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Darlington fashion boutique’s first three months in business

A CLOTHING boutique that opened in Darlington last November has grown into a successful business.

Opening a small shop in Sedgefield four years ago, Betty’s Boudoir Boutique has just opened a second shop in the town and it is going from strength to strength.

The Darlington boutique has an old-fashioned, classic feel to the aesthetics and service style with contemporary fashion, ideal for anyone wanting something a bit different.

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With so many independents failing to stay afloat during Covid, the business has successfully managed to provide personal service by delivering orders to customers’ doors during the height of restrictions in 2020.

Betty’s Boudoir Boutique in Darlington can be found on Blackwellgate. Picture: AJA DODD

Betty’s Boudoir Boutiques is run by Lily Ho, with help from her mum, Cheryl Grundy.

Lily explained that how important it is for the shop to stock a wide range of styles and sizes from size 8 to 26, with inclusivity being a top priority.

The Northern Echo: There's a fast turnaround of stock at Betty's Boudoir Boutiques, once it's gone, it's gone.  Picture: AJA DODDThere’s a fast turnaround of stock at Betty’s Boudoir Boutiques, once it’s gone, it’s gone. Picture: AJA DODD

Lily said: “Although at the height of the pandemic it was a real struggle and obviously we were taking much less than we normally would, we managed to keep going by delivering orders. Most of our client base is in Sedgefield because that’s where we’ve been based the longest.”

The young entrepreneur runs the shop through the week and is a singer and performer at weekends.

The Northern Echo: Business owner and entertainer, Lily Ho.  Picture: BETTY'S BOUDOIR BOUTIQUES/FACEBOOKBusiness owner and entertainer, Lily Ho. Picture: BETTY’S BOUDOIR BOUTIQUES/FACEBOOK

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After realizing how difficult it is for performers to find regular between gigs, she decided that by being her own boss she could use that flexibility to pursue her passion in entertainment and so employs fellow performers including local actress Megan Robson, who appeared in Dick Whittington at the Majestic Theater last Christmas.

Lily, who prides herself on her stock being “quirky and affordable,” said: “I think a lot of people see this kind of shop and assume it’ll be ridiculously expensive, but we’re very affordable and reasonable.”

The Northern Echo: Betty's Boudoir Boutique interior in Darlington.  Picture: BETTY'S BOUDOIR BOUTIQUES/FACEBOOKBetty’s Boudoir Boutique interior in Darlington. Picture: BETTY’S BOUDOIR BOUTIQUES/FACEBOOK

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Lily’s mother Cheryl helps with the buying and Lily insists that no decision is made without first going through her mum.

The Northern Echo: Some more of what Betty's Boudoir Boutiques has to offer.  Picture: AJA DODDSome more of what Betty’s Boudoir Boutiques has to offer. Picture: AJA DODD

Lily said: “She’s my biggest cheerleader. Because I’m in my 20s and she’s in her 50s, there’s something for everyone.

“We buy stock and generally when it’s gone, it’s gone so there’s always something new. We tend to get maybe five or six of whatever item and that’s it, so if people are looking for something different that you won’t find on the high street, that’s us.”

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The Northern Echo: Betty's Boudoir Boutiques showcased some of its pieces at a charity fashion show held at Hardwick Hall last autumn.  Picture: BETTY'S BOUDOIR BOUTIQUES/FACEBOOKBetty’s Boudoir Boutiques showcased some of its pieces at a charity fashion show held at Hardwick Hall last autumn. Picture: BETTY’S BOUDOIR BOUTIQUES/FACEBOOK

Lily walked past the empty shop on Darlington’s Blackwellgate last year and thought it would be a great place to open another Betty’s Boudoir Boutique.

The vintage-inspired clothing business also provided garments for Teesside Airport’s first-ever fashion show which happened last week.

Betty’s Boudoir Boutique in Darlington stands proudly on Blackwellgate and is open on Tuesday to Saturday from 10am – 4pm. The Sedgefield shop is open from Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm.

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