Atelier 19

Well, I’ve finally managed to open my atelier/showroom in Cheltenham. Some of you may know that I’ve been trying to do this for around 15 years or even longer (I recently found something I’d written when I was 9 saying all I wanted to do when I grew up was open my own shop and make clothes for people!). So, maybe I’m grown up enough now and it’s finally my time to do what I want with my life!I’ve been looking for the right premises since moving to Cheltenham and I finally found one at 19 Suffolk Road that gives me everything I need in my favourite location known as The Suffolks. It’s always been my favourite part of Cheltenham as it’s full of quirky shops and galleries, so very artisan and bohemian. The added bonus is that everyone is really friendly and supportive and work together to raise awareness of the area.

Eventually everything was sorted and I got the keys on September 30th. I decided I wanted to open on October 15th so managed to completely redecorate the space and set everything up in just two very hectic weeks! The other designers involved all helped set up and Anthony Lewis Churchill was brilliant adding the final touches and doing the window display (it helped that he used to design windows for Harrods and Fortnum and Mason)!

The amazing haberdashery unit that I came by when I was a teenager when my Dad refurbished a shop in Ross-on-Wye (the old Vines) finally came inti it’s own and looks like it’s been there for years. Behind it is a small selection of original vintage wedding dresses and a beautiful Victorian veil with the original wax flower headdress. To the left is a range of cute flower girl dresses by BE by Little Wings made from vintage fabric and antique christening dresses.

We eventually managed to fill the whole space with all our work, the French antique brocante finds I’d been amassing and handmade goodies from other friends and designers whose work I really admire. Basically, the whole space is filled with things I love so a bit self indulgent but it seems to work and everyone seems to love it too!

On the day of the gala opening, we had the Mayor of Cheltenham pulling the ribbon to officially open the shop as well as a visit from Michael and Clare Morpurgo. All my friends and family came along including a surprise visit from my eldest son and his new wife which was really ” the icing on the cake”! We also served mini cakes made by my lovely daughter with Prisecco, elderflower and tea.

It’s been a week now since we opened and the response has been brilliant although it’s still a bit quiet. We’ve already taken two orders for jackets/coats so all very promising. Can’t wait for our first bride to find us so we can design and make everything for the whole wedding!

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