Pookie is a womenswear boutique in Silkstone, as part of The Pot House Hamlet. The boutique is ran by owner Rose, whose family also owns and runs the Pot House Hamlet site. See the interview below and an added bonus, there is a video at the bottom of the famous Pot House Hamlet pygmy goat, Benjamin!
What is the history of the business?
‘After studying business and fashion, Rose came up with the concept of Pookie ten years ago, when she was just 24 years old. The shop name ‘Pookie’ was an endearing nickname given to her by her family, who still call her Pookie to this day. “Back in 2006, my parents suggested to me with my love of fashion that I open a ladies clothing boutique on our family-owned tourist site Pot House Hamlet – and the name Pookie seemed poignant and meaningful. Business is in my blood – my father, mother, brother and sister all run their own businesses.”.’
What’s it like being a part of the Pot House Hamlet and of Silkstone village?
‘Pookie Womenswear is a truly unique boutique located at the historic tourist and shopping destination Pot House Hamlet in the beautiful village of Silkstone, near Barnsley. Situated in The Old Glassworks award winning building, it’s out of town location, bespoke surroundings and relaxing environment make it a must to visit. The premises in which the shop resides The Old Glassworks was built by her father Tom Horsfield and brother Tom Junior. In 2008 it won a RICS award for “the most outstanding commercial building, structure or development which clearly demonstrates the qualities of good investment and has the interests of the wider community at heart” Beating such buildings as Bridgewater Place in Leeds and Magna in Rotherham. The Pot House Hamlet is a unique tourist destination owned and run by the Horsfield family. Attractions on site include The Potting Shed Café, Horsfield Nursery, Rupert’s boutique pet spa, Beauty Salon, Farm Shop and an animal petting area with the world famous “Benjamin the pgymy goat”. A historic tourist and shopping destination in the beautiful village of Silkstone, the place to visit.’
What ranges and brands do you offer?
‘Vero Moda -The vision of this brand is to fulfil the need for good quality, on trend clothing at affordable prices. Vero Moda appeals to the fashion forward young woman who wants to look good and have fun with her look.
Vila Clothes – Vilas Clothes design is constantly up to date with the latest trend forecasts regarding style, qualities, colours and patterns. Offering numerous collections a year, there is always something new in store at an affordable price point. The collections focus is mainly upon casuals and party dresses in fashion forward sophisticated styles.
Jacqueline de Yong –The brands concept is basically value for money. JDY is dedicated to affordable fashion which gives the customer the freedom to change her wardrobe frequently. Each collection is carefully designed to match international fashion trends.
Noisy May – Noisy May appeals to the young fashion forward girl.
Masai Clothing Company- Masai clothing focus upon on a casual, loose fitting and laid back individual style. Comfortable and stylish with sizes from 8 to 18 this brand caters for a broad range of customer.
Made In Italy – Made In Italy clothing is one size fits all Italian fashion featuring natural dyes and fabrics. Its loose fitting European designs make it stylish and comfortable to wear.
Accessories- As well as clothing Pookie stocks a large range of accessories such as scarves, jewellery and bags.’
How do you market to your customers, both online and offline?
‘Pookie has found over the years that the best way to market the boutique is through word of mouth and building loyalty. Looking after the customers that come through the door is so important. Every customer is met with an enthusiastic and friendly manner and not judged by their appearance. Customers must feel free to browse without hassle or being pressured to purchase. Pookie does not incentivise sales by commission as it views it as counterproductive. Pookie recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary and did an in-store promotion. Over 10 days from 22nd March to 31st March we offered 10 % OFF and a FREE GIVEAWAY every day for 10 days.
Pookie has a customer database of postal addresses, telephone and email addresses which have been obtained when a customer fills in a form in store. The database is used for direct marketing purposes and we regularly send email marketing campaigns with relevant information to existing customers such as sale events, new in stock etc through email marketing campaigns using mail chimp. The majority of my marketing for the last 5 -6 years has been through digital media. Pookie utilises social media heavily to promote the business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, google + and our blog. We run Free Giveaway competitions across our social media on a regular basis.’
What are the future plans and goals for Pookie?
‘In late 2016 after many years of growth I found myself working extreme long hours and days. I wanted think about the continued future of the business and decided to focus on the core business in the original Silkstone store. Our ambition is to provide customers with a personal and enjoyable shopping experience by offering a carefully curated selection of clothing and accessories in a beautiful and welcoming environment.
We are constantly evolving by looking for new inspiration and listening to our customers’ needs, so each season you are guaranteed to find something new and exciting. The customer is at the heart of what we do and our goal has always been and continues to be looking after customers, building personal relationships with them and learn more about what the customer wants. Our team of passionate and knowledgeable staff encourage customers to browse at their leisure or they can receive our undivided attention to help you bring out their personal style.’
What sets Pookie apart from its rivals?
‘Pookie provides the customer with what they want. A unique store with bespoke interior that offers an alternative to the high street, yet still affordable with new and fresh stock every week and excellent customer service. What sets Pookie apart from competition is;
- Exclusivity to stock brands in a town
- Unique products
- Competitively priced in the market place
- High quality branding and bespoke shop interior
- Customer perception of exclusive but affordable
- Exclusive customer loyalty reward scheme
- Excellent customer service
- Pookie offer a personal shopping experience and high knowledge base.
- Detailed product knowledge as all staff receive extensive in house training.
- Pookie has high staff retention.
We listen to customers and change brands to adapt to the economic climate and customer feedback. We believe that customer loyalty and repeat business is crucial, and as such have had a loyalty card scheme in place for the last 7 years. Customers vote with their feet and we am constantly looking at new ways to do things. We keep learning new skills to be up to speed in the digital age and social media so Pookie can remain competitive. Pookie has stood the test of time and thrived during a recession when many have fallen by the way side in the retail sector.’
Pookie Womenswear, Pot House Hamlet, Silkstone, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S75 4JU
Call 01226 792555