Once upon a time ...in a small town called Yarm on Tees - there was a family owned shop called Strickland and Holt. To this day it is no ordinary shop and is well worth a visit if you find yourself nearby.   Passed down through the generations since 1854 the small department store has seen many changes from wine and spirit merchants, chemists to the gift, toy and fashion shop it is today.   In 1974 Stephanie Holt and Michael Richardson came back to Yarm to rescue the troubled family business.   Strickland and Holt was the birthplace of Poppy (now called Palava).   Stephanie and Michael founded Poppy as they were not sure they would be able to make a success of the shop.   Poppy initially made children's bedding from it own prints designed by local artists and it wasn't long before they sold to prestigious department stores Harrods and John Lewis.   The company was successful and branched out into clothing and continued to make collections until the year 2000.

It was not an easy decision to stop the company, but with prints going out of fashion and a decline in UK manufacturing they called it a day.

It was not until 10 years later the company saw a revival. It was the youngest of Stephanie and Michael’s four children, who came to take bring poppy back to life. Bryony moved back to the family shop with a big challenge on her hands. 

Starting with children’s designs, Bryony started to draw her own illustrative prints. Drawing her inspiration from the storybooks she had read as a child, such as Milly Molly Mandy and the storybooks of Eve Garnett. Bryony saw how to put adventure into children's clothing.

So each fabric has a story to tell, running along the hem of the dress, and each dress comes with it's very own little story book.

Bryony’s ethos has always been to give meaning to the clothing we wear. This runs through every aspect of the company – from the ethical approach we take to manufacturing, so that you know your clothes are making a positive impact upon the world, through to the wonderful, unique storybooks that accompany our dresses and skirts. Our storybooks encourage our customers to bond with their clothing. By exploring the adventures that take place on the border of their dress, and in the storybook, we hope Palava outfits will have a special meaning and be handed down from generation to generation.

Just when you think everything is hunky dory...

We were forced to change our name in 2015 due to trademark issues. It's not been fun and we didn't see it coming. We rebranded as Bryony and Co and thought all our troubles were over. But we were wrong. We had to rebrand within a couple of weeks, and there were bound to be some consequences!

Unbelievably we were challenged by another retailer with a very similar name ‘Brioni’, forcing Bryony and Co. to rebrand AGAIN...Now, with all checks completed and a grey cloud lifted from above our heads, Palava is born. We are only small and rebranding is hugely costly, luckily we don't have to do everything in such a rush this time so the rebrand will happen slowly and in our own time. So you may, for sometime receive items that have a Bryony or Palava label in them.

Palava has the same company ethos - to create beautiful, unique clothing that can be passed from generation to generation. The new name change represents the Palava we have been through in the last year but also a sense of humor, fun and creativity. We love our new name and feel long term it gives us a stronger identity that is fun and will again, set us apart from others. The company remains the same, both in terms of designs and character. We hope you can understand this has not been an easy time and I do hope you stick with us!

We hope you will be as excited about the future of Palava as we are. We will soon be launching a bedding collection – harking back to the roots of the company. We will also be expanding our collection for the home.
Above all, we love feedback from our customers so we can continue to improve our designs, styles and sizes - and we welcome thoughts for new products too. So please do get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!