Next up in our Meet the Stockist series are Kat and Oz from Damsel boutique in Chiswick, West London.
Working alongside each other means that their boutique is like an extension of their family, so it goes without saying that the ladies of Chiswick have a very welcoming and friendly shopping destination in Damsel.
We chatted to Kat & Oz to find out a bit more about them...
What did you want to be when you were little?
Funnily enough we always wanted to run a shop! As sisters close in age we shared a room and used to play shop all the time. Little did we know that child’s play would turn into a reality!
What makes you happy?
Time with our family, fresh air and good food. Kat's husband is a chef so we're spoilt most weekends by him wanting to cook on his days off.
From a work perspective, when mothers and daughters or even grandmothers, mothers and daughters shop with us and all find something they love - that makes us VERY happy as family is so important to us.
What does your typical weekend consist of?
We made the difficult decision a few years ago to close Sundays and keep that day as a family day now that we have 5 children between us. Plus we thought it important to give our team a dedicated day off a week so that they too can enjoy time with their friends and family. And it's actually been one of the best decisions we ever made!
So if it's a Saturday we're working it's in the shop seeing customers and catching up and Sundays are generally spent with family locally. The Chiswick food market is lovely as is Chiswick House and Kew Gardens if the weather is nice. Otherwise you can't beat a mooch up Chiswick High Road with its plethora of cafes and brunch spots.
There might be the odd gym session or cinema outing thrown in but we tend to keep weekends pretty low key.
How did you get into fashion?
Oz had always had a keen interest and did a few stints interning at some fashion magazines but found the whole process too "the devil wears prada" so escaped and had a totally unrelated corporate job for a few years.
It was really by chance that it even happened - we both got rejected from jobs we'd been wanting on the same day so thought it was a sign that it was time to make our childhood dream a reality and set up shop.
Kat was always meant to be the accounting "brain" of our venture (what with her physics degree and all!) but found she loved the clothes and helping the customers as much as Oz did. It is all really just gut instinct with a bit of our 12+ years experience thrown in.
What makes Damsel Boutique brilliant?
Because we are sisters it really is an extension of our family which means everything we put in it is things we ourselves love and would wear, so you know it’s a true reflection of us.
And as we are just 2 normal women with hips and boobs and lifestyle constraints, the edit is tangible and real for most people.
Plus we treat our customers as family so you will always get an honest and sisterly opinion!
If you weren’t running Damsel Boutique what would you like to have done with your career? What would be your Plan B?
Oz probably would have been in academia of some sort (she has a history MPhil and passion for books) or a librarian! Kat has a keen interest in science (see the aforementioned physics degree!) so possibly something along those lines.
What does ‘being comfortable’ mean to you?
Oz - Looking in the mirror and recognising the reflection. And not fiddling!
Kat - comfortable means wearing clothes that feel as good as they look. I’m not interested in fabrics that irritate my skin or feel restrictive in any wear; similarly, trainers over heels any day of the week!
We’re lucky to live in a time when it’s perfectly acceptable to wear soft sweatshirts and trainers on a daily basis.
What would your ideal shoe look like? And where would you wear it?
Oz - It would be feminine and girly with a bit of a rock and roll edge that would be just as good with jeans and a jumper as it would a black tie dress. And would have copious amounts of glitter on it! Ditto for Kat!
What’s your favourite Air & Grace style?
Oz - Copeland White with silver glitter.
Kat - I love the Cherub in silver, and currently am waiting excitedly for the light grey star print Cru.
Kat & Oz's picks
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