A POPULAR Stroud shop is celebrating 40 years of business success.
Moonflower, which stocks unique jewellery, women’s clothes, accessories, shoes and gifts, has been running since 1979 and moved to its prime location in the high street in 1986.
Over the years, shop owner Fiona Mills Carlyon has focussed on sourcing unusual and beautiful pieces, made ethically from natural fabrics.
In 1989 the business was doing so well that Fiona and her former husband Tristram branched out into Moonflower Too which still stands further down the high street.
Fiona says she is hugely grateful to the Stroud community for supporting Moonflower.
“I’d like to thank this wonderful community for all their support,” she said.“Without them a shop on a high street has no relevance at all.”
Fiona created the Moonflower brand at the young age of 21.
Originally she had studied art and hoped to go into jewellery design.
But when she couldn’t find a suitable course, she took a job at a jewellery and clothing store called ‘Moonbird’, where the proprietor Douglas Sibbald began teaching her the jeweller’s craft.
Fiona loved working in Moonbird and was dismayed when after two years Douglas decided to emigrate to New Zealand.Determined to keep the shop going, she offered to take it on herself.
“I borrowed money from the bank and bought the business from him,” she said.
And so, substituting ‘bird’ for ‘flower’, Moonflower was born.
Six years later, in 1985, Fiona was walking up Stroud High Street, pushing her toddler in a buggy, when she saw and instantly fell in love with an empty shop – number 55.
“I thought, ‘that is a lovely shop, why has no-one taken it on? It’s the nicest one’.”
After contacting the shop’s agent, it turned out that the shop had just become available, so a delighted Fiona took it on and moved her business in there.
Four decades on and Fiona says she is still passionate about serving the Stroud community, working with her colleagues at Moonflower, and the beautiful clothing and jewellery there.
The Moonflower team marked the shop’s anniversary with cake and fizz in the shop.