Resisting Valentines Day is a habit many of us get in to for many reasons.
Perhaps you're avoiding being embroiled in a money making scheme designed by consumers bleeding you of your well earned cash. Or maybe your'e single for Valentines, widowed, separated, estranged?
Valentines is by no means a celebratory occasion for everybody.
Working in a female led environment, we meet first hand women from all walks of life, with all manner of colourful stories to tell, some inspiring, others heartbreaking, and on an occasion like Valentines, it is a fundamental part of that we do, to try and raise a smile amongst our Arabella Community.
This year, we therefore celebrated not only our love for clothes (No excuse needed-does the day end in a 'y'?), but also our relationships outside of romance... Perhaps we dedicated our Valentines to a best friend, a colleague or a family member who shows us a different, but my no means lesser, kind of love every day.
We gifted a single red rose to every lady who passed through our store with the following message attached:
"CLOTHES BEFORE BRO'S HUNNY... A Rose from your SECRET love...Shhh: We won't tell if you don't."
We then asked our stunning volunteers to pose for a photo and to explain to whom they would be dedicating their Valentines rose too, in honour of our new found sisterhood.
The response was beyond what we expected and the exceptional ladies featured truly embraced the spirit of it.
Sometimes, retail therapy really is more about the therapy than anything else, and you'll see from the outcome below, just how important our retail community really is.
This pair of beauties cheered up our day no end!
After a HUGE trying on session, with plenty of giggles and nearly as many purchases, they took part in our Valentines dedications. To begin with, they dedicated their day to each other, "that's why we're here together today shopping", however as we chatted we dug deeper and their stories of love were beautiful and heartbreaking. Both ladies, it turned out, shared the loss of their husbands, and so their dedications were poignant and memorable. We were honoured to share their memories...
Kerri dedicated her V-Day to late husband Jeff who every year said the same thing...
"I don't do this shit!" so the tradition became of one Kerri gifting herself the same stale chocolate and card every year which she kept in her bedside cabinet especially for the joke! That is the spirit of true love- sharing a joke between you and your loved one!
Jean spoke of the tale of meeting her one true valentine, George, who would annually present her with a 'massive' bouquet. She spoke of how he was such a Gent, he was so conscious of courting her at her own pace, that she was unable to resist dropping the 'L word' first. To this, his response was simple and quite matter of fact;
"I love you too Jean, but with dynamite".
Eleanor dedicated her Valentines rose to her late Grandma Beryl who 'was an absolute diamond and always had the biggest smile on her faced - so much LOVE to give."
Our girl Carolyn dedicated her day to her wonderful husband Paul who excelled himself this year with the biggest bouquet of flowers... She was yet to remind her dad it was Valentines Day so when she returned to the car with a red rose in front of both dad and mum, things could have got pretty awkward. We can't wait for an update when we see her in store this weekend!
Our girl Jas dedicated her evening to self-love... "a bath, a glass of white and a take-away, because I deserve pampering". Quite right girl!
Finally, in preparation of a cruise around Asia no less, the glamorous Mrs Bates (TOP RIGHT) came in for some beautiful outfit options by Crea Concept and Annette Gortz. She looked exquisite in both collections and was thrilled with her purchases. She later revealed that this Valentines would be tough, as it was clouded by the recent passing of her brother. Supported throughout the difficult time by her loyal husband who together they were about to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary, she wanted to dedicate her Valentines to him. We sent her away with an extra rose for her brother, to lay on his grave. A touching moment that we were honoured to be a part of.
Have the BEST holiday guys!
We hope this article has shined a light on just how connected we all really are, and our little act of kindness with the roses opened a wonderful dialogue, which is so important for us as human beings.
A MASSIVE thanks to every one of you who participated! You have all no doubt inspired an audience!
FASHION, LIFESTYLE, CONCEPT STORE