the country to
visit the original store, so we decided one really important project for
us in 2012 was to take it out on the road, its Minnie's On Tour!
The masculine touch: Amy Childs' cousin Harry Derdidge also owns a store in the formerly quiet town
Reality star: Harry is no longer in TOWIE but still enjoys nationwide fame from his time on the show
'We love giving our fans in different cities the chance to visit us in our Minnie's pop-up shop, and we love meeting them and helping advise them on their fashion purchases.'
But it's not only Essex fashion that TOWIE fans can expect to find in Brentwood.
In addition to the numerous TOWIE boutiques, there is also the Bizara card store, owned by one-time TOWIE star Peri Sinclair, and GX2, a store selling health and fitness supplements owned by lovable TOWIE twins Dino and George Georgiades.
And if all that shopping gets too much, fans of the show can pop into the local Sugar Hut for a quick drink or a bite to eat.
The Sugar Hut, owned by TOWIE star Mick Norcross, shot to fame thanks to its frequent appearances on the show, and is now visited by fans as far afield as Wales and Scotland.
But it's not just Brentwood that TOWIE stars have infiltrated.
Current star the show Lydia Bright owns boutique Bella Sorrella with her sister in the nearby town of Loughton, which also houses Jessica Wright's lingerie store With Love Jessica.
Fancy a Lambrini The Sugar Hut, owned by Mick Norcross, has become a favourite TOWIE haunt and is regularly featured on the ITV2 show
And former TOWIE star Lauren Goodger chose the town of Buckhurst Hill in which to open her salon Lauren's Way.
residents of Brentwood may be less than happy about the infiltration of
stores relating to the show, Elli Constantatou, Tourism Marketing &
PR Manager for the Visit Essex guide credits a boost in tourism in the
county to the 'TOWIE effect'.
Pump it up: The TOWIE twins Dino and George Georgiades own health and fitness supplement store GX2
Double trouble: Dino and George hit the big time thanks to their roles in the show
told MailOnline: 'Nationally, The Only Way Is Essex has really raised
the profile of Essex, and brought a lot of business into the county –
especially in Brentwood.
addition, while it has raised the profile of the county, it has also
allowed us to show a different side of Essex – giving people the chance
to see it more positively and change the “white stiletto” stereotype of
Anything your heart desires: If its cards you are after, the card store Bizara, owned by one-time TOWIE castmember Peri Sinclair is a popular Brentwood store