Earlier this month, our owner Shelly had the honour of being interviewed by one of our amazing brands (and one of Shelly’s personal favourites) Grenson Shoes as part of their The Good News blog.

Here's what they spoke about: 

Your life in a nutshell and what are your latest projects?

My life revolves around my family and running two shops in Kent, one in Whitstable and the other in Margate. I am so lucky to be able to spend my time in two brilliant and very different seaside towns. Ruskin Whitstable has been open for nearly 4 years and Ruskin Margate just over a year.  We are currently engaged in a rebrand and are also in the process of improving our website.

What are you most proud of?

My Three Children who have grown into amazing people and whose opinions I value greatly. Also the fact that Garrie & I have grown Ruskin from nothing, we had no knowledge of the fashion industry and started the shop on a shoestring, we took advice from some amazing people in the industry, spent a lot of time researching online and most importantly listened to what our customers wanted. We originally opened Ruskin as a Men’s gift shop, with a few pieces of Common People, now Kestin Hare. Within months the shop had become a Menswear shop, the following year we expanded into Women’s wear, then we opened a second shop and then a website, all in just under 4 years!

Where do you live and what do you love about it?

We have lived in Whitstable for 30 years and have watched it develop into the vibrant town it is now. It has been a brilliant place to bring up the kids. Our life revolves around the sea, walking the dog, socialising, spending the summer at my sister’s beach hut. Whitstable also has a fantastic community, plenty of great shops, restaurants and pubs – what’s not to like?

Can you give us 5 places we should visit where you live and why?

My perfect day, walk the dog down to Whitstable for a coffee in Blueprint Coffee, drive over to Margate a take in an exhibition at The Turner Contemporary, Lunch in Angela’s for fantastic seafood, browse in all shops and give Millie another run on Margate Beach, come back to Whitstable for a G&T in The Twelve Taps.

What 3 songs should we add to the Grenson Spotify playlist?

Father John Misty – Bored in the USA

Bat for Lashes – Laura

Johnny Flynn – The Detectorists

What was your favourite holiday and did you make any discoveries of lesser known places you ate, drank, visited or slept can you share?

We visited Marrakech in February &I loved it. The vibrancy, the colour, smells the sights. We hired a car and drove into the Atlas Mountains which were awesome, we had Henna tattoo’s in a woman’s collective called The Henna Cafe. The Secret Garden was a place of peace and we spent a whole afternoon on the roof of the Nomad eating gorgeous food and snoozing in the sun… heaven!

One book you think everyone should read?

Cheating slightly I would recommend a trilogy, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials

One film everyone should see? Are you a stay at home Netflix person? Do you love the cinema?

To put a smile on your face and a fuzzy glow in our heart Paddington 2, at our local independent cinema in Westgate.  We love to come together over good food and Netflix or the Beeb in the Evening.

What store should everyone visit and why?

Kestin Hare Shop in Leith is brilliantly designed, great clothes and fab coffee shop behind it!

Who should we be following on instagram ?



Shop our Grenson edit for this season HERE


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