The face behind the shop
Jersey has a great selection of independent boutiques, but do you know who owns them? Here are a few of the faces behind our local shops...
Charlie Van de Ruyter
Being creative and having an eye for detail, Charlie started her career as a visual merchandiser. Charlie says she's always been a risk taker and in 2009 she took the plunge and opened her own boutique in St Aubins.
Travelling around Asia and India gave Charlie the taste for one off pieces and unique designs whilst recycling and selling her travelling finds at car boots gave her the confidence and experience in sales.
At ChiChi you'll find an array of pieces to suit most styles. The main theme throughout the boutique is stylish, bohemian and quirky with accessories and jewellery to liven up the most basic outfit. In the summer you'll find kaftans, maxi dresses and holiday-wear all in bold prints and colours. Over the winter you'll find everything you need for the cooler months including hats, scarves and gloves, chunky knitwear, coats and boots.
It isn't all about clothes though, you'll also come across one off gifts, stationery and greeting cards.
When Charlie isn't working she enjoys listening to music, spending time with her family and going on adventures with her daughter.
The Gooseberry Bush
Sam Gaudin is a qualified Nursery Nurse NNEB with over 10 years of nursery education, in between having her own children, including running a Pre-school for 5 years.
Sam worked with her mother running The Gooseberry Bush at First Tower, taking over the reins 10 years ago when she retired. The shop then moved to Rondels Farm and expanded.
Sam says she is inspired by her customers; listening and watching what they do with the lovely pieces in their homes inspires her to create a look that is both Nordic and contemporary.
When she isn't working or looking for goodies for the shop, her hobbies include Pilates, her grown-up family and travelling (when permitted!).
The Gooseberry Bush
Rondels Farm, Trinity
Hapi was born out of a love for island living; fresh sea air and enjoying the beautiful beaches and water that surrounds us. Hapi is made up of 2 stores that face each other in Liberty Wharf. The original store is made up of lifestyle brands like Animal, Billabong, Hey Dude, Mustang, Havaianas and the second store is dedicated to running and fitness ON Running, Oofos, Brooks, Lurv sport, Goldbergh, Stance.
Matt has always been interested in setting up his own projects and working for himself. Before Hapi, he and a best buddy had a business called Thrones, a luxury portable toilet business.
Hapi is continually evolving as Matt tries to create not just a shopping experience but a destination. They offer a 'try before you buy' with ON running shoes, enabling customers to not only try them on but take them out for a few days or a lap around the block.
Outside of work, Matt loves all sports but especially sports that enable him to escape from the day to day ups and downs, like surfing and running. 'I have been in the sea every day for the last 7 months, even if it's just for 10 minutes. Jersey lends itself to the outdoors and we are truly lucky in what we have around us.'
Hapi, Liberty Wharf
Opened in 1959 by the Jesson family, Neptune is now run by their daughter Susie.
Susie endeavours to find styles that are a bit different and never has too many of each, thereby decreasing the risk of running into lookalikes. Sizes start at a 10 up to a 22 but selected styles are available in an 8 and 24.
Neptune has a fantastic range of Robell trousers (amazing choice and very comfortable), check coats and jackets from Spanish company Bariloche (superb quality), beautiful dresses and skirts from Pomodoro plus a fantastic choice of bamboo socks and gift boxes from Thought - ladies, men and children.
With a name like Neptune, Susie always ensures she has a great choice of swimwear all year round, ideal for all those far away holidays that at present we are just dreaming of. Susie by contrast can’t wait to hit the slopes once we're all able to start travelling again. However, in the meantime she'll have to make do with trying to rabbit proof her garden and keep herself fit.
Neptune, Gorey Pier
When you first enter West Collections, you’ll be greeted with a warm, friendly smile from Deirdre who opened the shop in 2007.
After years of working in finance, Deirdre wanted a change, and with fashion being her passion it seemed only right to open her own boutique.
The shop sells various fashions from casualwear right through to occasion wear – whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in West Collections. If you’re a little stuck, don’t worry, Deirdre prides herself on offering a personal shopping experience and will help find you exactly what you need - including the things you didn’t know you needed!
You’ll also find a fantastic range of jewellery and accessories if you just want to boost an outfit.
Downstairs in ‘The Base’ ‘s where you’ll come across the home interiors. From shabby chic to sparkly and glamorous, whatever your home style, you won’t be leaving empty handed!
Deirdre loves working for herself and is always happy to see her loyal customers return time and time again. Outside of work, Deirdre enjoys socialising with her friends and walking her dog.
West Collections, Les Quennevais Precinct
Michelle O'connell, originally from London, launched Amélie 7 years ago. “I wanted to start up a gift shop that had an indie London feel, something like the shops in Covent Garden. I was starting from scratch with no business contacts in the field, so I went to a trade exhibition and collated my first collection.”
The star of the show is Snoopy, closely followed by Tintin and Snowy. “We have a massive fanbase for our Miffy collection too, but it's not all about licensed brands, as we also provide gifts in the categories of wellbeing, fragrances, jewellery, homeware, lighting, dog lovers, interiors, stationery, greetings cards - basically treats that you don't need but can't resist.”
When Michelle isn't working, she enjoys cooking - everything from Portuguese canja through to fine dining. Michelle also loves art and interiors, and is known as the crochet queen, modern crochet though!
If you can't get down to the shop, don't worry, Amélie is now online with a fully functioning website, www.ameliegifts.je.
19 Bath Street, St Helier