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Gullane-based Merrygoround, the designer ladies and children’s wear boutique emerges this month under its new name – Secret Boutique.
In a move reflecting the evolving style and spirit of Gullane-based Merry Go Round, the designer ladies and children’s wear boutique emerges this month under its new name – Secret Boutique. Inspired by women’s desire to find clothing that is exclusive, from a location only they know, Secret Boutique was born. Owner Elaine Ramanauskas explains “I’d often heard regular customers telling a friend they’d brought along to the shop – this is my secret, my secret boutique.”
Merry Go Round opened in 2005 and quickly became known for its gorgeous range of designer clothing and accessories for both children and babies. In 2011, Elaine introduced a small range of ladies clothing from well-known British brand, Joules. With its distinctive British country influence, the clothing sold well and over the years Elaine has increased her range of ladies’ clothing and accessories. All of the brands are carefully chosen by Elaine, from known and trusted brands such as Joules and Geox, famous for its breathable footwear and good quality coats, to brands not previously seen before in Scotland, such as Lithuanian brand Lulu et Tu.
European brands Fransa and B Young with their casual, classic but modern styling have been very popular. Elaine explains “They’re suitable for all ages and you can buy anything from a basic white shirt to a gorgeous lace top and what’s more they’re really affordable.” Elaine is quick to point out that the re-branding of Merry Go Round does not mean the end to her children’s wear range. “I just felt the name no longer reflected what I sell, but what I sell will remain the same!” Classic children’s clothing from the likes of Weekend a La Mer, Absorba, Kissy Kissy and Hatley sit side by side with some quirky alternatives. Fleeces made from recycled water bottles by organic clothing brand Kite, and Cheeky Chompers dribble bibs, the brainchild of two Edinburgh mothers.
Secret Boutique is constantly bringing in new stock from ‘secret’ brands, making sure it’s always filled to the brim with unique pieces. They are one of the only Scottish stockist of Canadian brand, Hatley. Known for its colourful print rainwear and children’s clothing, they also produce a stunning range of t-shirt dresses, perfect for summer. Each year Elaine introduces new brands which you would be hard pushed to find on the high street, such as clothing from high-fashion brand FRNCH or the gorgeous Lulu et Tu.
Fast becoming a destination store, customers will find stylish, affordable clothes and accessories, which are just a little bit different, from unique brands that they’ll love at first sight.
For further information and images please contact Elaine on 01620 842 222 or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
SECRET BOUTIQUE | Main Street, Gullane EH31 2AP | t : 01620 842 222
Open: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm
We opened in 2005 selling a wide range of designer brands for kids. Over the years, the world of childrens clothing has changed enormously (thanks to Tesco et al!) so we decided to move into ladies clothing. The rest is history as they say, and the business has gone from strength to strength with last Saturday being our best day ever!
Currently our brands include Joules, Avoca Anthology, Geox, b young, La Naturelle, Hatley of Canada, Robell, MADO et les Autres, Fransa and the ever popular Mayoral for babies and kids. Our stock changes constantly so why not pop in for a browse next time you’re in East Lothian.
Opening hours are Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm. We open Bank Holiday Mondays and only close for one or two days over Christmas and New Year. If you want to double check just give us a call on 01620 842222.
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Mayoral Baby Girls – New Autumn Winter 2015 arriving daily but it’s still taking forever to get it onto the website… 🙁
So it’s another late post, but I’m determined to keep at this blogging lark! Busy, busy “day off” today – did the banking, baked scones, did a quick bolt round six holes on golf course in the rain, then supervised both piano and saxophone practice…. As usual, there wasn’t much time left to get the Mayoral stock loaded up onto the website. However, I’ve just uploaded a little of the fabulous Baby Girls collection – see my favourite piece on the left – just LOVE this spotty dress – it’s absolutely stunning. The fabric is so gorgeous, it honestly feels like a £50+ dress. Mayoral are just so, so good at some of these dresses.
My other favourite piece is the little navy cord jeggings. They are made from the softest cord fabric and would look great under many tops or tunics this winter. At £18, I’d buy two pairs! Can’t beat the “one on, one in the wash” approach to dressing your little one. Saves thinking time as well in the morning…..
On a different note, we are almost sold out of Mayoral Spring Summer Sale stock, but there are still a few gems to be found in the Mini Girls and Mini Boys age groups (2 years – 9 years). I’ll pick out a few bits tomorrow and post some pics. Everything is HALF PRICE now – so take a look and grab a bargain! Not just Mayoral, there’s Absorba, Frugi and a little Joules. There’s also lots of ladies wear reduced by 50%…… Brands such as Fransa, B Young, Geox and Hatley to name a few.
You may well be thinking what on earth is she rambling about now – well, you are right. It’s too late for this and tomorrow is my “Monday” so best finish here. Will hopefully load up the rest of the Mayoral collection – a little bit of Mini Girls and Mini Boys, plus a few bits from their older Mayoral Girls collection tomorrow morning. I’ll do another post (and link it to Facebook and Twitter tomorrow Lisa!) once it’s done.
Well it’s late on Sunday evening and we’ve had a lovely day, but unfortunately not found the time to add any more of the new Mayoral Autumn Winter 2015 collection to the website. The one and only issue I have with being an independent retailer is that you just never seem to have enough hours in the day to do everything. Time at the shop is spent with customers, merchandising, window displays, stock taking, cleaning etc etc etc. When it comes round to working on our website, it just never seems to get off the bottom of the to-do-list. I often think the easy answer is to work on it at home. Well, that was the plan today, but it just hasn’t happened.
The days started with me remember I hadn’t displayed a “deliberate mistake” in the shop window. This is one of a number of events the Gullane Games Committee as us shop keepers to participate in each year. Kids (and adults!) wander round all the shops in the village, spotting the mistakes in the windows. Some of the shops go to great lengths and the kids love it. So, mine is in place now, but I’d better not divulge what it is, just in case!
Then quick trip to the store for a few bits for lunch and back home for coffee, washing, ironing and a catch up on a few financial matters via internet banking. Then, most exciting, phone call to Virgin Atlantic to reserve seats for our holiday next summer. I’d been watching the availability on the Virgin Atlantic website and just this morning flights were released for our chosen departure date – yippee! I have to say the people at the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club are fab – before my phone call it all seemed rather complicated, but they were able to quickly work out the best option for us.
After lunch we hotfooted it up to Haddington to spend the afternoon with Spatz & Co, a 5 piece band playing a great selection of blues, ballads and classics from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. What a great show – our friend Roy Mac leads the band, but they are all equally talented with no less than 15 instruments shared among the group. Looking forward to hearing more from Spatz & Co again soon.
Monday may be Mayoral day, and I’ll get a little more stock loaded onto the website, but then again if the sun is shining I may be persuaded to head towards the golf course and leave website updates until I’m back at the shop on Tuesday. We’ll see!
PS Just love the wee chap in the pic, showing off his gorgeous green Mayoral cord trousers. I couldn’t believe Mayoral took some of the pics for their brochure at this beautiful house in North Berwick!
Over the last few months I have found that one of the best ways to relax and clear my head after a hectic day at the shop is to follow a little white ball around a golf course. I wouldn’t dream of claiming to play golf. That would be a huge exaggeration. However, since my lovely husband gave me a set of Taylor Made RocketBallz for my Birthday 2 years ago, I decided to make use of them and give it a go. I’ve been “hacking” my way around Gullane No 3 for a little while now and I’ve made a pact with myself that I will get a handicap before the end of August.
So last night, after closing the shop I dived home and changed into my golf gear (oh yes, I always look the part, even if I can’t play to save myself!) and off we went. It was a gorgeous evening with bright blue skies and fluffy big white clouds. The temperatures weren’t too bad either (for Scotland in July!) and we even managed the first few holes without our sweatshirts.
It started well, but before we knew it at least one of us found ourselves in the rough on each hole – one of the problems with a wet summer is the rough grows so high it’s almost impossible to find your ball once its landed in there. At one point last night my husband commented he saw a couple of tigers, a lion and an elephant whilst looking for our sons ball. The rough is really that long….
Anyway, we had a great night and got home just before dark, more than ready for a glass of my favourite Australian Red. As I’d missed dinner I indulged in a little Devil’s Bite cheddar from the wonderful Devenick Dairy in Banchory. We discovered their amazing cheeses at the Highland Show in June – I can’t wait to pop into their farm shop next time we’re up that way. It’s really very, very good.
I appreciate this blog is really meant to be about kids and ladies clothing and fashion. Guess I should possibly focus more on that in future. However, I just wanted to share my joy at completing day #3 of my blog challenge, taking one step towards gaining a golf handicap and also an unashamed plug of my favourite cheese company!
More about clothes tomorrow! We’ve had a really great reaction to the new Mayoral kids clothing collection at the shop so I will share more about that tomorrow (after our afternoon with Spatz & Co).
One of the big news items in the kidswear industry this week was that Frugi, the lovely organic clothing people from Cornwall had launched their new collection. So what, lots of other brands are launching their new Autumn Winter collections I hear you say. Well, you are absolutely correct. However, for whatever reason, when Frugi launch their new collection there is always, without fail, the biggest hoo ha amongst their loyal band of Frugi-loving Mums, Dads, Grannies and Grampas to name a few. It is just a total frenzy!
Last season it was the (hideous in my humble opinion!) knee patch crawler dungarees that were changing hands on that well-known auction site for vast sums of money, way in excess of the RRP. This season it appears to be the dinosaur crawlers for baby boys age 2 – 3 years. How bizarre! I have to say we even didn’t order them in at The Merrygoround – maybe we’re missing a trick, who knows. I have always believed we should buy the stock we feel will suit our market and not be driven by such fads!
It’s interesting for me, as a retailer of kids clothing, that in the 10+ years we’ve been in business, I’ve never seen anything like the fuss over Frugi. Yes, their clothing is lovely. The fabrics are very soft, wash and wear very well so can be handed on and on many times. All organic cotton, so obviously ethically pleasing. The appliques are really well done (if getting a little large on some of the baby garments in my opinion!) and their pricing is sensible. But so are many other brands I could name, but they just don’t create the same buzz season after season.
Well, I’ve decided to try a little experiment! I’ve been told many, many times over that in order to improve visibility of our website, www.themerrygoround.co.uk, I should be blogging. How often and on what topics is entirely up to me, but blog posts should apparently be frequent and regular, and they should be interesting. As the sole proprietor of a small but busy boutique, I don’t often have time to hoover up the dead flies in the shop window, let alone sit down and “blog”…. Big sigh. However, our lovely customers in the boutique tell me time and time again that I “buy really well”, “have a good eye”, “select unusual brands” etc etc and that “I must sell loads on-line”. Er no……
Hence the experiment. I am going to devote the next 3 months to increasing traffic to our website. By myself. No SEO expertise. I will simply do what the experts have been telling me to do and let’s see what happens. I will keep you posted by blogging any progress.
Tomorrow I will tell you a little more about our boutique in Gullane, East Lothian, our favourite brands etc etc…
We have always loved UK brand Lilly and Sid and when we unpacked the new Autumn Winter 2013 collection we were certainly not disappointed. Just how the clever designer Emma comes up with these ideas we just don’t know, but she’s certainly excelled herself this Winter. There’s vintage inspired themes, gingerbread house print for girls and our favourite bright stripes in a multitude of colours – surely something for everyone from Lilly and Sid this season!
What hasn’t changed is the lovely soft top-quality jersey cotton that Lilly and Sid use for all their baby clothing. All stripes are yarn dyed so no nasty printing chemicals are used. Styles are designed to make dressing your baby as easy as possible. T-shirts and tops have poppers at shoulders where garments needs to go over baby’s head. Nappy changing is also made easier with poppers at the legs of all playsuits.
Amongst the new Lilly and Sid characters introduced this season is Felix Monkey who looks fab on this little boys playsuit. The layered sleeves in bright red are a great contrast to the blue and white striped suit and fabulous appliquéd Felix Monkey stands boldly on the chest.
Just how much fun can dressing your baby boy be? We think this has to be one of the best playsuits available this season for any little monkey!
Our other favourite picks from the new Lilly and Sid baby boys collection are just as cute and comfortable. There are two long sleeve t-shirts to choose from – the first is a premium cotton marl grey t-shirt with appliquéd Felix Monkey making an appearance once again. The second t-shirt is bright pillar box red with another new character, Buxton Mouse. This unisex t-shirt is ideal for either boys or girls and looks fabulous with the our favourite piece from this collection, the Reversible Pull-On trousers. Again, ideal for baby girls or boys, these trousers are great for little ones crawling or shuffling around on their bottoms. The fabric is soft, the gently elasticated waist has mock ties at front and you can turn up the legs for perfect fit. If any little mishaps happen, no worries, quick wipe and turn them around and you’re little one still looks smart!