Love is not just for Christmas! Read how Miss Sophie Wootten channelled heartbreak in to hope...
Meet Sophie Wootten
aka ‘The Sweetie’ 36 Taurus Independent Boutique Owner Martini drinker Cashmere lover
So tell me about your shop “May London”…
Clothes and retail are in my blood. My mum, Hazel (the original Fashionista) owned a very successful shop in Leicester, where I’m from originally. I literally grew up in the business... Never one to take the easy route however, I left the comforts of home to try new things. Turns out, fashion was my one true love and it was time to go back to my roots.
What made you decide to do that?
Figuring there had to be more to life than retail, I moved to London at 21 with a bunch of friends and for a long time had a blast – few responsibilities, so much energy, a fair few hangovers, life and the future was exciting…
So what changed?
A few years into London life and the unimaginable happened, my wonderful Dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was such a shock, we’re a close family but dad was our rock... Naturally I wasn’t my own priority, it was all consuming.
Are you saying you lost direction over the years?
Looking back I think it's pretty clear that I did. I’ve always had a strong work ethic, something I learnt from both my parents, so whatever the job I gave it 100%, but I certainly lost my motivation to do something I loved… Losing a parent is unimaginable heartbreak so it’s easy for everything else to feel a bit irrelevant.
Was this eventually one of the main motivators to take back control?
Absolutely. Although I learnt a whole lot trying different things, I never felt settled. I was always moving from job to job, but slowly each new role strengthened my belief that I was wasting time... Your life is precious and, albeit corny, I firmly believe you should at least try to carve out a life that will make you happy. Time can be all too short, you have to spend it wisely.
Was it an easy decision?
No! It was bloody years in the making! I have a mortgage and responsibilities so leaving the security of a regular income was a scary leap... But with the unending, incredible support of my mum and close friends, I realised it was now or never and I took comfort from knowing it would have made my Dad really proud too.
And now May London is celebrating it’s first birthday!! So exciting!!
It is!! And what a journey it’s been! Owning your own business comes with a pretty steep learning curve, but I feel so lucky to do what I love (I mean I get to play dress up, everyday!). I can honestly say, no matter how challenging a day might be, I never look back…
So how are you going to celebrate?!
Honestly, what I really want to do, is give something back to my mum. Without her I'd never have been able to make MAY a reality. Something really important to her (and to us as a family) is the amazing work LOROS (a Leicestershire Hospice charity) do… This is where Lydia from The Brighter Times comes in!
Yes you! For everyone reading, Lydia, aka ‘Beanie’ is one of my best friends, and having someone who creates a fun platform for positivity seemed like a fantastic opportunity to make my vision happen. I always thought The Brighter Times design aesthetic would transfer so well into fashion!
You’re nice, thanks!
Pleasure! So over coffees (ok, G&T's), taking one of my favourite designs from your Good Vibes card range, and combining it with my fashion and retail expertise, limited edition LOVE tees were born! Serious style points with positive messaging!
Great idea! Well done!
We’re both really happy to say that 100% of all profits will be donated to LOROS!
Team work does in fact, make the dream work...
Oh! All LOVE tees are climate neutral too! Manufactured solely using renewable green energy from wind and solar power!!
Earth positive, nice!
…And where can you get hold of them?
They’re sold in store or online at www.shopmay.co.uk – so go get yours! Show LOVE!
Show LOVE indeed!! And finally, Sophie, any advice for humankind?
Be brave and have complete confidence in what's important to you, because confidence is really contagious! Never underestimate the power of red lipstick and the only trend worth following is timelessness.
Follow what Sophie is up to @mayboutiquelondon
Peace & Love!