I would like to introduce you to not only ‘Oh Darling’ but Ali who owns this lovely boutique shop that we have in East Sheen, London. (contact details can be found at the bottom of this post)
Most of you will have seen Ali in her shop, I myself have always wanted to find out a little about her (that might sound weird but isn’t, promise!).
To me, Ali with her looks always had a certain ‘je ne said qoui’ and as such I was intrigued to get to know her a little better. She however informs me that she really is quite ordinary and has no story to tell, but we ‘all’ have some kind of story to tell don’t we?
So we met up, to talk about ‘Oh Darling,’ it’s creation and also a bit about this lovely lady who wishes to make sure the residents of East Sheen have intriguing gifts, chique clothes, pretty ornaments and more to adorn our homes and to wear.
Some Background History
Ali started of her working life as a ‘nursery nurse’ through the Government sector which she thoroughly enjoyed, however through policy changes and red tape, it ate away at the job satisfaction she felt and eventually she found herself taking on a career change.
Going in to the retail sector was through family ties, starting off in Fulham helping out relatives running perhaps a slightly less Boutique version of what ‘Oh Darling’ is now.
Luckily for us she eventually moved to East Sheen, taking over the property she is in now, but utilizing the ground floor only. Slowly over the years she established her ‘look’ for the shop and a confident range of furnishing for us East Sheeners to enjoy!
However six years ago an informal conversation took place between Ali and two of the beauty therapists she frequented. A suggestion was made to make a beauty salon out of her basement, everyone agreed and the idea was developed and it is now a thriving business.
Oh Darling Beauty Salon
The salon downstairs comprises of two rooms and two full time therapists which Ali has known for a long time.
I have visited Martha, one of the therapists, quite a lot and having been a ‘holistic therapist,’ trained staff and ran clinics for over 20 years in the past I can confidently say that she is a great aesthieticienne.
Having a pedicure by Martha is like watching a creation of art being made, she treats ones feet like a sculpture being lovingly tended bit by bit until perfection is achieved.
Oh Darling Beauty very much concentrates on a core availability of treatments, the ones that we really cannot do without, leaving specialist, more costly treatments to be covered by other salons.
A basic summary of what is provided can be found below:
- Body Treatments
- Body Bronzing
- Purifying Back Facial
- Eye Tinting
- Hand and Foot Treatments
- Men’s Treatments
There are some additional treatments provided over and above the standard menu, by other practitioners, these being…
- Merz Aesthetics, Belotero which is a dermal filler by Gilham
- RevitaLash by Justyna
- Suti by Suzanne
Monday – Thursday 9.30- 6pm
Friday 9.30 – 6pm
Saturday 9.00 – 6pm
Using Local Artisans and Craftsmen
Ali makes a point of trying to use local craftsmen where possible, above you will find a painting by Mandy Belmokhtar and she also sells butterflies sourced ethically, framed and presented by another local resident called Ruth Yardy.
Below you will see a brief selection throughout the post of items sourced by Ali.
Whilst talking to her and finding out about how and where she gets her merchandise from I could see an almost tangible concern that she really takes on a lot of emotional responsibility for ensuring that she provides a variety of well made interesting pieces that her customers really will want and be interested in, in the vein more of being a service of satisfaction than just retailing, which is rare and lovely to see.
Range of Products
For a small space that is not cluttered there is a remarkably wide range of items available. There is clothing from the Great Plains range which I have used before finding them to be of great quality and simple yet chique in appearance. There is china, glassware, cards, kids toys, jewellery, ornaments, smellies, picture frames, the list is endless.
Ali has long time friend Jo helping her out who now goes on shopping trips to scout for interesting and new items. You will always find friendly chatter and a wrapping service no matter the time of year.
Being a nosy person of course I moved on to Ali’s tattoos and her dogs.
It is quite obvious that they are utterly adored and getting the chance to cuddle six month old Mabel, a mini dutchaund was a real treat and actually made me feel broody which was pretty scary! Her dog menagerie started off with George who is a cavalier at the grand age of 13 years old, then Monty who is another mini dutchaund yet not quite so mini, he is five years old and now Mabel. The trio of musketeers sometimes making an appearance altogether if you are lucky!
As for the creative artwork that adorns Ali’s body, for those of you as nosy as me for the story behind them, it all started in her 40′s on a trip to Bali where the first one was bought for her as a present. I won’t tell you how many she has now, but suffice to say they are a work in progress especially the rose upon her derriere.
So if you have not been to ‘Oh Darling’ it is well worth a visit be it to shop or treat yourself to an essential wax or massage. You will receive a warm welcome and friendly banter from all the staff.
I would like to thank Ali for letting me interview her it was a grand pleasure.
Contact Details Including Social Media
020 88767226 (Shop)
020 8876 5588 (Beauty Salon)
Thank you as always for reading & viewing, Justine xx
© Justine @ LivinginEastSheen.co.uk