Lock and load – brother and sister to open countryside hobbies shop in Barrow barn

Kirstie Johnston and brother Nick who run Forelock and Load Ltd.
Kirstie Johnston and brother Nick who run Forelock and Load Ltd.
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A brother and sister are preparing to open a country hobbies business in a 16th century Suffolk thrashing barn in Barrow late next month.

Nick and Kirstie Johnston launched online firm Forelock and Load in December but belief having a physical presence with a new shop will see their business finally take off.

Forelock and Load

Forelock and Load

“We’ve both been thinking about this for four years,” said Kirstie.

“Nick is really keen on shooting and is keen to make it accessible to everyone. He is interested in pigeon shooting and the benefits it has to the environment as well.

“I’m more interested in equestrian sports. I have been involved in horses all of my life.

“We have professional event rider Sharon Hunt just down the road from us. So we thought there is a gap in the market for a niche business like ours.”

Forelock and Load

Forelock and Load

Nick left his job lecturing in agriculture, while Kirstie gave up her job in accounting in March. They have both been developing their business since.

“It is very daunting but very exciting at the same time,” said Kirstie.

The final piece in the jigsaw in the location.

The family farm barn has stood unused. It was going to be rennovated into offices when Nick and Kirstie’s mum suggested converting it into their new shop.

It is due to open by the end of September.

Forelock is the fringe on a horse’s head) and Load which is the weight of shot in a cartridge.

Nick and Kirstie plan to have guest speaker once a month on themes relating to country pursuits and increase this if there is enough interest, while friend Sharon Hunt may open the business.

Visit www.forelockandload.com