Vicky meets...Kelly Mitchell, owner of Cherry Vintage in Chichester
Tell me a bit about how you came to open the shop and what you sell.
I opened in October. There has been renewed interest in vintage-style clothes and the ‘new’ vintage offers people the scope to really make it their own. My clothes make people smile when they try them on – they are definitely clothes with personality. It is also a flattering style, whatever size you are. All my clothes are from UK suppliers too.
Have you always had a passion for vintage?
Vintage is something I’ve grown into. Becoming a mum meant that my body changed shape and I found the style suited me. I do love the quirkiness of vintage because it gives you something a bit different. I love watching customers try on something and do a twirl!
Who is your typical customer?
It’s a style that can work for everyone. One of my best-selling pieces is the dungarees and they are as popular with the teens as they are with their mums. I try to stock clothes in a range of sizes for different occasions so that there is something for everyone. Some clothes do come home with me, although I try to be good. I’m currently trying to resist the faux fur leopard print coat with the red collar!
Have you always worked in retail?
Yes, and in lots of independent shops. It would be such a shame if people all shopped online. You don’t get a real feeling of the product online, and of course you don’t get that expert advice and personal service. It is helpful to have an objective pair of eyes when you are trying on clothes. I love chatting to my customers. We chat for ages about all sorts.
You are in St Martins Street. Are there lots of independent businesses there?
Yes there is, and it’s lovely. Everyone is so supportive of one another and really friendly. I love being based here.
What does the New Year hold for you?
I am always looking for new suppliers, so I’ll continue keeping my eye out for new ranges. We will also be stocking our own exclusive range of T-shirts soon, as well as working with other local businesses.
Are your children into vintage too?
No! My son is into Pokémon and my daughter likes jeans and lots of black. But I went through the black phase, so there’s time yet!
What would you say to someone who wasn’t sure if your clothes would suit them?
Come in, have a chat, try on and don’t feel pressured to buy. If you’re new to vintage then I will happily advise and help you to step out of your comfort zone.
What are you hoping that Santa brings you?
Something homemade from my kids. And maybe one of my own gift vouchers so that I can take the leopard print coat home…
More info: cherryvintageclothing.co.uk