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Gloucestershire Business News

VIDEO: Sales double for Cotswold designer Jade Holland Cooper

Sales of Jade Holland Cooper's fashion items - now showcased in an upmarket Cotswold boutique - doubled during lockdown.

The designer and businesswoman - who has supplied clothes to the Duchess of Cambridge and celebrities like Amanda Holden - recently opened her first shop at Dowdeswell Park, just outside Charlton Kings.

Joining her husband Julian Dunkerton at the launch of his new Superdry concept store in Cheltenham, she said she made a conscious effort to operate outside the high fashion 'rat race'.

In an exclusive interview with Punchline Gloucester's editor Mark Owen, Jade Holland Cooper said: "We're creating something that isn't about high fashion, this is about beautiful product made for women to wear through whatever aspect of their life they want to be doing.

"I think the high fashion rat race is one that I don't want to be a part of and don't feel we want to be in. We're just about creating lovely product that our customer wants to buy into, and I think that's why people keep coming back."

The new boutique, which opened in October this year, is part of the reinvention of the former industrial estate, now called Dowdeswell Park, as a retail destination.

Her husband Julian moved his family organic cider business Dunkerton's to the site three years ago.

Holding her baby daughter Saphaïa, Jade Holland Cooper explained how she wanted to bring back old-fashioned one-to-one service, giving customers advice on styling.

She said: "It's really a London shopping experience brought to Dowdeswell in the Cotswolds. It's absolutely beautiful.

"We have all of the product there as well as bespoke, limited-edition items that you can't see online."

It's been a big journey, for someone who dropped out of the Royal Agricultural University and started her business from a small tent at Badminton Horse Trials.

With the new boutique, she very much takes a hands-on role. And the business has thrived throughout the Covid crisis.

She said: "We were incredibly lucky. Our sales were amazing. Online was incredible and actually the business doubled through lockdown.

"We connected with the consumer in a completely different way. We create products for real life and that really weighed in our favour."

Opening the new boutique was always going to be a bit of a risk, being out of town, but customers have come from as far afield as Europe and the United States.

She explained: "We weren't sure whether people would travel... but they have and people are spreading the word and they're wanting that different level of customer service."

Looking forward, the designer wants to combine real life styling with innovation.

She said: "People are wanting to have more investment pieces, they're wanting to understand more about where the product's coming from, they're wanting to find a product that's going to last, and I think that is what we are doing."

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