How did you come up with the idea for Cherry Moon – how long was it from idea to execution?
The Cherry Moon was heavily influenced by our photography background and services for emerging and independent designers, we would scour the trade shows such as London Fashion Week, where we built up relationships with UK and international designers, who were looking for a platform that would see more than just pieces that were moving with the trends but a slow fashion that was unique in representing their story, passion and connection with the consumer for the customer to want more of and discover investment, limited pieces that are of high quality and also represent designers that position themselves as affordable luxury. My Business partner Jevz built our online in 2018 and one year later we went on to open our first physical store on King’s Road Chelsea.
What was your background in fashion before opening the store?
I have worked in many fields of business, all relating to fashion, PR and the music industry. I also studied performing arts, dance and theatre studies and technical lighting, of which I had an interest to be lighting technician for theatre and film. I have always loved simplistic, classic styles of clothing from a young child.
You came about from a different angle: online to physical store – tell me about the decision to work this way round and how they seamlessly connect now?
As we were working online with designers in the luxury segment, they were looking for a physical presence to connect with the customers, who can appreciate the quality that come with the price and story of how they started and why…and that is why we were eager to have physical presence so this can be identified, leaving customers confident and happy to further shop these brands online, already knowing what to expect from quality and feel.
Your vision has always been to create a platform for emerging and independent talent – can you tell me about what you look for in a brand before stocking?
I look for designers with a raw highly aesthetic vision with passion behind their journeys and what they create, and then I go through every single piece of their collections making sure I pick the best pieces suited to our online and store. If a brand is not entirely ready but has an exceptional piece, I feel it should be exposed / discovered as soon as possible because, in my eyes, they deserve the exposure and are just as good as any other high end brand out there sometimes even better…I want brands that are more than just brands, even if they are limited they are leaving a memory and sentimental value to our customers.
Tell me about some of the brands whom you carry – are they all UK centric or worldwide?
I have a mix of international and UK brands that range from apparel, jewellery, accessories, shoes, beauty and wellness too. One of my main brands, who I work very closely with, is named Gina.p from Italy – her name is Roberta Ciceri and she is also my Creative Director, she is everything I described I want in a brand above but more and carries a special eye for interiors and creative visuals as well as designing clothing.
Are all the designers in the store also available online?
The majority are; we have one-off collections that are visible to customers and will stay available online and in store or only in store. Although I do feel it is very important for all designers who are in store to be available to shop online, even if only for the duration of their time in-store, because 9/10 the customer will look for them online to find out more or shop further of their collections
What were the challenges you faced as a female founder before launching Cherry Moon?
I have not faced any major challenges as yet, there other challenges but none so far that are anti female towards being a female founder…touch wood!
How do you think times have come on for women in the workplace? And how do you try and re-enact that with diversity of employment and opportunities?
Oh without a doubt I feel women are definitely being taken on more seriously in business, the female boss has leapt in strength over the last couple of years, women in empowerment are standing stronger than ever and men are starting to see that we are just as great leaders as they are. (Of course, there are still a lot of old fashioned mentalities out there.) At The Cherry Moon, there is a place for everyone, female, male, bisexual, transgender, regardless of disability and race. The Cherry Moon supports and empowers each other.
What’s the most challenging part of your day to day as a female founder/owner?
Everything! Seriously because each hour and day spent in-store, brand resourcing, meeting designers is so important to me. They must feel inspired when they meet or leave our store – the experience is so important it is all definitely a challenge.
What’s your main demographic of buyers – how do you think how they shop / what they shop has differed over time?
We have a wide range actually from, I would say, 23 to even 70’s. We try to have pieces that are relatable to most age groups because we also have an eye for the classics with a modern twist it keeps our buyers intrigued because a lot of them do like classic or vintage-inspired pieces and prints that are hard to find. I feel the older generation are embracing the modern twist and also the younger shoppers are appreciating the old school styles and look we recreate here on King’s road
What do you love about the King’s Road community? Why did you choose Chelsea as your location?
Everything! I possibly cannot see us anywhere else. King’s Road, Chelsea is by far the best cultural, stylish eccentric place to be in London. King’s Road has not lost its heritage, it is a brand, within itself. I love the community they know what they want! Every designer wants to brand themselves on King’s Road, amongst the most iconic names in fashion and music.
You’ve segued wellness into the offering too – how do you see the future of fashion and shopping?
Beauty and wellness is a big part of our daily lives and I want to offer this innovative shopping experience with The Beauty Lounge upstairs allowing customers to discover more vegan, sustainable, beauty brands targeting different skin types with organically fresh, clean personality fragrances. I think the future of fashion and shopping needs to be more innovative and appealing – the customer experience is everything, and we all need variety. At The Cherry Moon, we look forward to offering this under one roof, the away from home, but at-home feeling. What we put on our skin is equally important to how we dress.
How do you aim to incorporate issues like sustainability and ethical practice into the Cherry Moon offering?
Most of our designers have a sustainable approach and are sustainable in packaging, choice of materials etc. Even our skincare brands are plastic-free – cleaning up of the seas is something we are very passionate about and promote through our brands, even our own cherry moon bags.
Would you create your own in-house line?
Oh yes, definitely – this is in the pipeline to develop The Cherry Moon’s personal signature style by branding ourselves. This will allow for more freedom to bloom personally with our signature pieces it will allow customers to understand me personally too and my style!
What shifts did you make during Covid that you will continue to implement in the future?
Pivoting into a new model, by combining beauty and fashion together and thereby offering a unique and personable boutique shopping experience. There is a lot more we can implement as we continue our journey here..
What are the plans for the next year of the store?
The plan is to continue to strive and be a ‘go-to store and platform,’ being only one Cherry Moon in London, King’s Road, so if you are international and you travel to London you will have to come to King’s Road to find us. With God’s grace going forward in the future we hope to start another store – but it would be international. I live and breathe my job and seeing a customer walk out with a purchase and our bag along with a satisfied smile and experience is by far the best feeling ever for me!