She’s a dedicated follower of fashion

Boutique owner Arabella Brown outside Marianna, St Peter's Street, Ipswich

Boutique owner Arabella Brown outside Marianna, St Peter's Street, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Arabella celebrates great first year at Marianna boutique

Arabella Brown owner of the marianna boutique in St Peter's Street, Ipswich

Arabella Brown owner of the marianna boutique in St Peter's Street, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Arabella Brown had to nip out of Marianna boutique a few minutes early the oher day, when I called in, to get to the post office.

The boutique owner, celebrating her first year of trading at the well-known St Peter’s Street boutique, had parcels to send to China, and to Sweden.

Even in the fast-paced world of internet shopping, the personal touch - and someone to talk to for advice - can make a difference.

Independent, designer clothers shops can benefit.

Arabella explains: “I get quite a lot of customers on-line, especially when it is sale time.

“They are from across this country and abroad. I get quite a lot from Sweden and Denmark and have sent clothes to China before.

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“Customers can still phone the shop for advice, or a chat, before they order something. It is much more personal.

“It helps that I have some designer labels and that very few people have outside of London.”

Arabella admits she has always been a follower of fasion, even in her previous job in adverising sales.

She is one of those women who takes pride in her appearance - always. You wouldn’t see her out, without her hair done and make-up on, or in her “slouching around the house,” clothes.

She said: “It is all about how you present yourself. I have always been interested in fashion, and styling

“I don’t think it is a vanity thing - it is about taking a pride in your appearance and being aware of how you look.

“If you look good you can feel good.

“I think I get it from my mum. She never left the house without her lipstick on, and me and my sister too have got that from her.”

Before taking on the well-known boutique Arabella was a regular customer and a collector of high quality, fashionable clothes.

Now, she laughed, she has as many clothes at home as she has in the boutique.

“I probably have the same value of clothes as I have in the shop. I have to represent my own business.”

The day I called in she was wearing a hand-made Markus Lupfer sequined top, with a blouse and leather trousers.

Very sharp.

“The German designer label is one of the brands we haved added this year,” she explained, “I love it, and a I have kept a couple for myself,

“This has been really well received by our regular customers.

“The designer uses lots of sequins and sparkle, with Lip designs, and for the autumn there were woodland animal designs too.”

Other new designers featured include Sonia (Sonia Rykiel) from France and J Lindeberg.

There will be more new designers for the Spring/Summer, including Rosemunde Design, from Copenhagen - “luxery, layering pieces,” explained Arabella, “with lace and sllk.”

Running a boutique was a big commitment, she said.

There were visits to London Fashion Week events and buying trips to fit in to keep a fresh and changing range of clothes in store.

“It is great to discover what is out there.

“It is great to be inspired - and take yourself out of your comfort zone.

“It has been a massive learning curve for me, although I have always done retail, and knew it was hard work, I had never done it completely for mystelf.

“It is a massive challenge; and so exciting.”

“It is a really exciting year ahead.”