What distinguishes a market town like Oundle from shopping centres like Rushton Lakes or Corby is the range of independent shops with unique, personalised service. Tucked along St Osyth’s Lane, just around the corner from the Market Place, Diversity Boutique is just such a shop, offering timeless styles blended with fashion forward trends.
Owner Nicola Charles relocated to Oundle from Brighton, and was inspired to open a new shop with the independent creative edge that characterises the Brighton Lanes.
The “diversity” in the name reflects the range of clothes, accessories and jewelry that she stocks, which include Scandi and Italian labels that do not trade in the UK, and are not easily available online.
This little gem of a shop showcases a wide-ranging collection with a palette of pale neutrals to bright prints, and smart casual wear to special occasion pieces. The selection is unique and not duplicated in high street shops. Ms Charles said her range of clothing is “inspired by fashion trends, but not driven by them.”
Offering a personalised styling service to help women develop the confidence to try something new is one of Ms Charles’ principal aims. “I want to offer women the chance to step out of their comfort zone.”
Her styling ethos is about layering: “I aim to offer clothes that can be worn year-round and that suit all body shapes.” For example, she shows how a jersey dress edged with lace can be layered with jeans, a jumper or a fur-edged gilet.
Alongside clothes, Diversity stocks a wide selection of good value, glittering costume jewelry with presentation boxes and branded bags that are perfect for presents. Her Italian leather bags come in classic leather finishes as well as eye-catching colours.
The shop is packed with unique items for discerning shoppers. And what stands out is the quality of the range on offer. “My clothes are not disposable,” Ms Charles said. “I look for quality in the construction and styling. I want my customers to come back.”