Velvet was set up in 2000, in a little shop in the North Laine, Brighton, by myself Emma. Nearly 22 years of retailing later (and 3 children!) we have moved a few times and had a few more stores, but we have been very happy in our large 2 floor Hove Store for the last 13 years, over 2500 sqft - a mini department store.
I live around the corner from the shop with my 3 boys, aged 19,15,12 they are my whole world but often drive me completely crackers. They are one of the reasons I work so hard to make Velvet a success and grow it. Not just financially (they go through an awful lot of trainers and baguettes) but to show them women are strong and can juggle motherhood and a busy business by themselves. Obviously, there are plenty of ups and downs along the way. I think they are quite proud of me now!
I love my business, I have such a great team of women who are a joy to work with, it’s also very much a family business. The whole team work so bloody hard and are fantastic at supporting each other and me.
I have an absolute passion for fashion and interiors and still get such a buzz about making customers happy, a great display, and a new fab product. There are difficult days in running your own business with worries/stresses, risks you must take, working too hard, but for me they are so worth it because I absolutely love Velvet. I love my family, my great mates, white wine, prawn cocktail crisps, running and cross fit (which keeps me sane).
The buying team (Gemma and I), spend a great deal of time sourcing new and original products from all over the world, from hundreds of different suppliers.
My job is a joy, I LOVE retail, it's very exciting buying and sourcing new amazing stuff and making the shop look beautiful. The best part of the job is seeing the reaction of our customers to products we have bought. Myself and my team love a good chat with our customers. I feel very lucky that we have so many regular and loyal customers, many have become friends.
We have new limited edition gorgeous products coming in store every day. We constantly change our stock in order to make it a very special shopping experience and we have many one-off pieces.