Brr winter has well and truly arrived and I don’t like it. Beady-eyed G Spotters! will know that I still like getting out walking and the only thing that keeps me venturing out of my warm house is being hopped up in an array of hats, scarves and gloves. I love any opportunity to dress up even when walking and I was delighted to be introduced to a super stylish boutique in County Down that sells beautiful, handmade and more importantly cozy accessories.
StyleStory began its journey online in 2014 and then opened its doors in Saintfield in 2016. Owner Jan Cullen, specialises in the design and production of original, quirky and elegant fashion jewellery and accessories. I might as well fess up that my new obsession is her coloured knitted pom pom hats – which are still proving to be as popular a trend this year as they were in 2016.
Hats aside, the shop is a haven of everything from CLUSE watches, handmade snoods, oversized checked scarves, delicate jewellery and bright bejewelled chokers and matching earring sets – she even has chic candle and diffuser brand Sass & Boho and every colour and shape of handbag under the sun!
Phew! Sounds like a lot for one shop to hold -but savvy Jan has also kept the online shop, which sells black gold pendants, rose gold earrings and glitzy chunky bracelets. It only has a sprinkling of stock so calling into the shop is a better way to see more of the range. It’s the perfect place to find something special for Mother’s Day especially if your mum is like mine and a magpie for anything sparkly!
Being based in Saintfield might not give StyleStory the footfall needed, but using the online shop and social media Jan has a great opportunity to highlight new products to give shoppers the chance to buy any they see on her Facebook or Instagram.
She said, “I try where possible to stock locally created products but also blend this with a mix of different items which are not available locally. The most popular products are my handmade ‘StyleStory Chokers’ which are flying off the shelves.
“I love fashion and design and the handmade snoods are also popular. I made a small range in the winter as a little extra for the shop. I noticed a gap in what women were looking for (cosy but super stylish) so I decided to use my own passion for design to bring something a little more special.” I have to admit I got one for a Christmas present and as you can see it’s never off me!
I’m always thinking of food, so am also impressed with the fact that it’s also only ten minutes drive from Bull & Ram in Balllynahinch. If you haven’t been yet you need to make it your mission for 2017! A former butchers, the meat theme is still retained and the team serve up some of the best quality steak (and other plates of deliciousness) I’ve ever had.
Hmm sounds like I’m creating the perfect Saturday here … casual lunch in B&R and then off for a walk (via StyleStory for a pom pom hat, new snood, an umbrella and faux fur lined gloves) to work it off!
Spotting local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch on twitter @grainnemcgarvey or at www.pulseprni.com