Discovery

Behind The Scenes at Pentlebay

So I thought I would take this opportunity to write a little bit about me and Pentlebay; why I started the company and what I get up to day-to-day. 🙂

I’m Clare, 43, mum to Joseph and Mia.

Some facts about me…

  • I’m originally from Cornwall and love being beside the sea.
  • Pentlebay is named after my favourite beach on the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast.
  • I live in Royston, Hertfordshire now and have lots of family here – including 14 nieces and nephews!
  • My favourite treat is chocolate or anything sweet! 
  • Anyone that knows me will say that I always feel the cold, I live for the warmer months! In winter, I am always found under a blanket or near the fire.
  • My favourite holiday was to Rome & Naples before we had children. I hope to take the kids back there one day!

How this all started…

I started Pentlebay a couple of years ago, but started working more on it during lockdown. And since leaving my job in clothing retail I am now working full-time, balancing this with looking after our 2 children.

The idea for Pentlebay was born after having kids, turning 40 and really having no idea where to shop anymore. I chatted to colleagues who felt the same and also wanted something original & unique to wear – rather than the top or dress that everyone else in the office had! I decided to use my knowledge of retail and a love of clothes and put this into my own project designing clothes that I would want to wear. I wanted clothes that would fit well, be made from natural, good-quality fabrics and be timeless so they can be worn for many years to come and still look great.

I do love a dress, particularly a midi dress which can be styled up or down and take you through season after season. They are an easy-to-wear, ready-made outfit and they always make me feel comfortable and stylish.


Day-to-day…

At the moment, I am working on some dress and blouse designs for autumn. I tend to get new ideas from magazines, social media and Pinterest, among others and also from talking to friends. I love selecting fabrics; I choose natural or sustainable fabrics such as cotton or viscose. I’m partial to a polka dot, ditsy florals and anything animal! All samples are made in my size so that I check the fit myself and then amend measurements accordingly. It’s a crazy time when we get a new order shipped to us; boxes everywhere and a lot of counting! We are currently waiting on some midi dresses for summer which will keep me busy when they arrive. I’m loving the selection of new fabrics and I am excited to get them photographed.


Photoshoots…

When we have the clothing, it’s time to get some lifestyle and detailed shots taken that we need for the website. The latest photo shoot we did was at a local studio, Creation Lab Studio, and we also got some lifestyle shots at Sheene Mill nearby. This is always a great part of the journey, getting to see your designs come to life with some great new pics for the website and social media. We are lucky where we live to have some great countryside and venues for the shoots.


I’m looking forward to the year ahead and all the new designs we have to come! Have a great week.

Royston Tuesday Talks Part 4 – Forever Flowers

Hi everyone! We hope you are keeping well and staying safe during this second lockdown. With just over 5 weeks to go (!!) until Christmas, and as a family with young kids, we’re taking this stay at home opportunity to get into the festive spirit a little earlier this year.  From present purchases to thinking about how we’re going to decorate the house, Christmas is very much on the radar in our household!  So with this festive cheer in mind, our #RoystonTuesdayTalks series is all about flowers. Here we are chatting to the hugely talented Ashley from Forever Flowers 😊. Enjoy…


1) Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do.

Forever Flowers is a small local business creating bespoke artificial floral displays. Creations include, hand tied bouquets, wreaths and garlands which are all handmade to order.


2) When did you start Forever Flowers and what/who inspired you to start the businesses?

Forever Flowers came to life in July 2020! I have always enjoyed being creative and have always loved the idea of having a business to call my own, but I decided to finally take the leap in the height of lockdown number 1. My original inspiration came when I was planning my own wedding. We wanted to add our personal stamp and to keep costs down, so I decided to create our own bouquets and table pieces. We had such amazing comments about my creations.


3) How involved are you in the local Royston community?

My flowers are currently displayed locally at ‘Homemade’ which is located in Kneesworth (https://www.homemadeatthebarn.co.uk/). The barn is filled with other local talented business owners who all showcase their products. I have also worked alongside other local businesses to create a wedding package to help entertain children at weddings which has been published as a blog. I use social media to reach out to the community and to share my designs, and also advertise locally in the Listing. I love supporting and working alongside other businesses and hope to work with more in the future.


4) How do you keep up to date with the latest trends and techniques in your industry?

The seasonal changes are my biggest inspiration! I love using autumnal colours in my creations and of course pumpkins and pine cones! I am also in preparation for Christmas. Given the year we have all had so far, Christmas is going to be very different and I feel people will make more effort to decorate their own homes to make it as special as possible. I would love my designs to fill the homes in Royston.


5) Are you ever inspired by the fashion world when designing your flower arrangements?

As mentioned, my wedding was my original inspiration, so spent a lot of time looking at bridal fashion to help me choose the best flowers to match the finer detail on my dress and wedding colour scheme. I also love country fashion so am often inspired to use wildflowers and wheat in my bouquets.


6) Do you have any top tips for our wonderful Pentlebay customers, on how to pursue a creative career?

I was very apprehensive when starting Forever Flowers, but I am very glad to have taken the leap as the feedback from my customers has made it worthwhile! If it’s something you love doing, share it with others! You’ll never know until you try and having a happy customer at the end of a sale is the best feeling ever!


To find out more about Forever Flowers head over to https://www.instagram.com/foreverflowersbyashley/ or https://www.facebook.com/ashleysforeverflowers/


Thanks for reading, stay safe.

Royston Tuesday Talks Part 3 – EllaEver Design

Hello Autumn…one of THE most beautiful times of year! The leaves are changing colours, the air is crisp, the light is golden…everything about this season is simply breath-taking! I know as a family we’ve certainly enjoyed going on lots of crisp Autumnal walks this month, in and around our lovely hometown of Royston…

#ShoppingLocal is something we’re super passionate about, both as a family and at Pentlebay, so with the festive (present buying!) season fast approaching, we thought we’d add a sprinkle of sparkle to this month’s #RoystonTuesdayTalks and chat to the lovely Gaby of EllaEver Design 😊. Enjoy…


1) Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do.

I’m Gaby from EllaEver Design based from my home in Royston. I design and make simple, timeless and unique jewellery which I sell online via Etsy and Instagram. A lot of love and care goes into making each piece which I hope shows in the finished product.


2) When did you start EllaEver Design and what/who inspired you to start the business?

I’ve always been quite creative, my favourite subject at school was art and then I studied Fashion with Textiles at college. I’ve always enjoyed making things, sewing, knitting and painting. I first got into jewellery making about 15 years ago when a friend and I found a cute bead shop whilst out on our lunch break. It was like an Aladdin’s cave of gems and jewels and I was immediately hooked! I enrolled myself on a few evening classes in jewellery making techniques and my love for this hobby grew from there.  My hobby has slowly turned into a business for me now that I am at home with my 3 children.


3) How do you keep up to date with the latest trends and techniques in your industry?

Mainly through social media and magazines. Pinterest is a particular favourite of mine and I can get lost on there for hours! If there is a new technique I want to try I will often learn from a YouTube tutorial!


4) Are you ever inspired by the fashion world when producing artwork?

Yes definitely as well as friendships, family, travel and nature. I like to think I have a certain style, and aim to stay true to that mostly, but will always try to tie it in with the colours of the season or current trends. Most of my jewellery is simple, timeless, delicate and affordable – pieces that can be worn everyday and long into the evening.


5) Do you have any top tips for our wonderful Pentlebay customers, on how to pursue a creative career?

Find something that makes you happy then find ways to promote your creations like social media or local markets, start networking and see what possibilities these bring. Currently EllaEver Design is still quite small but who knows what exciting opportunities the future holds and in the meantime I’m staying busy and positive doing something I love!


To check out Gaby’s gorgeous handmade jewellery collection, head over to her Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/EllaEverDesign


Thanks for reading, have a lovely day!

Royston Tuesday Talks Part 2 – Katie Moulton

#SupportingLocalBusiness is something we’re really passionate about at Pentlebay Clothing. This has inspired us to create a monthly #RoystonTuesdayTalks series – where we chat to other local businesses from our lovely hometown in Royston, Hertfordshire.

& this month we’ve had the pleasure of chatting to the hugely talented Artist Katie Moulton 😊. Enjoy…


1) Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do.

I’m Katie and I run a nail salon, ‘Fancy Fingers’, from my home in Royston and I have also recently started up a new art business, ‘Katie Louise Art’.

Fancy Fingers – I work with gel polish and I love creating lots of new nail art designs. I have over 230 colours and over 100 glitters to choose from! Glitter is my absolute favourite and you will often find me wearing full glittery nails! 

Katie Louise Art – I mainly paint animals and flowers. I produce prints of my work, paint commissions on request and have a range of greeting cards. Most recently I have started to paint pet portraits which are proving very popular.


2) When did you start Fancy Fingers and Katie Louise Art and what/who inspired you to start the businesses?

Both businesses actually started up as hobbies and I never intended on them becoming jobs! I feel very lucky that I have been able to turn two hobbies that I have really enjoyed into jobs that I love.

Fancy Fingers started in 2013. After having my second child and not returning to work I decided to find something I could do for myself and to be able to switch off from ‘being Mum’ in the evenings. After completing a home course I soon realised I was passionate about ‘doing nails’ and decided to book a professional course and get fully qualified and learn everything in lots more detail. I needed a job that was going to work around my husband’s shifts and my two young children and this was absolutely perfect!

Katie Louise Art only started in July this year after finding a new love during lockdown. While I couldn’t be painting nails I decided to have a try at painting something different and spent many evenings learning lots of techniques and following tutorials which I really enjoyed. After sharing a couple of photos on my social media accounts I gained lots of interest from people asking about purchasing my paintings and I decided to set up ‘Katie Louise Art’.

I’m lucky that my Husband and Dad have always been very supportive with my ideas and encouraged me to pursue them. My Dad runs a business too, Delissimo in Buntingford, so I am often on the phone with him asking for his business advice which is always something I listen carefully to and appreciate his experience with!


3) How involved are you in the local Royston community?

I have pretty much lived in Royston my whole life and really like it here.

During lockdown I wanted to create something nice for our community so when my nail business had to be closed I started ‘Royston Goes on a Bear Hunt’ where households requested a number from me which they then displayed in their windows along with a bear to create a type of hunt around Royston. The initial idea was to get a few houses (I was hoping for 50) to display bears for the little children to look out for while out on their daily exercise. This quickly became very popular with 1268 houses/businesses taking part and we raised £4135 for NHS Charities. Although this isn’t linked to my businesses in any way I have now become known to many as ‘The Bear Hunt Lady’!!


4) How do you keep up to date with the latest trends and techniques in your industries?

Nail trends change all the time! Social media is great for keeping up to date on the new designs/crazes! I use Instagram a lot for inspiration.

I also subscribe to Scratch Magazine, which is the nail industries leading magazine. This is always full of lots of advice, what’s becoming popular, new techniques and other nail technician’s work. I have had my salon featured in their ‘Salon in the Spotlight’ feature and also had photographs of lots of my nail designs in the printed magazine and on their online galleries.


5) Are you ever inspired by the fashion world when producing artwork?

Always! I notice patterns on everything and often think how it could be turned into a nail design! There are patterns and designs wherever you look. Often clients might have an outfit that they want nails matched to so I can create something bespoke to them to go with a particular outfit!


6) Do you have any top tips for our wonderful Pentlebay customers, on how to pursue a creative career?

My advice is don’t necessarily go looking for it. Do things you enjoy and love in life and see how those things could be turned in to a job for you. If you enjoy your work and love what you do it really does make it so much easier to wake up for!


To find out more about Katie Louise Art head over to www.katielouiseart.co.uk and if you’re in need of some well-deserved pampering check out www.facebook.com/fancyfingersroyston


Thanks for reading, have a lovely day!

Royston Tuesday Talks Part 1 – Kelly’s Kitchen

As you may know already, #SupportingLocalBusiness has always been something we’ve cared about at Pentlebay Clothing. Following this year’s events, it is now, (more than ever), so important that we celebrate and support our fellow locals. This has inspired us to create a monthly #RoystonTuesdayTalks series – where we’ll be chatting to other businesses from our lovely hometown in Hertfordshire.

So, to sweeten the deal and kick this series off, we thought we’d start with a Q&A with Kelly Da Silva Fernandes from Kelly’s Kitchen 😊. Enjoy…


1) Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do…

I’m Kelly from Kelly’s Kitchen based in Royston. I make wedding cakes, celebration cakes, lots and lots of cupcakes and treats.

I also run Children’s Baking Parties and online Virtual Cupcake Decorating Parties.

Pre Covid I used to have a stall on Royston Market, I now supply my treats to the new cafe Kooky Nohmad at the weekends.


2) When did you start Kelly’s Kitchen and what/who inspired you to start the business?

I started the business in March 2019 after years of making cakes for family and friends. I used to regularly bake with my Mum and my Grandmother as a child too. One of my earliest memories is standing on a stool in her kitchen helping to bake a cake.

My Dad actually inspired me to start Kelly’s Kitchen. When I was younger, he had his own business delivering fresh bread, baked goods and milk to residents in the villages surrounding Royston. I used to join him on his rounds!

In the early hours of the morning, we would go to Days Bakery HQ in Ashwell to pick up the fresh bread that was still warm. I used to love going down to the bottom of the bakery where the cakes were decorated, and used to watch in awe. I was often treated to a warm jam doughnut straight off the cooling rack!

My Dad has worked very hard all his life and now he’s retired he often helps me with the business side of things – which is invaluable to me with his experience.


3) How involved are you in the local Royston community?

Apart from a brief stint in Leicester and London for Uni and work, I’ve lived in Royston all my life.

I’m passionate about local businesses in Royston, and have made many friends that also run small businesses. I love working with them and have had lots of collaborations, supporting each other. You can often find me in Banyers House or Kooky Nohmad meeting local people and organising exciting projects.

During lockdown when I was closed for 8 weeks, I ran online bake-alongs on Facebook. My children and I really enjoyed them and was so pleased to receive photos every week of proud local children with their bakes.


4) How do you keep up to date with the latest baking and cake decorating trends?

Wedding publications, Instagram and Pinterest are amazing resources for inspiration and trends. I always give a trend a short time before I try it as they are not always for everyone and I’m selective about what I try out.

Personally I prefer to take inspiration from all around me. Nature is hugely inspirational, particularly for wedding cakes. I was recently at Therfield Heath for a wedding photo shoot with Gareth Jones Photography, and took my own photos of the wild flowers – thinking of new designs for wedding cakes. I often use fresh flowers on cakes but I absolutely love making delicate sugar flowers too.

My logo was actually inspired by Champneys in Henlow, a very special place that I go to every year with my Mum. Kelly’s Kitchen logo is based on some of the decorative features from the spa.

I used to really enjoy going to cake shows too, which are not only a fun day out but very inspirational.


5) Baking has become more and more about the look and aesthetics, as well as the taste. Are you ever inspired by fashion trends when building your delicious creations?

Fashionable colour combinations often filter down from fashion to cake design, especially for weddings. Some couples are very set on the style of wedding. They pull together resources to show how the colours and style can work throughout all the elements of the wedding including, of course, the cake!

When I work with other suppliers on photo shoots there is always a mood board to show the vision for how the colours, textures and flowers complement each other.


6) Do you have any top tips for our wonderful Pentlebay customers, on how to make THE perfect cupcake?

With cupcakes it’s all about getting a light sponge with a flat top so that you can pipe a swirl! Making sure the oven is not too hot will help you get that flat top. I bake at 160 (fan) for approx 20 mins. 😊


To find out more about Kelly’s Kitchen or to treat yourself to some deliciously tasty creations, head over to https://kellyscakekitchen.co.uk/


Thanks for reading, have a lovely day!