GOODSTEAD: Party, clothes, knees & toes

We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Nikki Kent from Edinburgh boutique GOODSTEAD. This sassy Scottish babe gave us the low down on all the happenings and so much more. Brainchild of Ian Craigie and Graham Blakey, Goodstead is an extra-cool, sophisticated-savvy shop. Coming into its 4th year, the boutique emphasizes quality merch and an all inclusive shopping experience. There is a chic simplicity; a classic element to their merchandise mix and the buyers are spot on in their ability to stock casual goods with playful detailing. The inherent minimalism of much of their clothing and accessories leaves the market wide open -- from 20s to 70s, anyone can leave Goodstead with the perfect new outfit. And Miista is certainly in good company here! Other shoe lines they carry include F-Troupe, Minimarket and Surface to Air, resulting in an eclectic mix of new basics with a few statement pieces in there. Among a bunch of amazing brands, they carry one of our favorite clothing labels Something Else -- their collections are always chock full of heavenly cotton blends -- and in addition to shoes, they also have Surface to Air clothing and APC. Which all amounts to essentially the perfect selection of to-die-for basics and staples. And this is just the women's selection. Their men's section has all the makings of a perfect boyfriend -- all you need to do is find what goes inside! We sat down with store manager superstar Nikki Kent and got the inside scoop on all things Goodstead. M: So tell us about the inception of the store and when you came into the Goodstead picture! NK: Goodstead began 4 years ago in a smaller and less central location to where we are now. The web site was launched very quickly after the boys opened the shop. I came on board a couple of years down the line in our current location. Despite the fact I haven’t been around since the very beginning I’ve known the owners for over a decade now and I can remember clearly them talking about their dreams of having a fashion boutique. It’s been such a pleasure to be part of their vision coming to fruition. It’s pretty dreamy working with your best mates. M: What was the goal behind the store and what were you trying to create for your customer? NK: Ian and Graham wanted to create an inspiring shopping environment that was personable and felt inclusive not exclusive and we’ve all been doing our best to make that happen. It was important to us to invest in good quality, innovative design that will stand the test of time. We’re way more interested in quality design than current trends. [caption id="attachment_8320" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="A peek inside"][/caption] M: Roll call! Tell us about the current Goodstead team and who's wearing which hat. NK: We have a really small team. There are 7 of us in total. Because there are so few of us we all tend to get involved with all aspects of the day to day running of the company. Everyone has influence on the direction Goodstead takes. Here’s a wee run down of our roles. Ian Craigie - Owner/men’s wear buyer/illustrator/designer/photographer/cake eater extraordinaire. Graham Blakey -Owner/men’s wear buyer/accounts manager/company secretary/excel hustler Nikki – Shop manager/women’s wear buyer/stylist/window display maker/Mugatu impersonator Seth - Web site orders manager/tea addict Leroy -Shop sales/denim fetishist/aka Honeybun Emma - Shop sales/potty mouth Alix - Shop sales/photographer/blogger M: Who is the Goodstead lady? What's her deal and how do you make her love you? NK: Soo the Goodstead lady. Well, we really do appeal to a very wide range of ladies age wise. We have women in their mid 20’s to ladies in their 70’s coming in regularly. Generally they are all professional (though we do offer student discounts so we appeal to that market also) with a creative eye and the desire for something different to what the high street offers. I pride myself on offering our customers something quality and unique. Perhaps we appeal to such a wide range of ladies as our brand mix scans a broad spectrum of style. APC, YMC, MHL, Grenson and Sessun all tick the boxes for ladies looking for a more classic, clean look whilst women looking for something a little more directional might be drawn to Henrik Vibskov, Wood Wood, Francis Leon and Miista. Then there’s a whole load of labels that come somewhere in between but I’d just end up listing every label we have so I’ll stop there!! [caption id="attachment_8321" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="School Boy shoot by Anna Olszewska featuring Goodstead threads"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8322" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Olszewska's School Boy "][/caption] M: Let's see this lady in action! Will you pick a few key pieces that are in the shop right now and put together an outfit that represents the essence of the Goodstead girl? [caption id="attachment_8308" align="aligncenter" width="551" caption="The Goodstead girl outfit"][/caption] Nikki sent us links to this gorgeous terracotta cable knit sweater by Sessun called Hey Love Sunset to go along with some festive Minimarket shorts called Isis topped off with the Calourette Walnut Necklace and then of course some Miistas! Nikki went with our Spring wild child Lola in brown. And then we got a little crazy on Polyvore and added some big false lashes and Benefit liquid bronzer. Meow! All items available either online or at their shop located at 76 Rose Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AH! And we have to mention these bad boys that we found while perusing the site -- Je Suis Une Monstre creates little crocheted masterpieces called Hoop-la chain scarves. We've never seen anything like them and are now totally in the market for one. [caption id="attachment_8317" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Hoop-la chains"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8318" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="#newobsession"][/caption] NK: As for items the folks here at Goodstead like, we went crazy for the Alkas. I adore them. We all adore them, well the girls at least. They’ve featured quite heavily in outfits on the website. [caption id="attachment_8309" align="aligncenter" width="1002" caption="The dresses all look fantastic with our ALKA!"][/caption] M: We've been hearing rumblings about this amazing Kokedama window display that you've got going on within the store. Tell us everything! NK: Well, about the ‘Kokedama’ window display, basically every season we introduce a theme that will run from the window, to a photo shoot and eventually the website. We look at all the collections coming in for the season, men’s and women’s and try to spot something reoccurring. This season there was a definite earthy feel to the colour ways on the men’s wear side of things and the women’s featured a lot of prints inspired by nature. So the theme this season is ‘The Unlikely Forager’! We were considering how we could bring elements of nature into the window display when out of the blue my florist friend Fiona Inglis contacted me regarding her new business venture ‘Pyrus’. It was fate! Fiona and her business partner Natalya are both florists and general green fingered wonders who are looking to get into styling and they contacted me initially with the idea of doing a photo shoot. When we got together and chatted the girls had come up with a fabulous idea for a window display using Kokedama (Japanese hanging gardens) and brightly coloured twine. It looks amazing and compliments all the floral and fruit prints and bright colours that feature heavily in a lot of collections this season! It feels so good and so spring like to have plants in the shop and the jasmine smells incredible. Their creations have definitely been drawing customers in from the street so we’re really happy with the results. The girls are in the process of making some bell jars with miniature garden scenes inside using moss, stones and other foraged goodies. We’re going to display our jewellery and other accessories inside! How cute! We’ll place them around the store so the theme runs into the store. Next week we will be creating a look book for this season featuring a herbaceous installation courtesy of ‘Pyrus’. I’ll send you over the results. [caption id="attachment_8313" align="aligncenter" width="682" caption="Kokedama window displays"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8314" align="aligncenter" width="582" caption="Kokedama windows"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8315" align="aligncenter" width="689" caption="Kokedama installation "][/caption] M: That sounds so beautiful! Love the fate bit -- totally the reason we love surrounding ourselves with creative folk and their endeavors, you never know what amazing collab could be right around the corner! And everyone reading this who's in the area you definitely need to go check it out! So now that we're clued into the physical environment at G.stead's homestead, tell us a bit about the work environment. What type of (non)corporate culture do you have going on? NK: Our new ad tag line is ‘Parties, clothes, knees and toes. Knees and toes[ed. note: can't even handle this #amazing] That pretty much sums up our attitude I think. We are passionate about the industry and the role that Goodstead plays within it. We take the business very seriously but we can’t really say the same for ourselves if you know what I mean. We’ve been friends for years and so every day is mostly filled with smiles and laughter (or piss taking…yes there’s a lot of that) [ed. note: I, the American Miista, learned today that piss taking is the equivalent of ball busting and does not in fact refer to taking a literal piss.] Of course, friends working together can be fraught with emotional danger but generally we’ve found that our close relationships mean we feel comfortable enough to be open about how we’re feeling and if we have any issues they are brought to the surface real quick. This understanding of each others personalities means we appreciate each others strengths which is invaluable in a business I think. [caption id="attachment_8319" align="aligncenter" width="338" caption="Awesome artwork for a past in-store exhibition"][/caption] M: The 'head, shoulders, knees and toes' song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day, no question. Any exciting Goodstead news for us? NK: We recently launched our new look website! Yay! We think it’s a lot easier to use than the last one and so much cleaner looking. We also just launched our new wares section which we’re in the process of expanding. It’s been getting a great response, I’m looking forward to doing some buying for it myself. I’ve spotted some gems! [caption id="attachment_8310" align="aligncenter" width="1332" caption="Goodstead's nifty new landing page"][/caption] How amazing is Nikki? We obviously couldn't just leave it at that! So we dug a bit deeper and asked her some very important, deeply meaningful questions. [caption id="attachment_8316" align="aligncenter" width="682" caption="Nikki Kent sporting her GABI wedges"][/caption] NAME: Nikki Kent JOB TITLE: Women’s wear buyer/store manager HOMELAND: Scotland, Edinburgh ZODIAC SIGN: Virgo +Do horoscopes creepily know everything about you or do you not fit the mold? I definitely have some of the characteristics of a Virgo. However we’re supposed to be incredibly organised and a little bit OCD right? Pfffft, I’m neither of those things. I’m right on the cusp of being a Virgo though. I think I’ve maybe got some Libra in me too. LAST DREAM YOU HAD: I don’t really remember my dreams sadly. CURRENT NAIL COLOR: Gosh: Blue Balloon SONG STUCK IN YOUR HEAD RIGHT NOW: Beggar Man-Digital Jones (this is my band, it’s an honest answer but also a shameless plug) [ed. note: everyone check out DIGITAL JONES!] SIGNATURE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING: Nudie Tube Kelly RIHANNA OR MIA: MIA without a doubt. It feels as though she carved out her own style and has clearly influenced others along the way. To me she seems a little more creative with her dressing, she’s much more expressive. Rihanna looks more like a stylist dressed her. PERSONAL STYLE ICON: I don’t think I really have one. So many stylish women exist through all the ages I couldn’t possibly pick out just one. #1 GUILTY PLEASURE: Eating in bed HALLOWEEN COSTUME THIS YEAR: I didn’t do Halloween last year but I can tell you about my last fancy dress outfit. Well, it was my pals 30th and he decided to have an octogenarian party where everyone had to dress like an elderly person. I went against the grain a little and went as a care worker. My outfit involved sewing panels into the side of a nurse’s tunic so that I could fit my customised double GG bra (this is NOT my actual bra size) cups in. Into said cups I popped the foil bag from a cheap box of red wine in one and a cheap box of Perry (eeeeugh) into the other. I poked the nozzles of each out through the holes I had cut in the front of the bra and the tunic. I popped on a pair of sexy blue nurses trousers and a pair of slip on shoes, made myself a name badge then off I went to ‘care’ for the party attendees. They were pretty thirsty, poor old blighters. FAVORITE FAT KID MEAL: Homemade carbonara [ed. note: Nikki this is NOT a fat kid meal! Points deducted.] BLOG OBSESSION: Kingdom Of Style. DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE IN 3 WORDS: Schizhophrenic (with an) 80’s hue. AM COFFEE ORDER: Black.