Marisa Thompson is making her mark by promoting the names of other businesses. The divorced mother of two set up Identity Merchandise 18 months ago. Based in offices beneath her home in Ecclesall Road South, her team hand-pick the little promotional products that become big relationship-builders for the likes of Irwin Mitchell, Neurocare, nationwide awarding and training assessors NOCN, city accountants Hart Shaw and award-winning design and marketing agency Jaywing. “Pens, mugs and T-shirts will always be popular choices for companies to emblazon with their branding, but there are thousands of more imaginative ideas to work with and it’s our job to find them,” says Marisa. The 39-year-old Sheffielder, schooled in Firth Park, decided to go up in the world after finding her forte at a local promotional umbrella factory.
Just off West Street, this wonderful building was formerly the Victorian bathhouse which opened in 1877 (hence the name). It’s been refurbished to a very high spec and operates as a luxurious spa.
I love to relax in fluffy robes there, nipping into the sauna, steam rooms and plunge pool between the endless cups of free chai tea and cappuccinos. For a real treat I’ll have a massage or a beauty treatment – the staff are highly trained but, most importantly, really friendly.
Ecclesfield Car and
I have used ECC for 20 years – they are so cheap I don’t know how they have stayed in business! Just at the side of Morrisons in Ecclesfield, this firm is family-run. The grandad, dad and son (other family members work there too) will fit your tyres, service your car, find any part you might need and even scrap your car, all with plenty of friendly banter and, usually, a cup of tea.
In July I am cycling from London to Paris in aid of Sheffield Children’s Hospital. When I signed up for this challenge I hadn’t ever ridden a road bike. I had to buy one and currently I am off cycling into the Derbyshire countryside whenever I can.
I still don’t like going fast downhill and I can’t cope with the clip-in shoes (I have tried and have the scars to prove it) but that’s OK, because I have discovered a wonderful sport which takes me through the most beautiful countryside, to lovely villages and keeps me fit. People can visit www.justgiving.com/MARISA-THOMPSON if they are kind enough to sponsor me.
My company Identity Merchandise is based on Ecclesall Road South and one of my very favourite things is walking down Ecclesall Road on a sunny day. The students in their sports gear or dressed to make a statement, the yummy mummies looking fab and rushing around, the business people meeting for coffees in a friendly place – it’s a great place to people-watch. Sharrow Vale is a sun-trap when the sun shines and with the music filling the street from The Greedy Greek deli, you could be on holiday!
Knab Fruit and Veg
I have been using this little shop just off Carterknowle Road for years for many reasons. It is an independent shop, which matters to me, and it is cheaper than the supermarkets. It sells fresh organic fruit and veg, John Crawshaw meat, organic salad, yoghurt and dried goods. You can nip in and get fresh healthy food in minutes (no trolley, no wandering around a soulless, windowless supermarket). I feel I’m helping the local economy while saving time and money. Brilliant!
I am Sheffield born and bred. As a child I lived at Park Hill flats in the ’80s, then I went to Firth Park, where I went to school, and now I live in Ecclesall, so I have met and lived around all types of Sheffielders. We are brutally honest in a genuine way, friendly without fuss, helpful and caring. Whether you can’t afford the rent this week or you are trying to grow your business to the next level, ask for help from people in Sheffield and you will get it.
I have my hair done at Laundry in Sellers Wheel – the building is inspired, an old industrial space which has been cleverly restored. It’s a lovely venue but more importantly, the Laundry team are great stylists and the colourist still has famous clients she travels all over the country for. The place and people look almost too cool, but being Sheffielders, they have all the friendly attributes you would expect! If you have time, visit the Tamper shop next door for the best coffee in Sheffield – it’s set in another beautifully restored building.