We’d like to introduce you to our newest business customers here at Masons Self Storage, Box Edit Boutique! Created by Helen and Ashley and based right here in Barry, Box Edit Boutique is transforming our options for sustainable fashion and fighting fast fashion waste with affordable, timeless clothing!
After an 18 month launch plan, Helen and Ashley found themselves launching a shop in the summer of 2020… you know, right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic! It probably wasn’t ideal timing, but Helen and Ashley have found themselves hitting the ground running and taking South Wales by storm with their sustainable solution to fast fashion.
Here at Masons Self Storage, we absolutely love their story and journey so far! Not only have they launched an eco-friendly clothing shop, but they also love Barry. AND they’ve started a new business when they were 38 and 39 and were looking for a work/life balance that worked for their young families. Read on to find out more about Helen and Ashley and how they created Box Edit Boutique.
Where it all began…
Having met at NCT Penarth when they were both pregnant, Helen drove Ashley to the station one day after her car broke down and the rest is history. As they got to know each other, they discovered that they had so much in common it was almost spooky! Neither of them were from London but they had both lived there at the same time and had probably even crossed paths at some point as they both worked in Fashion Buying and in Head Office jobs. It was like they were destined to meet and start their own fashion business!
Introducing… Box Edit Boutique
So having found themselves meeting up in the Vale, Helen and Ashley’s friendship continued to blossom and they now both have children that are three and a half. They were desperate for a home/work life that is balanced and gives them the flexibility to be with their children.
Plus, they noticed that Barry is continually evolving and starting to draw in an increasingly young, professional demographic that are looking for reasonably priced property. They also see all the amazing things on their doorstep, like the sea and the Vale is stunning and it’s only four stops on the train to Cardiff! Plus, you can buy a house for the same price as a flat in Cardiff. Box Edit Boutique aren’t the only new business popping up to appeal to the new demographic moving into Barry, there’s lots of trendy new businesses and Barry has really flourished during the lockdown restrictions. With so many people working from home and realising they have so much more space, as well as a massive sense of local community, Barry really came into its own!
This new demographic, like Helen and Ashley, have a disposable income to spend on clothes that are good quality and with an eco-ethos, but they don’t want to trek into Cardiff with pushchairs, they were looking for something local. Helen and Ashley saw this shift away from fast fashion and a move towards being more conscious and sustainable with purchases, they saw the gap and wanted to be part of the Barry renaissance!
Sustainable and stylish
Not only did Box Edit Boutique want to provide a range that was sustainable, but they wanted to prove a platform to up-and-coming designers. Helen and Ashley are dedicated to avoiding overbuying, so they wanted to offer the people of Barry an option to buy something that you’d want to invest in and keep for a long time but at an affordable price.
Sustainability is key for Helen and Ashley and they want at least a third of the shop’s range to be sustainability sourced. This means that all of their denim is part of the Better Cotton Initiative, meaning it’s farmed in a more eco-conscious way, plus they opt for items that use recycled polyester and EcoVero fabrics.
Plus, they have an Independent Edit line which consists of no more than three design labels at any time. They want to work with up-and-coming designers that work in a sustainable way, for example, making clothes to order or using hand dyeing techniques.
Life in Lockdown
At first, Helen was juggling the plans for Box Edit Boutique whilst also working for Peacocks HQ, where she had been for 12 years. However, the pandemic led to her being made redundant, allowing her to focus on Box Edit Boutique full time with Ashley!
Box Edit Boutique had been in the pipeline for 18 months before Covid-19 hit and they ended up opening in the middle of the pandemic! However, they hit the ground running and had an incredible first few weeks with a lot of interest from Welsh Press,Bloggers and Influencers!
Originally, Helen and Ashley had wanted to just open their physical shop, they had planned to target local people in Barry and find their feet by running their own business. However, lockdown brought their plans for an online shop forward! They’ve had to be incredibly flexible and adapt as and when they had to. Box Edit Boutique had only just opened at the beginning of September, and had an amazing few weeks before the Firebreak lockdown knocked the wind out of their sales. So, they had to get online and quickly!
They began on Instagram, selling through their feed and stories, texting links to pay to their customers and offering click and collect, before getting a proper online shop up and running. It’s truly a family affair at Box Edit Boutique, even Helen and Ashley’s husbands have been getting involved! Steaming clothes here in Masons Self Storage Business Lounge and setting up the online systems.
The buying experience has been nothing like either of them has experienced in their careers! Normally, you’d view everything in person. Now, they’re buying all of their stock over Zoom meetings. Luckily, Helen and Ashley were able to attend PURE Fashion Trade Show in February 2020, which meant they met lots of designers.
We asked Helen and Ashley what’s next for Box Edit Boutique and they’ve got so many plans!
We just want to keep growing! We want to expand into accessories and shoes. Plus, we want to set up another two Box Edit Boutique shops in other parts of the Vale, we want to branch out and bring our sustainable shopping to more even more people!
We absolutely love a small business with a family behind them, as well as people trying to run their small businesses against all obstacles. We’re so excited to be here at the start of Box Edit Boutique’s journey and we just hope that Helen and Ashley remember us at Masons Self Storage when they’re world famous!
Here at Masons Self Storage, we offer business storage with flexible contracts with 24/7 access 365 days a year. If you’re looking for home or business self-storage, we can help with self-storage units starting from just £5 a week. If you’d like to come in for a tour, give our friendly team a call on 0800 533 5708!