Portrait of Bath: Grace & Mabel

Daniela Benson, Shelley Presland and Kirstie Smith, directors of Grace & Mabel

Grace & Mabel in George Street brings a sparkle of colour to even the greyest day in Bath – meet the three sisters who created this innovative clothing store.

One Friday afternoon in 2007 Daniela Benson stumbled across a lovely independent boutique on Regent Street in Clifton and discovered that the shop lease was on the market. She approached her sisters Shelley and Kirstie about the idea of taking on the lease and they were immediately excited. The small fashion boutique in Clifton Village established itself quickly, and three years later they opened a shop in Bath. The shops have built a loyal customer following because of their friendly and personal service.

All three sisters have backgrounds in fashion design or retail. Daniela trained in Fashion Design at the London College of Fashion and the University of the West of England. Kirstie went to London at the age of 18 and worked for Whistles for almost 10 years, later becoming the manager of Karen Millen in Bristol. Shelley worked at Marks & Spencer, with roles ranging from sales to customer service.

We love working together as sisters and know each other well enough to use our own strengths to our advantage”

Grace & Mabel stocks mainly British and European clothing and looks for sustainable brands, conscious of the significant impact that the fashion industry has on the environment. This is not a fast fashion business; the clothes are rather timeless investments with longevity. The sisters feel strongly about the role of independent retailers within the retail ecosystem, investing as they do in the local economy and the local community.

“We love working together as sisters and know each other well enough to use our own strengths to our advantage. The whole set-up works very well and we are good at sharing duties. We trust one another 100% and share the same high standards and aspirations.

“We are best friends who love spending our days together at work surrounded by beautiful clothes, a fantastic team and lovely customers!”, says Daniela.

Grace & Mabel, 3 George Street, Bath
Tel 01225 445511; graceandmabel.co.uk
Portrait by Joe Short. Joe is an award-winning photographer based in Bath. joeshort.com