On May 28th 2007 I opened the doors to my tiny shop in the village of Holt. I took over the premises from Paul Burrell, (you may have heard of him) & I transformed what was a rather unprepossessing flower shop into a very pretty & eclectic boutique. With my savings I bought up enough stock, some bespoke used shop fittings that had come out of a department store that was closing in Manchester along with a mid century shop counter & with the flick of a brush, Bottega was born. Sadly there’s little photo evidence of it other than a couple of photos as we’re now so old that our store pretty much predates social media, in those days people saw the store IRL, imagine that!
I started the business just focussing on jewellery & accessories, unusual gifts & interiors with just a few very beautiful tops to wear with jeans. Having moved back from London to my home county of Cheshire, I couldn’t find items for myself, my children or interior projects locally and so I set about sourcing the things that I missed about my London life. The business grew, we secured so many exciting brands & soon it was apparent I needed more space & so in 2010 I picked up the ball and ran with it & found our current unit & following a huge refit and expansion, here we are, with fifteen years now on the clock.
I’m both proud and slightly in shock to have reached this milestone, shocked because it has raced by & proud because of what has been achieved in the time we have been in business, especially in light of all that has transpired in our recent history. I’m mostly proud of the relationships we have cultivated and the true friends I have made along the way. Also the brilliant people who have learned their craft whilst working with me, some of whom have gone on to become buyers for some of the most prestigious stores and brands in the world. It was also a hugely proud moment to have our aesthetic and curation recognised by two five star hotels in the Caribbean. It’s been a great personal achievement to have decorated a 30 bedroom hotel at Calabash in Grenada and also to design & create the Boutique at Sandy Lane In Barbados. These projects have both been a real highlight in my career.
I would be lying if I said that this hasn’t been one giant rollercoaster ride at times, running a business is certainly not linear, especially for an overthinking creative. I have described it as like having a hairdryer being blown on full heat in your face whilst being repeatedly punched in the gut. I could not have foreseen the last few years, it was brutal at times & it’s tested me in ways but that said I wouldn’t have changed any of it for the world. Having Bottega has allowed me to educate and support my family & create opportunities for myself & a lot of people and in many ways it’s been very much like having a fourth child. Of course none of it would have been possible without our immensely loyal supporters, suppliers, clients and friends and it fills me with joy that many of the faces that crossed the door in Holt all those years ago continue to do so, and that says so much about the longevity of our aesthetic and brand & for that, I’m hugely grateful. Today I’ll be raising a glass to us all as fifteen years feels like our own mini jubilee, though unlike our incredible Queen I don’t plan on a 70 year reign.
The second half of 2022 is set to be hugely exciting as we share with you a new passion project as well as an exciting & innovative collaboration as we reimagine our space & though I’m slightly over the word ‘pivot’ over the past fifteen years we’ve certainly done our fair share of that!