In 2013 Channel 4 aired an inspirational programme called "Fabulous Fashionistas". In it several women of a certain age (plus) explained how they got fed up of disappearing into the background as they got older. Instead they decided it was time to wear what the heck they wanted. If not now, when? And why not wear what makes you happy? Some were artists, one a Baroness in the House of Lords, but most normal everyday people.
One of the key players was a lady called Sue Kreitzman. She coined the phrase "Beige Kills". I happened to know several of Sue's colleagues, and soon met Sue, and the wonderful Diane Goldie who makes many of her clothes, and one of her young proteges, the lovely designer and performance artist Anne Sophie Cochevelou, both of whom now have works in my shop.
(And the name you ask? Well, it comes from the comic series of books my Armistead Maupin called Tales of the City, set in San Francisco. One day I aspire to being at least a little like the character at hits heart, Mrs Madrigal, welcoming a random assortment of wonderful people, supporting their dreams and sharing their journeys. And Kemptown does remind me a little of the bohemian days of San Fransisco...)
A couple of years later I found myself living in Brighton looking for a job and an investment opportunity. I had never owned a shop and it was years since I'd had the time to be creative. But I had already fallen in love with Kemptown, and then a shop right in the village came up for lease. It was meant to be. Thus started Barbary Lane....