10 years of indie biz life

Here’s me in my first HQ in Spain 10 years ago when I’d just launched

The Stellar Boutique. 

July 2009, back when the internet was still a bit of a mystery to me, I only really used it to book flights, I never shopped online and I didn’t even have Facebook! I know, I mean…wtf?

All I knew was I wanted a fashion & vintage shop. I’d originally intended to have an actual physical boutique but when it fell through at the last minute (after investing in and even decorating the shop) I was devastated. A friend suggested I opened an online shop instead 
‘it’s the way of the future’ she said, 
‘internet shopping? Surely it’ll never catch on’ I said! 
The thought of it just didn’t excite me as much and, as a total technophobe, I had no clue where to start. 
Thankfully I heeded her advice and set out on this arduous yet rewarding journey, learning as I went and making a string of mistakes along the way too. 
To say it’s been a challenge is an understatement, there have been highs and lows galore. Running a small business on your own (on a shoestring) is tough, it’s full of difficult decisions, obstacles, problems, long days & late nights and anyone with an indie biz will know that sometimes the business has to be juggled around an array of part-time jobs just to stay afloat! 
One summer my shop was one of 5 jobs I had on the go in order to buy stock and pay the bills! 

There are times when you lose faith in yourself and question your abilities and there have even been moments when I considered throwing in the towel and getting a regular ‘secure’ 9 to 5! 

But this is not a violin moment, on the contrary!

 
To anyone considering starting up their own business, my only advice is to just go for it. As long as you’re passionate about what you do and are prepared to dig deep and work hard, you will get there. I’ve still got a long way to go and a lot to learn but I am loving every minute (most of the time) and to everyone who’s ever bought anything from me I thank you from the bottom of my heart! You have made this whole journey possible 😘

Ok, enough of the Oscar-style speech, better get back to work 👩‍💻

 

We are 10!

Woohoo I made it

🙌🏼🎂🎈

The Stellar Boutique is 10 years old today!

To help me celebrate this milestone birthday and to say a massive thank you to all my lovely customers I’d love to give you 10% off storewide from now until Sunday.

So come and join the birthday party, fill your cart with all your favourite things and use code ‘happyten’ at the checkout to get 10% off everything

💋💋💋

TAKE ME SHOPPING HERE

Fast-Fashion: resisting the Temptation to Buy More in a Consumerist Society

Guest post by Ffion Lovelock

I think you will agree when I say that Instagram has certainly changed the world of fashion. It provides somewhat regular but largely followed Instagram users the opportunity to work with brands to promote products to their following and in doing so, has created the role of the influencer. A role that is now completely embedded within our culture and motivating our consumption. This contemporary method of marketing via social media allows influencers and brands to really work their magic to increase our retail purchases. On Instagram for example, you can swipe-up to purchase an item in seconds, come across links to a brand on almost every profile and find exactly where they bought that amazing skirt just at the tap of a finger. However, it is wise to consider if this is only adding to the detrimental consequences that fast-fashion has on our environment?

Browsing the likes of Instagram makes it incredibly hard to not be encouraged to buy more and more, especially when our society is so consumer orientated. Instagram is a digital space where we can be constantly exposed to an endless amount of branded content and we are all guilty of scrolling through its feeds tirelessly, so it is no surprise that we take such an interest in buying so much new clothing when the fashion influencers we follow wear it so well.  It is this temptation that can sometimes convince us that we need the item as much as their sponsored posts say we do.

However, some influencers are using their status to provide awareness of what a difference sustainable fashion can make to our planet. Even Emma Watson had her say through creating the Instagram account, ‘@the_press_tour’, to raise awareness of the designers who are dedicating their time to producing clothing from organic and recycled fabrics. Proving that those with a large number of followers do not only have the power to increase our consumption, but the power to convince us to limit it. They are influences after all, and we do often take on board what they have to say. So, go follow some vintage enthusiasts or an influencer who encourages sustainability and you will be surprised how much your outlook can change. Then through turning your attention towards how you could provide a more sustainable fashion footprint with the industries levels of environmental harm could be lessened.

       

Then why not make an active start by investing that temptation into vintage clothing through considering an independent vintage retailer like The Stellar Boutique, and making that conscious decision to re-wear, re-buy and re-sell?

We are all guilty of buying for the sake of it, I know I certainly am. Whether it be for a one time occasion or just because I thought it looked great on the 6-foot-and-tiny model on the website, we always give in to the prospect of something brand spanking new. Vintage clothing, however, allows you to still add something new to your wardrobe and get that exciting feeling that we all crave when we do make a new purchase, but you are contributing to sourcing that fashion ethically and sustainably. You can still shop to your heart’s content but at least you can be a small part towards solving a much wider matter; that being the fashion industries harmful effects on the environment. Not to mention that vintage clothing can also provide you with something that no one else has – a one of a kind item that people can wow over. Investing in something other than mainstream retail is always hugely beneficial and through learning to love what you have or what is already out there, the threat of irreversible climate change could be put to a halt.

The Stellar Boutique’s latest collection of eco-friendly slogan t-shirts and sweatshirts is another perfect example of how retail can eventually become far more sustainable. Through the use of organic cotton, the entire collection is free from any artificial growing processes and sets an example of how natural textiles can cater to our ever-growing retail consumption without our ecosystem having to suffer. So, whether it be vintage or made from sustained and natural materials, our societies love of fashion and constant desire for more of it could eventually be made less problematic in the future.

Read more from Ffion here Lifeandlovelock.com

 

Tips To Help You Improve Your Wardrobe

Having the desire to want to dress better and improve your wardrobe is a great goal. You’ll likely find that in the process of doing so you become more confident in yourself and with your appearance.

No longer will you be hiding from the world, but instead you’ll want to be seen and show off all of your new looks. This is your chance to completely rework your style and find options that truly allow you to stand out in a positive manner and help you make a statement about who you are. The following tips are going to allow you to accomplish this goal and figure out what outfits the best suit you.

Educate Yourself

It’s a wise idea to start by educating yourself about fashion and what looks and styles are trending. There’s a lot of information out there to guide you in making better choices and improving your wardrobe. Also, consider following fashion icons on social media and keeping up with what they’re wearing and advertising as what’s hot right now. Understanding fashion better is a process and takes you being willing to remain open-minded and learn some of the terminologies and why certain trends last and others fade out.

Go through Your Closet

It’s definitely worth your time to take a weekend and go through your closet and see what you already own. Try clothes on and get rid of or donate what no longer fits or is out of style. You can improve your wardrobe by combing through what items are dragging down your appearance and removing them so they’re not simply taking up space. You may also find old pieces that have been hiding or didn’t previously fit you but now do. This can be a daunting project if you own a lot of clothes but it’ll be well worth your efforts when you soon only have items in your closet that you actually enjoy wearing and know look good on.

Invest in the Staples

Another tip that will help you improve your wardrobe is to invest in the staples such as a good pair of jeans, work attire, a black dress and colourful t-shirts. It’s especially important you’re prepared to dress for success if you’re on the hunt for a new job or want to look more professional and put together where you currently work. If you’re short on cash but this investment is important to you then look into and find out more about taking out a loan so you can move forward with this project.

Know Your Body

Keep in mind that you may not be able to wear or that you might not look good in the various runway styles out there. What’s most critical is that you learn to know your body and what items look best on your shape. You can improve your wardrobe and style by finding outfits that compliment your figure and make you feel good about yourself. Focus on highlighting what you love about you and strategically making your flaws appear less noticeable.

Ask for Help

Know that you don’t have to go about improving your wardrobe all on your own. It’s a wise idea to reach out and ask for help if you need it. It’s possible you have a friend or family member who dresses well and is up to speed with the latest fashions. Spend some time with this person and discuss what’s trending and ask their advice about your current attire. Invite them over to rummage through your closet with you or see if they’ll go shopping with you and help you pick out a few attractive items to wear. There’s so much you can learn from someone who already has a sense of fashion that it’s worth your time to pick their brain further.

Stock up on Accessories

You can also enhance your wardrobe by stocking up on and wearing more accessories. This includes items like shoes, scarves, purses and jewellery which will not only create a better overall look but is a way to add a pop of colour to your outfit. When getting dressed each day think about how you can improve your current outfit by adding a few accessories here and there. Shop for them when you’re out and about and have a few favourites stashed away that you can turn to when you need to spruce up your attire.

Look Around

Another way to improve your wardrobe is to take a look around at what other people are wearing when you’re out in public. Don’t be afraid to compliment someone on their outfit and ask where they purchased a certain pair of pants or top. Go sit in a busy area or at the shopping mall and take notes about what you do and don’t like that people are wearing. Get ideas when you’re at work or the grocery store and observe what you think looks the best on others. Simply be more attentive and aware of your surroundings and you’ll quickly be able to pick up on what fashions are in style and which ones need to go.

Be Adventurous & Daring

You can also improve your wardrobe by being more adventurous and daring when it comes to your style. Don’t be afraid to layer items or wear a pop of colour every so often and see how you feel when you get outside your comfort zone. Try on and buy an item you normally would overlook when you’re out shopping and see how you feel in it and what kind of reaction you get from others. This is your chance to step outside the box and come up with new and fun ways to mix and match your clothes so you too can look trendier. Make changes to your wardrobe slowly over time and it won’t feel so overwhelming or nerve-wracking for you to dress differently. Have fun with this and be proud of yourself for being willing to challenge yourself and your style and try new looks.

2019 Fashion Trend Report

 guest post by Ffion Lovelock

2019 Fashion Trend Report; the year of empowerment, femininity and exhibiting confidence. It is the year of feeling comfortable in your own skin and wearing adaptable pieces that can cater to every woman. So what pieces exactly are we introducing, or more so, what are we bringing back this year?

Well, 2019 certainly looks like the year of some old favourites returning to our shelves. From prairie dresses to padded shoulders, we are taking things old school as we edge towards a brand new decade. Quite clearly showing that vintage is set to be popular this year, why buy new when it has all been done before? When everyone is shopping in the same sort of stores, you could be wearing a one-of-a-kind piece. Take the boiler suit for example, the return of its utility design can offer both an echo of the 30s working woman that foreshadows the feminine takeover that this year’s fashion trends have forecast, as well as an 80s vintage vibe that reflects a time where women really started to wear whatever the hell they wanted.

Utility (Elle, 2019)

Furthermore, in terms of styles and accessories, Neo-tailoring is set to take off this year for both men and women, with its strong looks being debuted recently on the catwalks by the likes of Balenciaga and Dior. Again, this style echoes classic 90s chic and sophistication. Another reason to seek out your vintage stores this year. On the bag front, we are going for small, cute and totally impractical this year. Oh yes, it’s the mini bag; a style that is more of a street-style statement than of any use to holding things. Still, some of our favourite designers seem to love it and it seems like this year we are all expected to fall in love with them too.

Neo-Tailoring (Elle, 2019)

 

The Mini Bag (Who What Wear, 2019)

When it comes to print’s we are sticking with animal print this year, which shows that the trend really does live on forever and so you are always best to hang on to any past statement pieces since you never know when everyone is going to start rocking snake-print all over again. The catwalks have been showcasing a lot of elegant leopard prints and proving the versatility of the beloved feline design. On top of this, we can expect to say ‘hello’ to some patchwork and some potential punk or preppy looks with coloured tartan as these busy prints are set to grace our high street stores and make for a very visually busy and colourful 2019.

Now to realise just how colourful fashion this year will be, colour schemes and palettes this year are expected to boast beige and lavender tones – a sophisticated palette which oozes confidence and Parisian chic. As both soft colours, we surely can expect something a little more crazy in the year of being bold, right? Well, of course. 80s neon is coming back, and you can expect to see fluorescent oranges, yellows, pinks and greens (basically the usual colours within a highlighter pack) to be widely popular throughout the course of the year. The high-street is already jumping on the bandwagon, the catwalk is labelling it ‘The Prada Effect’ and any clothes you have left over from the ’80s could be put to very good use if you are wanting to express your inner Madonna or Cyndi Lauper.

Neon (Harpers Bazaar, 2019)

Lastly and most importantly, a trend in 2019 that is set to make a change is the ‘Global Citizen’, which takes into consideration our global footprint towards fashion and our behaviour as such frequent consumers of fast-fashion. With a wide focus on vegan materials, ethical fashion and being overall more ‘green’, introducing this ‘Wegoism’ to the fashion industry this year will hopefully be the starting point of a more positive worldwide outlook towards slow fashion.

So why not take a look at The Stellar Boutique for all of your 2019 throwbacks and take notice of how you could be a better ‘Global Citizen’ towards fashion through purchasing some vintage clothing that is returning to our stores this year. Let’s empower people to make a difference and to feel super confident, glam and on-trend in doing so.

By Ffion Lovelock @ffilovelock

Read more from Ffion on her blog – Life and Lovelock

Spring vintage 2018

Hey guys! We’re all looking forward to the summer here at The Stellar Boutique. We’ve got some great new vintage transitional pieces for you all in this changeable weather. For those times when you might need to throw on a jumper and those exciting times when you’re looking for festival wear. Planning on going to Glastonbury? We got you covered!

On our radar and new in the shop are great pieces such as this 70s vintage loop knit cardigan – throw it on over a rock n roll t-shirt and you’re good to go. Relive the 90s and be right on trend in our vintage lilac shell suit jacket. Embrace the Kate Moss look in our oversized boyfriend sweatshirt – it looks great with chunky boots. Howl at the moon with our beautiful 90s vintage wolf sweatshirt. Have you come over all Jackie Brown? Get your hands on our 70s vintage suede waistcoat with panelling and pockets. Wear our funky vintage knitted silver stripe gilet with shoulder lapels layered over pretty much anything and you’ll be the belle of the festival. Wear our cute 80s vintage cropped blouse with jeans or an 80s a-line skirt and dance into the night. If print is your thing, take a look at the 70s vintage scallop knit jumper. We love a good slogan here at The Stellar Boutique. If you do too, take a look at our 90s vintage ‘team purebred’ sweatshirt. And last but definitely not least, this 90s vintage Burberry-style corduroy bomber jacket.

This is an exciting time for us and there’s a lot more vintage clothing to come!

 

under construction

i’ve been a busy girl in my studio lately, going back to my roots and doing what i love most…  reworking vintage, customising, designing and getting messy!

So folks,  a new collection beckons and here’s a little preview of what’s to come …

 

 

 

‘Last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice’ T.S Eliot

I’ve been scraping the barrels of my brain, swimming in slogans and finding that voice