As a child, I had dreams of working in fashion. My formative years were spent surrounded by creative women, my mother as a textile artist and my grandmother who taught me how to sew. Creating garments from old hand-me downs belonging to cousins and old scraps of fabrics, are some of my fondest memories. Growing up in South East Asia and Europe, between Singapore, Indonesia, London and Paris, allowed for my young creative mind to thrive within different cultures and environments. As an adult, I often find inspiration from moments spent in bustling textile markets, constantly surrounded by vibrant colours and textures, submerged in all those far away destinations.
The inspiration for the interior design of the Cheltenham boutique came from the want to re-create the feeling of far away destinations, a meeting place for my own memories to join those of all the pieces that adorn the shop floor.
Through school, I was always lead towards the Arts. It was during my BA at Central Saint Martins, that I found my true passion for historical dress, more specifically, Vintage Fashion. At the age of 20, I left London with nothing but a suitcase. Caught a train to Devon, walked through the doors of a Vintage shop, and under the careful and kind mentoring of my manager at the time, I learnt the trade. Within a year, she kindly offered me the opportunity that changed my life, I bought her vintage shop and made it my own.
The boutique has changed through the years, as have I. We have grown together, learnt together and most of all we have welcomed you together. Specialising in Vintage Fashion from the 1920’s to the 1960’s, each piece is hand chosen by yours truly, for its design, beauty, and history.
Whether it be online or in the boutique, you are just as much part of this story as I am.
Welcome to Willow Hilson.