Both Graham and Carole have always been in the jewellery business and have been designing jewellery for 30 years. Graham has worked in the fashion and jewellery industries most of his working life.
The two met in London and owned a retail shop when they were only in their twenties. Carole concentrated on the design and the buying whereas Graham focused on the selling and the retail. A perfect team you could say!
Graham also works as an independent consultant for various jewellery brands which means he travels to places such as China, Hong Kong, Canada and Thailand. He also works as a guest presenter on the QVC Shopping Channel.
The family moved down to Plymstock 15 years ago from London as they both always wanted to live by the sea. Once settled, they both realised that something was missing – those independent boutique shops that you would typically find in places like Salcombe, St Ives and Marbella. They felt that it was their calling to bring a bit of glamour into Plymouth.
Carole and Graham created their own jewellery brand 10 years ago because of their love for jewellery design and named it Lily & Lotty – Lily being their youngest daughter and Lotty being their middle daughter (their eldest daughter Chloe runs a successful yoga studio in Cornwall). This brand is still stocked in jewellers up and down the country and of course, is available in blame LILY.
Living in Plymstock, the couple watched the old HSBC bank being converted into two smaller shops. One day on a visit to the Broadway, Carole decided to make an unplanned enquiry as to what the rent would be for a small shop. This seed then grew into a vision of both Carole and Graham owning a small Boutique shop in Plymouth, and both being quite ‘gung-ho’, they just said, ‘Let’s do it!’ Just 6 months after enquiring about the rent, the family opened blame LILY to the public.
Before opening, the couple worked tirelessly to make their shop look fabulous. The floors were hand-painted and stencilled by Graham and Carole and they sourced second hand and antique furniture which they updated or painted it themselves, adding unusual props and displays as well as great lighting.
The shop exterior is adorned by a gorgeous flower arch which changes at Christmas time with fairy lights and winter flowers. When walking into blame LILY, you can appreciate the love, care and attention to detail the family have put into the store. The stock is always beautifully displayed – ‘It might be like an Aladdin’s Cave but the products are always stylish and unique, and at reasonable prices.’
Predominantly aimed at a female market, they sell clothing, a large selection of Sterling Silver and fashion jewellery, watches, gifts, handbags, accessories and homewares. Their products are constantly changing with the seasons and Carole works hard to source the right products at the right price.
blame LILY are also the only stockist in Plymouth of Katie Loxton bags, candles and accessories; Powder Designs socks and scarves; Joma Jewellery and Ted Baker gifts. They also stock a huge range of Bessie handbags and purses.
There is also a small men’s section with a choice of watches, wallets, socks, belts, leather bracelets and stainless-steel jewellery – popular for men’s gift ideas.
The small team of 7 all share something special in common and it is the ability to make the customers happy. The retail staff like to go above and beyond to ensure their customers have a wonderful shopping experience and leave with a smile on their face. All purchases are beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, and then placed into a blame LILY branded bag, fully complimentary. They want their customers to feel special and well looked after.
Their Facebook page is worth following as they are always posting about new products or doing videos of fashion shows with their staff who love to model. This is a great way to keep up to date with special offers and new stock arriving.
They are even thinking of planning their very own fashion show, here on the Broadway!
Carole mainly focuses on the buying and sourcing of products and Graham primarily does the retail and selling with his skill of displaying products to attract customers. In 5 years time, they would love to move to a slightly larger shop on the Broadway to enable them to stock an even wider range of products.
blame LILY has proved to us, and I’m sure it will to you, that they are no ordinary clothing and jewellery shop. They are a community of friendly, helpful and caring people who put the customer’s satisfaction above anything else. Their stock is like nothing else in Plymouth, it is affordable, unique and you really will find something different. Support your local business, come on in and have a browse. The shop is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm (ish), slightly later in November/December.
To find out more, head to their Facebook page @blameLILYplymouth
29B THE BROADWAY, PLYMSTOCK, PLYMOUTH, PL9 7AF