Spotlight on Kitty Brown Boutique
Founded in 2008, Kitty Brown Boutique is an independent fashion boutique located in Carnforth.
Owners Caroline Charnley and Jenny Wheeler wanted to champion sustainable and affordable fashion for women, that would be worn again and again. Caroline and her small team continue to select clothing, footwear and accessories from well and lesser-known brands.
We spoke with owner Caroline Charnley and here’s what she has to share.
How would you describe Kitty Brown Boutique in a line or two?
A place where women come to find that item of clothing that makes them feel ‘just right’ so they wear it again and again.
What was the inspiration behind starting Kitty Brown Boutique?
My friends and I were often disappointed after a soulless shopping trip. Like many women, we liked clothes that were a little different, made us feel great, didn’t show all the lumps and bumps we’d rather hide and so I decided to start a shop for real women!
What was Kitty Brown Boutique like in the early days?
Kitty Brown has evolved and I think that is the reason we are popular. We are always looking for that new brand which will suit our customers. We are conscious that whilst we might not focus on fast fashion our customers always want to wear clothes and accessories that are relevant to their lifestyles.
How has Kitty Brown Boutique evolved over the years?
It’s a classic case of you listen and you learn. I learn from my customers and the more I listen the better I can help and the more they come back. I’ve learnt about relationships – so many of us have an up and down relationship with our bodies and our style and the whole experience of shopping. Kitty Brown has evolved to be what women want it to be – that’s what shopping with us is all about.
What are you excited about in the months and years ahead?
I am excited. As a shop, Kitty Brown has been through her own experiences during the pandemic and I’ll take those with me. The future holds some exciting opportunities for an independent retailer and I want to make the most of those. I know me and my team will do everything we can to welcome people safely and genuinely.
What excites me the most is seeing people come into Kitty Brown and smiling – you don’t realise that customers can be like friends. If there’s one thing so many of us have missed during coronavirus is the social contact and the smiles that come with it. As for the detail – that’s a surprise so watch this space, but think green and sustainable.
We carefully select our brands to reflect the lifestyles of our customers. Our emphasis is on a casual look that you can wear anywhere. Our top selling clothes brands include Seasalt of Cornwall who have a wonderful reputation for style and quality. Lily and Me have fabulous prints in great colours. This summer they have a beautiful fresh look with cotton and linens. Fair Trade brand Nomads do not sacrifice style when it comes to their green and ethical credentials. We have other assorted brands to suit many different tastes and styles.
In our shoe department, Rieker is our best seller – which many find to be the perfect fit. We cater for many other tastes too. Last summer, in the middle of the first wave of the pandemic we launched our range of Birkenstock sandals – despite the difficult and strange summer they were incredibly popular, and we’re excited to have them back this summer. Fly of London is another brand that has a huge following, as do the distinct style of Ruby Shoo, perfect with jeans or a pretty dress.
Our accessories are always popular, either as gifts or as a treat for yourself. Roka of London makes very on trend backpacks and handbags which are now made from recycled plastic bottles. We have a huge range of pretty scarves which start at £10 and our costume jewellery is very varied and affordable with earrings from £5.
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