It’s all change on Ashley Road this month, as Hale stalwart boutique Vicki Allen receives a make-over and re-opens its doors on 1 March as 205 ON ASHLEY. Owner Karen Flavell took over the business from previous owner Vicki herself, who had owned and run her eponymous shop for 25 years before retiring in January 2016. Karen says:
‘I haven’t changed very much this last 12 months, while I learned about the fashion retail business and developed my understanding of just what it is that the ladies who shop in Hale really want from us. It’s time now however to put what I’ve learned into action, and really put my own stamp on this wonderful shop.
‘We closed our doors on 18th February and re-open on 1 March after giving the shop a refresh and a refurbishment – a bit of a face-lift, as it were! I’m also rebranding to 205 ON ASHLEY, because while we’re hanging onto everything that was great about Vicki Allen, I’m making enough change to want to shout about it all!
‘The most important thing I have learned is that nobody hits 40, or 50, or 60 and suddenly becomes old. Ladies with great style in their youth never lose this, they always want to look and feel great. For this reason I’m introducing a number of new brands, such as Crea Concept, that will sit alongside the wonderful brands we already carry, which include Joseph Ribkoff, Frank Lyman, Oui and NYDJ, for example. As always, we only ever carry a very limited number of each style, so ladies can be very confident they will be the only one wearing it.
‘At 205 ON ASHLEY customers will find an exciting mix of fashions for all occasions that have two key things in common – they are stylishly smart and beautifully cut to fit and flatter. I can tell you there is one thing all ladies over 40 all agree on – clothes must be both stylish AND comfortable! We want to look good, but feel great – and it’s perfectly possible!’
Karen’s objective of continually seeking out new styles and exciting brands to bring to her customers means that there is always something new to discover in her fashion store, and her focus on seeking customer feedback means she’s very aware of what people want.
‘I’ve sourced some super fashions for the larger lady, for Autumn Winter 2017. Many brands simply offer every item just in a larger size, whereas what’s preferable is to choose pieces that have been designed with the requirements of larger ladies in mind – the setting of the sleeve for example, and the positioning of buttons. I think people will be impressed!’
205 ON ASHLEY opens on 1 March and Karen says she’s excited to hear everybody’s feedback: ‘It’s still us,’ she says, ‘just with added sparkle.’