GymCub Apparel, the Milton Keynes born activewear and leisure brand is set to open a pop-up store at Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes following a successful launch online earlier this year. Opening at 10am on Wednesday 1st December, the brand – which has a growing fanbase in the local area – will welcome guests throughout the festive period and into the New Year, for a limited time only.
Marking the opening of its first ever physical store, the brand – known for its bold and daring designs – will sell its best-selling items including its co-ord signature tracksuits and hoodies, as well as its much-loved t-shirts, vests, leggings, and cropped tops. It will also launch a brand-new limited-edition line which will be exclusively available in store only.
Located opposite Victoria’s Secret, the stylish activewear brand which has been spotted on a host of reality TV stars including Love Island’s Connor Durman, Emma Woodhams and TOWIE’s Roman Hackett will finally be available to purchase in store for the first time ever and will celebrate by sharing an exclusive 50% discount to first time customers on Friday 3rd December.
Richard Cayless, Owner of GymCub Apparel commented “GymCub Apparel was born here in Milton Keynes, so it only felt right to open our first ever pop-up in the city. We’ve had a successful launch period, growing our community online and this marks the next step in building that fanbase further. Our ethos is all about looking great and feeling great and that will be reflected in our instore experience”
He continued “We know Christmas is always a busy period, with lots of people on the lookout for the perfect gift and we cannot wait to bring our bold and daring designs to Milton Keynes. We cannot wait to welcome everyone when doors open at 10am on Wednesday.”
Kinship Local helps champion local artists after a year of lockdown
Newly opened gift shop Kinship Local in Rowsham has found a positive way to help fellow small creative businesses whose sales may have suffered this last year.
Kinship Local was founded by small business owners Claire Ashton and Jen Burton, who have a passion for championing British made, independently owned, small creatives.
Lovers of good quality, great design, and an eye for the bright and bold, Kinship Local has been working with a range of Pop-Up Makers since opening its doors in June.
Claire explains, “We wanted to offer artists, designers and makers a local space, set amongst our own curated eco-conscious products. We wish to encourage local residents to shop small, shop locally and to support those who make in small batches, who pour their hearts and souls into their products. Step away from the mass made, and embrace the slow made”.
Jen adds, “Choosing to shop and buy from a small independent creative brings so much positivity. The Makers we choose to support in-store have a strong belief and ethic around sustainability and creating less waste, which is so important. Also, with the loss of income last year, it was crucial for us to help drive the local economy by supporting small businesses. We truly believe that you can buy beautiful, buy small and buy local all at once.”
Retail space along the UK highstreets is unattainable for so many smaller retail outlets. So with the support and belief of the team at Wild Raven Farm Shop, Kinship Local has been hugely popular and a happy welcome to local residents.
Since their second week of opening, Kinship Local has offered 3-4 Pop-Up makers every fortnight to showcase a range of products. So far, Bella Bowlicious headbands, Bethan Lily knitted cushions, Tweedles Handmade eco food wraps, Bridie & Bert Towelling Robes, Wild Flora Handmade resin wildflower jewellery, and Sarah McFloof painted pebbles and gnomes have all featured.
This week they welcomed Am & Flo hand-painted peg dolls, Magic Kind clothing, Jennifer Wesley cards and Immy & Boo recycled and repurposed fabric headbands, lavender eye pillows and yoga bags. There is always a mixture of products to inspire and a range of handmade gifts to give.
Pop-Up Partner Beth from Bethan Lily Knitwear says, “Kinship Local has been an excellent opportunity for my business. It’s kept me going and is definitely worth a visit to see all of the other lovely products in the cabin. Jen and Claire have been a pleasure to work with! “
“Since launching my products, both Claire & Jen have updated me daily and share in my excitement of sales and feedback with me….for this, I will always be thankful to them,” says Claire from Bella Bowlicious.
Whilst they are full until the beginning of September, Claire and Jen are looking for more artists and designers to support and champion.
St Albans’ favourite Chloe James Lifestyle prepares for reopening
As one of St Albans’ favourite destinations for all things haute couture, we are excited that Chloe James Lifestyle have announced they will be reopening this coming Monday 12th April.
Regular St Albans shoppers will know Chloe James Lifestyle has been a fixture on High Street St Albans for over 10 years. Despite being extremely busy preparing for the reopening, Owner Donna Nichol has shared her thoughts on reopening Chloe James Lifestyle and what changes fashionistas can expect.
What are you looking forward to most at Chloe James Lifestyle?
Personally, I’m really looking forward to the buzz of a busy shop again – lots of chat and laughter and the general feel good vibes of helping people look and feel their best. Nothing beats it! When we reopen, we are going straight back to our normal hours i.e. 10-5.30 Monday to Saturday and 11-4 on Sunday. We can’t wait to open the doors again and welcome our customers back in!
What new changes can we expect at Chloe James Lifestyle?
The shop has had a complete refresh. Every single inch has been cleaned and there are lots of new products for our customers to enjoy, including great gift lines and a new jewellery brand as well as our Spring fashion collections. One of my personal favourites is a new French fashion label called FRNCH which we are currently featuring in our window – the colours are just stunning!
We love what independent businesses bring to St Albans. How do you think shoppers will respond post lockdown?
I believe there’s going to be a real return to shopping small. After all, we are the ones who have carried on throughout the pandemic, finding ways to adapt to our customers’ needs, offering Click & Collect and always being at the end of a phone to help find the perfect birthday gift. We’ve even personally delivered them on a specific date when it was possible!
We’ve also kept our windows vibrant to cheer up the daily walk and many people have said how much they loved this. It’s become apparent to everyone how much small independent businesses add to their community and we really must make sure they don’t disappear!
About Chloe James – Chloe James Lifestyle is an elegant lifestyle boutique based in St Albans specialising in fashion, art, stylish interiors and beautiful gifts.
Buckinghamshire-based Sarka London launches new range for new mothers
Launching this month, British brand Sarka London, the first fashion brand built entirely around the style needs of new mothers. Born out of a frustration that the fashion industry abandons their customers once they’ve had a baby, Sarka London’s collection of tops, dresses, skirts and trousers allows them to breastfeed, support a C section and luxuriously cater for a changing body shape postnatally, with no compromise on style.
Following rigorous research and development, the relaxed Scandi style modular postnatal collection belies hidden functionalities which help women go about their day with a baby in tow, from adjustable waistbands and hidden back phone pockets, to secret ribbons to show which side you’ve breastfed on last. Perfectly balancing comfort with style, Sarka’s trans-seasonal postnatal clothing and accessories allow new mothers to look and feel good whilst maintaining their own style and identity.
Sarka London’s no compromise ethos extends to manufacturing the line ethically and sustainably in Britain, and creating a company culture, which supports flexible working and is driven by the mission to reduce the style compromises new mothers unfairly face.
Sarka Co-Founder, Jules McKeen, comments: “After having babies, women’s bodies change and suddenly they find they have new demands on their wardrobe. When I had my first child, I felt like the fashion industry suddenly forgot about me; my tops didn’t work for breastfeeding, I didn’t want to see my maternity clothes ever again and I wanted my own style back. That’s why we created a collection of functional yet fashionable clothes for new mums, so there’s no longer a choice between style or practicality. We know there are enough compromises to make when you’re a new parent, having to compromise on your own style identity is just a step too far.”