We’re always hearing tales of “the death of The British High Street” and the evidence of our own eyes as we walk through the towns and cities where we live would seem to support the stories. So it’s nice to be able to tell you about someone who is bucking the the trend.
In November 2011, when so many others were literally shutting up shop, designer Sheena Holland took the plunge into retail and opened her own chic, independent boutique in the East Midlands city of Derby.
Having worked for fashion designer Katherine Hamnett in the 1980s then as a freelance florist (creating floral displays for the Queen Mum, Elton John and Michael Jackson amongst others) Sheena began making one-off vintage headbands in 2003 and now makes headbands, bridal tiaras, jewellery and hats using vintage materials including re-worked leather, antique and vintage jewellery and feathers.
The shop is (almost literally!) a goldmine of treasures, all displayed with singular style.
It’s heartening that in a climate where so many small businesses are closing down or, at the very least, retreating online to sell their goods, there are still people like Sheena Holland who are prepared to make a stand on the high street and help keep independent retail alive.
When the first anniversary of the shop’s opening came round in November 2012 Sheena asked me to perform at a party for her friends and customers. The party was held in the shop itself which meant I found myself performing in a shop window for the first time in my career!
It turned out to be a very special evening. Sheena has some very loyal supporters who made a very appreciative audience. My repertoire of songs from the 1920s, 30s and 40s was the perfect fit for Sheena’s vintage boutique and I had a wonderful time that ended all too soon. Luckily I managed to grab a quick photo with Sheena at the end of the evening.
A very talented designer and a lovely person to boot, I wish Sheena ever greater success in the years to come.
Find out more about Sheena’s unique creations and how to buy them by visiting her website www.sheenaholland.com
And if you have a shop window that needs a singer you can book me via www.simonpartridge.com