Will You Be My (Small Business) Valentine?
Honestly, I don’t go in big for the commercialism of Valentine’s Day and I’m slightly ashamed to admit it, but as I get older much of the gooey stuff which might have brought a smile to my face in my youth, now, not only makes me cringe; it… irritates me! However, there is this little boutique I drive by most days, a Bridal Boutique unlike any other, which has a sort of relentless optimism calling out from its beautiful blue painted bay window. It’s chic, it’s pretty and somehow it rouses the spirit of the little girl that lives in all of us, who dreams of the ‘one’, the hero or heroine of her love story.
So, as Valentine’s Day looms, rather than pen a card to anyone in my life which may be ever so slightly insincere, I would like to shine a very heartfelt spotlight on Maisie Darling – Bridal Boutique Unique, of my local market town in Lutterworth.
Maisie Darling is run by Charlotte, who is most definitely a romantic and, in my mind, exactly the template for Jane Austen’s heroines. Charlotte takes a personal approach to every soon-to-be bride who crosses the threshold, genuinely enraptured by their love story, and committed to finding them a dress which does that narrative justice. In fact, Maisie Darling is a place where you go looking for the ‘one’; the ‘one’ being the dress as you’ve already ticked that other box! I rather like the idea that you do go on this journey of self -discovery and wonderment with such a giddy partner as Charlotte.
But Charlotte’s not just a romantic, she also has extraordinary flair and style (with a background in dance and theatre), therefore she is perfectly positioned to help her companions express themselves exactly as they wish on their big day. She handpicks dresses from only British Designers, yes with elegance, tradition, and vintage in mind but also with the slightly unconventional, the individual, the plot twist if you will, in mind too!
I recommend visiting her website for that fluttery feeling of excitement - she has shoes which literally make my hands clap together in delight and longing! It’s a place for all of us; the feminist, the modernist, the blushing brides, the sisters, the mother, the friends, the Mr Darcy fantasist, the sceptic and even the eternal singleton. And if you’re lucky enough to live nearby, a ‘slow mo’ drive by of her poetic window displays is a great way to start the day!