Yesterday I spent a very fun morning… well actually it was afternoon by the time I left (sorry girls…) shooting the fabulous ladies at Looby Loo’s Boutique in the High Street Arcade and the equally fabulous interior of the shop.
Looby Loo’s is a vintage and retro boutique and is co-owned by Lowri Grove, who set up the business with her mum a couple of years ago after realising there was pretty much nowhere in Cardiff that suited her tastes or that inspired her to shop.
After making frequent trips to London, the idea for Looby Loo’s was created and with her business savvy mum she set up the shop. Lowri is responsible for the majority of the buying, and says that when they bought the shop it was pretty much a blank canvas for them to create this look.
Like stepping into a set from Mad Men, none of the furniture (apart from the hat stand) is modern, and dittys from the 40s, 50s and 60s can be heard pumping from what appears to be an old-fashioned radio (it’s actually some speakers strategically positioned behind… there’s a little insider secret for you).
Upstairs is stocked with new clothes in a vintage style, along with vintage and retro crockery, accessories, shoes and other titbits. Downstairs is a marvellous basement with vintage clothing and more accessories.
If vintage is your thing, it would be easy to get lost in this shop for a whole day, indeed, I’m pleased to say that while I was there the shop was pretty busy and a fair amount of sales were made, but Lowri did tell me some interesting things about business trends in the arcades.
First of all, match days are actually a nightmare. People who want to shop tend to avoid town on match days so the arcades can actually be left pretty empty (this makes sense now that I think about it – when I lived out of town I’d avoid it like the plague on Six Nations day), and it’s difficult to predict which day will be busy. Sometimes you can have a dead Saturday and a manic Monday, for instance.
Many of the shops in the arcades are closed on Sundays, but Looby Loo’s stays open. It must be difficult knowing what to do when places like St David’s and Queen Street are open on Sunday, when you’re trying to compete with them. It seems obvious that there is less footfall in the arcades on a Sunday, but if there was a bit more promotion that the shops were still open, you can’t help but wonder if the place could find more buzz.
Also in the shop today was Lowri’s cousin, Nia, who helps out on the weekends. It’s great to see them ‘keeping it in the family’ and of course, seeing both Lowri and Nia dressed up to the nines in the style of the shop itself is quite wonderful, and from my perspective, made for some beautiful portraits (maybe I’m biased).
Anyway, after spending probably a bit longer than I should have inside, I finally left them to the rest of their Saturday and came away with over 200 pictures – oh my. Don’t worry you don’t have to scroll through quite so many here, but there are quite a lot in the post. If you want to see even more, you can find them on my Looby Loo’s set on Flickr.
Hope you enjoy, any feedback is most welcome in the comments box below!