Mary Portas seal of approval for new fashion label from northern Lincolnshire
A FLEDGLING fashion label from northern Lincolnshire has been given the Mary Portas seal of approval.
The Queen of Shops contacted Charlotte Hay, from Healing, and Paris Hodson, from Caistor, after they sent her a top from their label, STELLA & ALF.
The girls launched the brand – named after Paris' grandparents – in January after tiring of the trend-led nature of the fashion industry.
Stylist Charlotte and designer Paris have created a capsule collection of essential pieces that can be worn by women of any age or body shape in any season. And each item is made right here in Lincolnshire, with the brand's headquarters in Barton.
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Charlotte explained: "When we heard that Mary was visiting Market Rasen last month we sent one of our tops to the company that was handling her PR.
"We didn't expect to hear anything back, so when we received a hand- written note from Mary we were absolutely over the moon. She Tweeted about us and mentioned us on her website, too, which was fantastic."
Mary, who was visiting Market Rasen to see the changes that have been made since it received funding as a Portas Pilot Town, was delighted with the grey, batwing top the girls sent her.
In the note, she said: "Dearest Paris and Charlotte, I get given many things (I know I'm spoilt) 80 per cent of the stuff goes to my charity shop. However, your beautiful top is on me now. What a talent you are. Good luck (I will Tweet about your fabulous range). Kindest, Mary."
Mary also posted a link to STELLA & ALF on her Scrapbook website for Channel 4, with the title "A comfy way to support your country".
Charlotte said: "It's great that Mary has recognised STELLA & ALF, not only for the fact that we manufacture in Lincolnshire and support local businesses, but also that she loves the design."
Paris added: "It's always been crucial for us to maintain good design whilst addressing the issues of value and speed in the fashion industry, from a sustainable point of view."
To find out more about STELLA & ALF, visit www.stellaandalf.blogspot.co.uk