Against the odds, there are still businesses that have been setting up shop in Durham during the pandemic – our previous cover star was Mark at brand-new independent gift shop Malin & Mac, and this month we headed to the lovely Fowlers Yard to meet Michelle at sustainable luxury clothing brand Freya Lillie.
Hopefully everyone knows where Fowlers Yard is – it’s tucked down near the river, behind Silver Street, and it’s a vibrant cluster of independent creative businesses, with its own Facebook page. There’s also a great feature on all the Fowlers Yard businesses in Durham BID’s latest “Life in Durham” magazine.
Freya Lillie is one of Fowlers Yard’s newest arrivals, having opened there in August.
The theme of “sustainable luxe” is what drives Freya Lillie, with everything 100% produced from linen and organic materials, and made to order to reduce waste.
After launching successfully online, with customers around the world, owner Michelle Kearney, who is from Durham, was keen to establish a base in the city.
Now, Freya Lillie’s beautiful clothing is not only available to click and collect from Cottage 1 at Fowlers Yard, but is actually designed, created and hand-finished here on site in Durham and at another location down the road in Bishop Auckland. You can’t get much more local than that!
In the coming months, Michelle plans to also open up Cottage 1 as a shop, so that customers can see first hand the gorgeous clothing that she creates for babies, children and women. For a flavour in the meantime, the elegant linen shirt that she is wearing in our picture is one of her own creations.
We wish Michelle and Freya Lillie every success in growing a business that is already winning more and more fans, and was namedropped in Hello! magazine just a few months ago.
It’s a nice reminder, too, that businesses which start online can end up making a splash in bricks-and-mortar retail – it’s not just everything moving in the opposite direction!
Be sure to visit the website at freya-lillie.com, where you can shop the full range and learn more about the business and its values.