Caterham Valley for You chats to the owner of the independent Bow Butterfly women’s fashion boutique, Katie Kennedy, about her shop’s 10 years in Caterham and her top tip for your summer wardrobe.
Tell us a bit about your fashion boutique…
We are an independent boutique, selling women’s clothing, handbags, jewellery and other accessories, and we have been in the town for 10 years. We stock a range of lovely labels, with a mix of price points, so there really is something for everyone. For example, at the higher end, we have some beautiful pieces by the Danish brand, Second Female, and their sister label, Just Female. At the more affordable end, we have recently started stocking a great new label called Ichi, which has some really gorgeous, well-made items.
What made you decide to set up in Caterham?
Originally, I started out working from the back of my friend’s fashion boutique, Nicky C in Godstone, who has since moved to Cuckfield village. When I decided to set up on my own, I already knew Caterham well, as my children were at Caterham School, and I also knew that Caterham Valley didn’t have anything like this. It was a bit scary opening up on my own, but 10 years later we’re still here, and we recently had a lovely big party to celebrate our 10th anniversary.
Is there any advice you would have for other business owners in Caterham Valley?
In my experience, I think it’s all about getting to know your customers. Our own success has definitely been down to our loyal customers, who we have worked hard to develop relationships with, and many of them are now our friends.
Why should someone visit your business for the first time?
Well, as mentioned, we have a great relationship with our customers and pride ourselves on offering an excellent service at all times. However, we also have that knack of knowing when customers just want to be left to browse. We have something for all ages and tastes, as every customer is unique, and it’s always a friendly, relaxed atmosphere in the shop. Finally, you can be sure of finding something that you wouldn’t get on the High Street.
What would be your top tip for someone visiting Caterham?
Although we don’t have a major family attraction here, such as a cinema or a large park, there are lots of smaller hidden gems in the town. For example, we have the fantastic Caterham Galleries, which always has lovely things if you’re looking for a piece of art. Then there’s Charlotte at the Floral Gallery, where they always have gorgeous bouquets, and the computer shop is brilliant too. It’s all these amazing independents that make our town unique.
Describe your typical lunch break to us…
In all honesty, I rarely have time for a lunchbreak – and, as I’m often here on my own, getting out can be tricky. The most I can usually manage is nipping next door to Costa where they have just started doing a nice new range of salads. However, friends are always telling me how good Caffe Bambino is and also the place at the station, Colairo’s.
Finally, tell us your favourite thing about the town…
As mentioned already, it’s the independents that really make the town. Everyone makes such an effort with their window displays, which really helps the overall appearance of Caterham Valley town centre and, of course, the customer service is second to none. We also have lovely relationships with each other as well.
- Bow Butterfly, 4 Godstone Road, Caterham, Surrey CR3 6RA. Tel: 01883 770388
Katie’s top tip for summer fashion
Everyone has different tastes and styles, and at our shop we have a very varied age range too, so the first thing to say is that there is no one single tip that will work for everyone. That said, we do have a beautiful blazer in stock by Ichi that is only £45. It’s very classic, and could be worn either with jeans or the tiered skirts that are so in for this summer, and it’s also available in both black and navy. So, I think this is something that could work for almost everyone.
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