‘I want to be Andy Warhol meets Vivian Westwood’, says Chichester vintage shop owner
Vicky meets... Roxy, from Roxy’s Box, The Hornet, Chichester.
• What is Roxy’s Box?
It’s a shop that sells all things vintage, as well as the work of local artists and designers. I also stock things that speak to me. Beautiful things that are fun, quirky and camp and have sass and style, too! Some of the artwork is my own and the clothes are all pieces that I have handpicked. I wanted to a place that was welcoming for everyone, but especially to the LGBTQ+ community.
• How did you come to open Roxy’s Box?
I was sick and tired of the office job I was in. It was a toxic environment and I was done with it. When Covid came along I got made redundant. Lockdown gave me the time to recover from being burnt out and to rediscover who I was. By not being in the office I found my worth again and I wanted to do something that made other people feel the same way. I wanted people to have a place in Chichester where they could come and feel represented and not judged. I knew about Almshouse Arcade in The Hornet because I used to come to Harry’s record shop here. Harry and I became mates and I started photographing some of his stuff and uploading it to eBay for him. He told me that a unit here was available and pushed me to take the leap into opening Roxy’s Box.
• What else is to be found at Almshouse Arcade?
If you really want to find shops with personality, like those you would find in Brighton, it’s all here. We have fantastic retro and vintage clothes shops, a record shop that also sells music memorabilia, Mary’s alterations, a milliner – it’s a snooper’s paradise! Having all these amazing people around me is great. And of course we have fantastic pubs like The Eastgate and The Hornet Ale House, and the delights of Draper’s Yard, as our neighbours.
• What are your plans for the future?
I want to be Andy Warhol meets Vivian Westwood! I’d like to get a bigger unit eventually, so I have space to do my art and carry on selling the work of my designers and artists. Visibility is so important. There are many people in this city who don’t feel represented and who feel invisible. I want Roxy’s Box to be a place where people can feel safe. I love having conversations with people of all ages. Open mindedness is more than being tolerant; it’s about being willing to learn. Find out why someone thinks the way they do and you both learn. And that’s how change happens. We live in a world full of vibrant, different people. The only way we can get along is to accept that we may all have different ideas and beliefs. You can cut a lot of good people out of your life otherwise.