I knew then that Amy Cox and Joney Lyons were looking to move to their own premises and was delighted when I found out that it would be on Cheltenham Road. Nestled between the independent shops and boutiques of Gloucester Road and the high street stores of the city centre, Cox & Baloney are in a great spot for passing people traffic yet far enough away from the competition to put their own unique stamp on the area.
But the new store is much more than just frilly frocks and girlie gladrags. There are three distinct areas spread over two floors covering menswear, literature, womenswear and cups of tea. When I popped in to the official launch party yesterday I was surprised to walk in and find book lined shelves and a small counter full of homemade cakes with barely a vintage dress in sight.
This is because Amy and Joney have joined forces with Richard, owner of The Mighty Miniature Bookspace, who owned the stall next to Cox & Baloney at Woolies. So close did the neighbours become that when Cox & Baloney decided to head to pastures new, they bought Richard and his mighty collection of pre-loved annuals and Penguin Classics along to their new store. Richard rents the space and says of the venture; "lots of bookstores have closed recently and you need to find new ways to make it work. At Woolies people just didn't seem to be interested but here in the the last week people have been popping in, wanting to know what's going on. Our collaboration seemed natural as our styles fit well together"
This collaboration is a canny move as the shop is no longer just a place to browse the rails but now acts as a meeting place, a library and chance to have a cuppa and cake. And plans don't stop there. Joney let slip that before long they plan to open the back room in the basement and fill it with sewing machines "to rent out for an hour to encourage people to customise their own clothes". This little workshop will no doubt prove to be a hive of creativity and will be yet another string to Cox & Baloney's very full bow.
The clothing still takes pride of place at the back of the store and has a quirky, girlie feel reminiscent of the old stall while the basement houses the menswear and feels like a study or den - with old leather trunks, rails of tweed jackets and 70s suits.
Currently only open on Saturdays the girls hope to have the shop up and running three or four days a week in the near future. I can't wait to see this boutique progress and be sure to look out for updates from Ship-Shape, and at the Cox & Baloney Facebook page here.
A selection of jewellery and vintage crockery courtesy of Bristol Vintage