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Sisters Guild: Lifestyle Mecca in Frome

Sisters Guild, a brand new lifestyle store in the shopping mecca Catherine Hill in Frome,  is somewhere you’ll want to leave plenty of time for. It’s a relatively small space but beautifully styled and crammed full with all kinds of gorgeous things to make your heart beat faster.

The emphasis here is on children with an impeccably selected range of kids’ clothes and toys but there are Christmas decorations too, an exquisitely pretty set of spice bowls, raffia houses that double up as storage boxes.

Sisters Guild has been set up by two sisters Carla and Bekka, a spin off from their successful website of the same name, an incarnation of their shared passion for cool childrens and homeware. The sisters grew up in Somerset and Bekka says: ’We always knew Catherine Hill was the place we’d want to open a shop so when one came up we jumped at it.’

It’s true that Sisters Guild blends seamlessly with its trend-setting neighbours – an uber-florist, vintage stores, an antique shop, a soap apothercary who make this quaint cobbled street the absolute antithesis of the high street.

Carla and Bekka set up the Sisters Guild website two years ago “on a ridiculously small budget” but soon got picked up by lifestyle blogs like babyccinokids and bambinogoodies and gathered a significant viral audience, with customers as far flung as the US and Australia. The American market can’t get enough of the Scandinavian Christmas decorations, says Bekka, while Australians love the quirky childrenswear.

These girls have unfailing taste and on every turn in this atmospheric shop you’ll find something to covet– Maileg’s evocative soft toys which come with changes of outfits and furniture,  vividly coloured melamine bowls and cups from cult Danish homeware company Rice, Matchbox Mice - fully dressed mice snoozing under a gingham eiderdown in a matchbox bed (popular with just about everyone says Bekka, including a 60 year old lady who recently decided to self-gift), striped baby blankets in vibrant colours. I love the Parisian Hop Hop Hop range of hand-made jewellery which works for mothers and daughters alike – a hand painted enamel locket in peacock blue,  a cloud pendant necklace? As to the childrens' clothes, money no option, my kids wouldn't be wearing anything else. Carla and Bekka spend hours trawling the internet for unusual brands that fit their vintage chic ethos and it shows. They’re currently mad about Waddler (love that name), classic with a twist alpaca knitwear – Wee Willie Winkie nightgowns (edgier than it sounds), ribbed jumpers with suede elbow patches, alpaca fur slippers, beautifully soft striped jumpers. It is designed by a couple who spend 6 months of each year travelling through Bolivia with their children, Bekka says she loves their spirit of adventure and looks for a story behind the brands. The clothes are a mix of well known names such as I Love Gorgous and Dandy Star next to ones you probably won't have heard of - striped tank tops from Little Duckling, 70s style dresses from Bobo Choses – and this is the real success of Sisters Guild, I think. It's a place to source unusual long-lasting gifts without resorting to the obvious or having to spend hours on the internet yourself.

Nowhere better to find a present for a new baby or a fashion savvy girl– the wonderful owl and baby (main image), the I Love Gorgeous velvet leopardprint coat with bright pink lining?

Sisters Guild very cleverly packages up family lifestyle into something which is homespun and boho in feel yet very contemporary too.  Carla and Bekka regularly blog on their site about new finds or things to make and do and this spirit of enterprise pervades the shop on Catherine Hill. Go soon, you'll fall in love.

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