Hockley – Fashions New Home…
Today I woke with aspirations of a busy day, and that is exactly what I received. I found myself flooded with the journalistic urge to take myself and my camera and go out on a hunt for local talent within Nottingham. My travels lead me to Hockley, the hidden arts capital of Nottingham and that’s where I found some amazing people with some pretty amazing creations.
Hockley harbors some of the most individual and creative minds populating Nottingham and I couldn’t help but to immerse myself in the inspirational fashion they have to offer. Over the next few days I will be searching different locations within Nottingham to discover brands, names and boutiques that are yet to receive the exposure they deserve.
My journey started with a beautiful clothing boutique called Pink and Lilly. They began as a wholesaling company and expanded the business, creating their very own boutique in Nottingham that has been voted Heart Fm’s Fashion Retailer of 2009.
I approached Pink and Lillys, notepad and pen in hand, ready to grill whoever was lucky enough to be in there when I entered. The window display looked very neat and presentable with a wave of pink paint flooding the walls. At this point I already had an idea of the type of boutique this would be, cute but heavily over-priced. However, I was soon to discover I was very wrong.
I forced open the door and was greeted by a young woman, very fashionable and clearly busy at work. Before approaching her I gave the inside a once over and was overcome with the shopper’s need to ‘browse’. Everything was so colorful and different to the typical Topshop edge and high-street attire I had become so accustom to. More than anything, I loved the atmosphere; it was so quaint and peaceful. I knew then that contrary to its typically elegant, high-street and expensive looking exterior, this boutique didn’t approach fashion with dreams of sky-high profit and boring designs. The prices were more than decent and each design differed nicely from the last. The clothing was refreshingly individual without having that unruly look of unoriginal manufactured fashion that I sadly witness almost every day. I introduced myself and my blog and got down to business. I couldn’t wait to learn more about the place with so much style and not enough spotlight.
College Girl: So who is Pink and Lilly for?
Caroline: Pink and Lilly doesn’t really have a ‘target audience’. It’s more for people who want to stand out and look a little different to the norm. We get different generations of people in here, I’ll see mum’s shopping with their daughters and I think it’s great.
CG: I can imagine, I’ve been in here with my mum multiple times before! So, how long have you been set up in Nottingham?
C: This is my 4th year now. We had a branch in Beeston but we closed it down and moved here.
CG: Why did you decide to move your business to Hockley from Beeston?
C: Town is much busier and more successful for business.
CG: I agree it’s much easier to get noticed in town. So why did you start Pink and Lilly?
C: I provided a wholesale service for other boutiques for about 15 years but found it was becoming a little difficult and the way people paid made it hard to secure payments at times. It just seemed to be the natural step in progression to get my own boutique; I like the face to face interaction I have with the customers.
CG: Do you prefer working for somebody or is owning your own business better in your opinion?
C: I have always been a freelance designer so I’ve always been self-employed so it’s all I know. I’m currently teaching a fashion course at NCN (New College Nottingham) as well as running this boutique, I currently have my own group so again it feels as if I’m sort of working for myself as well. It’s nice to pass on things I’ve learnt to others.
CG: That’s brilliant! What does Pink and Lilly have in store for customers coming up to autumn and winter?
C: We have this new brand coming in September called Mink Pink. It’s this amazing Australian brand and I’m so excited. It’s like All Saints but cooler! We have a lot of transitional collections for example in between spring and summer; we also have some more brands coming in. We already have our own Pink and Lilly brand as well as others such as Jalo, Liquorice, and we’ll soon be receiving Iregular Choice shoes which are really exciting new editions to our boutique.
CG: Okay, it all sounds really great. Thanks for your time and I’ll be back soon to take a look at your Mink Pink brand which I cannot wait to see!
After I successfully completed the interview, I spent a good 10 minutes or so making sure I had everything I needed and taking a ridiculous number of photographs of the boutique. I had not only learnt so much more about a place I had been in countless times, but I also managed to get some insight into the brand itself. Considering this was my first interview of the day, I was extremely pleased with myself and the information I had discovered in the 20 minutes or so that I was there was totally priceless. Go and visit Pink and Lilly in Hockley or if you can’t make it go online at www.pinkandlilly.co.uk . You’re crazy if you don’t, their clothes are really special and I’m a HUGE fan of their postcard influenced range of bags and purses, I’ll definitely be stocking up A.S.A.P!
Keep track of my ‘talent travels’ as I discover more and more fashion brands, names, boutiques and shops that deserve way more recognition for their hard-work and inspirational clothing than their getting!
College Girl xoxo