We celebrate 15 years of Stripes this month & we couldn't be happier that we are still in business, doing what we love and meeting so many wonderful people.
We opened our store in 2004 as we saw a gap in the market for a different kind of store that allowed customers to relax and browse collections you couldn't readily find elsewhere. We were both in our early twenties and didn't really understand the huge project that we were taking on! We fell in love with 13 The Foregate- a beautiful listed bank in Worcester city centre - and we were advised by the city centre manger at the time, that a shop would never work in our location. Setting up the business and securing funding wasn't easy - the building had been condemned and needed a lot of work and our ideas were dismissed by many professionals we approached for help but we persevered.
As sisters, we have always loved clothing. Our mum, Pam, instilled a love of beautifully tailored clothing, the little details that make garments special and an appreciation of quality fabrics and cut. Mum knows how to pull a great outfit together and always wanted a clothing store of her own. Some of our fondest fashion memories are of watching her prepare for events in the 1980s, looking a million dollars and embracing the latest trends. She has been an incredible support to us both over the years and still loves clothing more than anyone else we know.
Our dad, John, believed in us from the outset and helped to finance our business start-up. We take so much inspiration from our dad who has been a farmer in Nottinghamshire all his life. We watched him as children running his own business and always treating his team and business associates with the utmost respect. Many of his sayings have stayed with us over the last 15 years such as 'Well bought is half sold' and when things have been tough he has been a great listener and advisor.
We still love what we do and still adore working together but there is no doubt running an independent boutique is full of challenges. We have never fallen out over the years and have approached each of our successes and failures as a united team. Since we opened our doors 15 years ago we have been through four house moves, two weddings, had three children each and now live 100 miles from our store. To our amazement, Stripes is still going strong! We have our wonderful team to thank for Stripes' longevity - we have been lucky to work with a host of talented people past and present who have worked so hard for us over the years and embraced the business as if it were their own. Our in-store beauty salon (established in 2012) has been a great addition to the business and we love the atmosphere our beauty rooms create.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our customers who have shopped with us over the last 15 years and have supported our business. We are thankful for every single purchase! We know how easy it is to sit at home ordering clothing online and so we are extremely grateful to every customer who comes through the door and keeps our business alive. We have met some wonderful families, have watched children grow up, celebrated personal achievements & we have been a shoulder to cry on when our customers' lives have been tough. We have met women of all ages who inspire us with their attitude to life, their fashion sense and the stories of their lives.
A huge thank you from both of us for allowing us to fulfill our dream of being shopkeepers! We are looking forward to more exciting projects in 2020. This month we are running a 15% discount to celebrate our 15 years in business.
Claire & Jen