Case Study: Gaia Accessories

February 26, 2023

Case Study: Gaia Accessories

Carolien Van Zijl, owner and founder of Gaia Accessories, imports beautiful Italian leather bags and small leathergoods into the UK for retail chains and independent stores to sell. Our storage and team in Newmarket have proved to be a great help to her growing business. Read her story below.  



Carolien moved to the UK from the Netherlands in 1998. Moving for her husband’s job, she took this move as an opportunity for herself.  

She had been working in the dairy industry, working for a company which made cheese products for the food industry and catering businesses. The move to the UK sparked a desire to do something different.  

A chance contact with an accessories company in France led to her thinking “Yes, why not?” and she took the first steps towards the import business she now runs, Gaia Accessories.  

Upon arriving in the UK she travelled up the length and breadth of the country, from Aberdeen to Penzance, getting to know the country and see the different tastes within each place.  

Her import career began with her working as a commercial agent for other companies and then a year ago she took the steps to begin her own import business, Gaia Accessories.  

Gaia Accessories is an import business, selling beautiful Italian leather handbags to retail chains and independent stores, some of which have an online presence with Carolien involved in all areas from buying, logistics, selling and dispatch.  

Cinch Self Storage Newmarket have been able to help from the start.  


Right sized units 

As soon as Carolien decided to begin her own business, she knew she would need storage and she began looking around the local area but found that she couldn’t find a unit that would work. 

“I started to look around and I was struggling to find a decent sized unit because, everywhere I looked, they were too small.”  

With Cinch Self Storage Newmarket newly opened, Carolien one day drove past it and, taking a chance, she went in and had a chat with the team. Here she found the ideal unit for her business.  

“I went past Cinch Self Storage Newmarket and I went in and had a chat. And you had a suitable unit! That was how it all started.” 


Safe and secure  

Our storage facility quickly proved to have many advantages with a big one being that she knew her stock was safe within her unit.  

“The advantage with Cinch Self Storage is that it’s a safe environment. It’s not storage in the fields which can be broken into. It’s properly locked up so I don’t have to worry about whether my stock is still in my unit.” 

At Cinch Self Storage Newmarket we have state of the art security systems in place. This includes intruder alarms, smoke and fire detectors on every unit and 24/7 CCTV around the entire facility. We do this to offer complete peace of mind to our customers like Carolien.  


Helping hand 

Like many business owners, Carolien is very busy and being able to get a helping hand from the Newmarket team with deliveries is a huge help to her and one of the main reasons she works with us.  

“The main reason for working with Cinch Self Storage is that I have consignments which are picked up and delivered by courier services. I have them delivered directly to Cinch Self Storage. It is so great for me because otherwise I would have to sit and wait all day for the delivery which doesn’t make sense. I have other things to do!” 

This is a service which we know is a great help to many of our business customers and we are always so happy to hear how easy it makes the delivery process for them.  


Excellent Newmarket team   

Along with taking in deliveries, our Newmarket team has proven to be a really wonderful part of Carolien’s experience at our Newmarket facility.  

“I am really happy with the team because they are really flexible and helpful. And everything is at hand. If I need to transport boxes, there is all kinds of equipment to help or if I’m short on boxes, I can get them from the office. The way Cinch Self Storage is set up is very helpful for businesses like us.” 

We are so happy that Carolien’s time with us is proving to be so helpful for her and her business.  


Working with Carolien and Gaia Accessories  

Carolien is always on the lookout for new clients and new opportunities. She works with retail chains and independent stores who have an online presence. If you think you’d be an ideal candidate for her, please get in touch with here via

If you would like to know more about our storage in Newmarket, please get in touch with the team today by calling: 01638 476 115 or head to our website.  


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