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What are your current bestselling lines?
Our current bestselling lines would be Fairisle knitwear, Suzy D Ultimate Joggers, Nkuku and Hertford Candle Co. products.
Are you active on social media, and how do you use it for your business?
Frankie and Olive has both Instagram and Facebook accounts. I use Instagram primarily as it seems to reach more of my target audience and attracts new followers. I use it to promote new collections and sales etc.
What brands do you stock and why?
The main clothing brands that I currently stock include Thought, Eribe, Komodo, Bibico and Yerse. Accessory-wise, I have just placed an order with Spanish company Soruka which makes gorgeous, colourful bags from recycled leather. Also some lovely baskets from BasketBasket, which are handwoven in Madagascar with sustainable grasses and raffia. I am looking forward to seeing the new range by Branch Jewellery, which I have previously stocked and have been selling Weaver Green products since we opened such as bags, cushions and throws, which are made from recycled plastic bottles. I have also been selling a lot of Nkuku products but am currently looking for an alternative supplier to introduce something new.
How often do you change up your window dressings and displays?
We usually change the window once a week depending on new deliveries and stock availability. Customers often comment on the displays and come in having seen them whilst sitting in traffic, and I often put window images on Instagram.
What are your plans to develop your online presence?
At present I do not have specific plans to develop the online presence but know that it is something that needs to be addressed, and am constantly emailed by companies offering their services!
Do you undertake anycharitable initiatives?
Frankie and Olive often support local causes, events and business and are currently looking to champion a suitable charity. I also think it's important to champion sustainable fashion. We need to continue to educate and inform in order to enforce significant action and change in the fast fashion industry.
Do you attend any trade shows and if so, which ones and why?
I have just attended the Spring Fair/Moda trade fair at the NEC and am planning to go to Pure x Scoop at the Truman Brewery tomorrow. I will also attend the Top Drawer show at Olympia. There obviously haven’t been any shows for a couple of years so it’s great to get back and see what’s out there.
Are you looking to open more stores across the UK?
I am not looking to open more stores in the UK but have an idea for a new venture should a suitable premise become available in Hertford.
What has been your standout moment since opening the store, and why?
A stand-out moment was being voted as a finalist in the LOVE Hertford Awards last year and being asked to be the main feature of an article in the local magazine regarding the re-opening of the high street. It is great to be recognised and appreciated by the locals.
How has coronavirus affected your store/in what ways are you positive about the future of independent retail?
There has obviously been a negative impact from the combination of COVID and Brexit but there is still a lot of local support and thankfully our overheads are relatively low so we’re managing to weather the storm and feel positive about the year ahead.
What advice would you give other retailers?
I think the retail market is generally struggling and suffering due to the above and increasing living costs together with the constant competition from online shopping but I think and hope that there will be gradual return to ‘shopping local’ and supporting the high street. Retailers need to talk to their customers and find out what they want and give the personal service that they can’t get online.
What are your plans for the future?
I will continue the search for new products to keep my customers interest and possibly expand into footwear, which there is a definite need for in Hertford, together with my other business idea which I don’t want to go in to at the moment!
FRANKIE AND OLIVE
+44 (0)1992 677 150 | www.frankieandolive.co.uk