Sunday, 8 August 2010


On the 7th of August 2010, two big events were celebrated in our lives; Roxy's third birthday and the opening of our much dreamed of shop, Nicholas & Steele.

There were cupcakes, pink bubbly, flowers but most exciting of all; customers.
Our first sale was, you guessed it, another charm bracelet! Yay!

We were blessed by a steady flow of both friends and family who came through the doors with great big smiles on their faces and left with bellies full of cupcakes and shopping bags full of loveliness.

Mel, my wonderful friend and talented art student, came to our rescue after I put out a Facebook SOS. I needed cupcakes as I had run out of time to make them myself. An hour later a call came through. Mel had just returned from South Africa and decided to spend her remaining day off being creative, so when she saw my post she volunteered. Having never baked cupcakes before she was a little nervous but just look at the results!

Mel, we love you for being such an over achiever and if you ever tire of social work, there is a little shop in West Wimbledon that will happily sell your cupcakes to an appreciative public.x

Another hero of the day was Mark, Steve's accountant nephew, who took our postcards to Raynes Park Station and high street and handed them out, inviting people to our opening. What a sweetheart.

Steve served cups of tea in mix 'n match china while I served the customers as they made their purchases. What a wonderful and fun day we had. The locals who popped in were very complimentary and it was truly fascinating chatting to them and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. I think our message of 'community is best' was appreciated and we had excellent feedback and financial success.

Thank you to all our friends and family who have supported us through the whole process and made it such fun. To my art class for allowing me to use them as a focus group on so many occassions.

To my colleagues for listening to my mad hat schemes through all those terms at school, and having to help with quality control as each ebay package was opened and judged fit or unfit in the staff room.

To Talitha for our gorgeous and much complimented branding.
Thank you too to my life coach, Sarah who planted in me a seed of self-belief all those months ago and opened my mind to the possibility of an 'otherness.'

To our friend Sue for her humour, kindness and belief in us.

To my parents and family in South Africa who have prayed for us and willed us through all the tough times and to Lynn who has been our publicity machine in the Midlands.

To all our friends and family in Rugby and beyond who have followed our journey and sent such lovely and encouraging messages, we are appreciative.
and finally, to my husband. You have inspired me and been my partner in all things. Thank you for never doubting me and allowing me to fly.

Three weeks ago we stood outside a brown shop that couldn't decide if it was an office or a tandoori restaurant.

Today it is a place of beauty, a place of fun and creativity. As we encounter the people of West Wimbledon and surrounds we want it to be a home away from home, were everyone will find a friendly welcome and a warm cup of tea waiting for them.

The inside no longer feels bare and soulless;

Thank you all, for following our story and for letting us know you were behind us. It is a wonderful feeling to be free of a life, which was devoid of possibility and felt 'wrong'. I lost my way for a while but am back on track and am following my much beloved motto in life which is, and always will be; 'when in doubt, do the courageous thing.'

I have found an old coat I had forgotten about and put it on and discovered..... it's a perfect fit.

Bon Chance everyone!


  1. Wow! The cupcakes are amazing, and all the designs are interesting.
    From the bare shop to what it is now is hard to believe, but all the luck in the world with your venture.

  2. Well done you guys, we wish you all the luck in the world.

    Lots of love

    Us Daltons

  3. You should write a book with the oodles of inspiration in your write-up! I am sure your words will be remembered for many years to come and give courage to go forth and achieve! Well done and Congratulations to the both of you! It looks wonderful, much love, Ruth (Rugby) xxx

  4. Sensational beings and opportunities are few and far between but you've both done it. Here's to aspiration, inspiration and living.
    Please may we have another round?
    PS Julie And Julia the movie- I adore because the supportive husbands are just like ours! It's wonderful knowing other couples are as fortunate as us.
    Bless you both and Happy Birthday Roxy! 3 Years!!!

  5. Holly and Steve - Firstly THANK YOU for my unexpected, beautiful Gift from your Gorgeous Vintage Shop. Your wares now proudly displayed from London to Bondi Beach. Rob was ever so proud of you both and your achievements.
    Cousin Karen - Sydney NSW Australia xx

  6. I am so delighted you have spread your loveliness to a delicious world of vintage in my beloved village ~ fabulous blog, fabulous peeps!!