Welcome to out stockist spotlight! This is a new monthly blog feature - so you can find our more about the wonderful boutiques we work with. We're a small British brand but we're lucky enough to have stockists all over the world - including Japan, the USA, Europe - and some rather wonderful shops here in the UK too. For our first stockist spotlight, meet Godiva - an independent Edinburgh based boutique who offer a hand picked selection of independent design, vintage and made-to-measure collections for women. Founded in 2003 by Fleur MacIntosh Godiva pride themselves on finding original, high quality and ethically produced designs - championing British and locally made brands. We recently had a chat with Godiva's social media and marketing manager Natasha.
1. Tell us more about Godiva and how the boutique was originally founded.
"Our lovely owner Fleur opened Godiva around 15 years ago. It started off as a smaller boutique a few doors up the street from our current location and only sold vintage! We’re very close to the Edinburgh College of Art, and students were always popping in the store to find unusual vintage pieces to rework into something modern and new. Fleur started stocking some of the students’ graduate collections, and we grew from there! We still have close connections with ECA, stocking established graduates such as Karen Mabon and Rowanjoy alongside other local and independent designers."
2. You are champions of ethical fashion and independent designers. Can you talk a little bit about Godiva as an alternative to the typical high street experience?
"An independent store is so much more personal than the high street. At Godiva in particular, everything is a very democratic process. We are a small all-women team, and we each have a say in the new designers we’re going to bring on board, the collections we’re going to purchase from, everything down to displays and the music we play in store. This makes for a far better customer experience since we have genuine enthusiasm and love for our products! We can tell you what everything in our shop is made from, where it was made, and the names of the people who designed it. We know our regular customers by name and get excited to show them new pieces we think they’ll love, whether that’s when they come in store or on social media! It’s a friendlier experience and more honest, too - we let our customers know if something doesn’t suit them or doesn’t fit them properly. It’s better to have an relationship with a customer that’s built on trust rather than pushing a sale on them. Ultimately, we want our customers to feel as comfortable as possible in our shop, and to love our products as much as we do!"
3. How long have you been selling Palava and what first drew you to our brand?
"We think it’s been around 4 years now - time flies! Fleur always says how Bryony’s gorgeous illustrations and patterns stand out from everything else at the trade shows, and of course what lovely people you all are! The quality is obvious when you see any Palava piece, and we love that everything is ethically made from natural, long-lasting materials. And pockets! You wouldn’t believe the delight all our customers feel when they find pockets in Palava’s dresses and skirts! Palava is like the holy trinity: beautiful designs, fabrics that withstand the washing machine, and POCKETS!
We also love the attention to detail, from the lovely packaging to the covetable story books that accompany each collection. I get super excited to read about the adventures that Poppy and Fred have been up to each season!"
4. What are your favourite items from the latest Palava collection and why?
"The puffin cardigans have been such a hit with everyone at Godiva. When they first arrived, we almost sold out over the weekend and had to immediately reorder so I could get one for myself! The rust is my favourite colour, and the puffin is my favourite bird so it was fate really. Fun fact - the puffin is called a Tammie Norrie in Scots!
The puffin cardigans have been a huge hit this year with customers and staff alike. We sold out almost immediately, and I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get one myself! We even have our newest member of staff thanks to the puffin cardigan: she’d stopped to admire it in our window display, and then saw that we were hiring. Fun fact - the puffin is called a Tammie Norrie in Scots!"
5. Godiva is based in beautiful Edinburgh. Can you give some of your top tips on how to spend a weekend in the city?
"We may be a little biased, but our Grassmarket area is the perfect destination for a weekend break. Godiva is situated in the shadow of the famous Edinburgh Castle, right in the heart of the Old Town. There are quirky hotels and lots of Airbnbs close by (our favourite is the Grassmarket Hotel) and streets such as Victoria Street and Candlemaker’s Row which inspired Diagon Alley from Harry Potter, and are full of quirky independent shops like our favourites Hannah Zakari and Red Door Gallery. At the other end of the Grassmarket you’ll find us and the vintage trail: Herman Brown, Carnivale and other vintage shops all along the same street! There are also delicious sweet treats to be found at Mary’s Milk Bar, Lovecrumbs and Tasty Buns - and healthier options at Hula and Pumpkin Brown to counteract all that sugar! You can fill your Instagram feed with the perfect shot of the Castle by marching up the Vennel steps opposite Godiva. It’s such a beautiful and hidden part of Edinburgh that I chose to have my wedding photographs taken there! And of course, no trip to the Grassmarket is complete without a stop off at the amazing Maison de Moggy - Edinburgh’s very own cat cafe!"
So, if you're based in Scotland or visiting Edinburgh soon - we hope you can make it in to meet the wonderful team at Godiva. We're proud to work with another small British business who share our values of high quality, excellent design and ethical manufacturing. Long live Godiva!Godiva Boutique