Oh Darling ~ Let me introduce you!

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Oh Darling

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)

083Most 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

Oh Darling reception area

Clean and elegant reception area

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:

  • Facials
  • Body Treatments
  • Body Bronzing
  • Purifying Back Facial
  • Eye Tinting
  • Hand and Foot Treatments
  • Waxing
  • 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
  • Restylane
  • Suti by Suzanne

Opening Hours

Monday – Thursday 9.30- 6pm

Friday 9.30 – 6pm

Saturday 9.00 – 6pm

Using Local Artisans and Craftsmen

Love Art by Local Artist Mandy Belmokhtar

Love Art by Local Artist Mandy Belmokhtar

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!

 

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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

Facebook:

Oh Darling Beauty Salon

Oh Darling Beauty & Lifestyle Boutique

Twitter:

Oh Darling

Address: 226 Upper Richmond Road West,East Sheen, London, SW14 8AH

 Tel:

020 88767226 (Shop)

020 8876 5588 (Beauty Salon)

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Thank you as always for reading & viewing, Justine xx

© Justine @ LivinginEastSheen.co.uk

Valentines ~ what is this all about?

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 So what is Valentines all about really?

Material rose

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.
Emma Goldman

As you will see from the link here,  The History of Valentines , there are various ‘origins’ as to where Valentines originates, from whipping women with animal skins to love letters, all riveting stuff!

Most people just take it as an opportunity to show affection to their ‘loved’ one, be it from adult to adult, children to adult etc without really taking any interest in it’s origin.

What baffles me sometimes is that really we should be showing these ‘tokens’ of love or appreciation throughout the year, it becomes a bit of a ‘marketing’ frenzy to get us to buy the latest must have offering to feel like we ‘really’ prove our devotion?

That is not to say that I don’t like chocolates or flowers on Valentines, of course I do, but if I had to chose between regular shows of affection and the once a year standard ‘must do’ approach I would go for the former.  Then there might be some lucky people out there that have both.

For those of you on a budget, I have come up with probably some not so new but effective ‘cheaper’ ways to give something on Valentines.

Crafty or cheap ideas for Valentines!

jam jar with flowers

not just for jam!

Find one of those old fashioned shaped jam jars, empty of course, tie some ribbon or twine about it and place inside some flowers, be they from your own garden.

post it note i love you

simplicity

Post it notes are not just for the office, when did you last write a loving note?  You could make it fun, leave some notes scattered in different places, maybe in a work bag, lunch box, in the bedroom for later.

chalk board i love you

Chalky fun

Chalkboards aren’t just for kids either, a great way to let out your inner Picasso and draw something magical for your better half, or why not just keep it simple like the good old days, a heart with initials on the top and bottom inside 🙂

heart shaped biscuits

baking is fun!

Bake some heart biscuits or cut toast in to a heart shape, you can have lots of fun with foods.

valentines card puzzle

Valentines puzzle card

Make a card

Write a poem

Why not get your children to help, let them show their appreciation for their parent.

Gifts that have thought, even if free are so much more valuable than an expensive gift that is just ‘easy’ to buy and takes little conscious effort in choice.  It’s the small things that matter and there are many on budgets that just simply don’t allow for expensive gifts.

Here are some links to crafty Valentines ideas:

Martha Stewart Activity Village (good for children’s activities)

Wonder How To

International Business Times

So what is happening on the retail front of East Sheen this Valentines, who is getting in to the spirit of it all?

There is a lovely article focusing on some shops & services in East Sheen highlighting their Valentines products written by East Sheen Village,  so all I am going to do today is provide you with a lovely little gallery of various shops and their offerings to get you in the mood if you are not already for the day of ‘love’.

The day was against me as I wandered down East Sheen’s High Street, the sunshine, yes I say sunshine was playing trickery rather than being actually useful and giving me warmth and as such pictures of some shop windows proved to be rather impossible, hence I relented which doesn’t take much for a shopper like me and went inside to snap away in some!

The Octavia Foundation, 435 Upper Richmond Rd – 0208 487 1482

This is a charity shop which supports local people during hard times of personal difficulty and or crisis, establishing strong and vibrant communities as well as improving quality of life.

Sheen Uncovered, 281 – 287 Upper Richmond Road West – 0208 876 9845

This is a lingerie & swimwear shop, providing excellent skills in fitting & general advice to get the best fit and style.  Unfortunately the sun was against me at this time, though you can see the mannequins have rather saucy little numbers on, I love the lacy eye masks, reminds me a bit of 50 shades.  Had I gone in you would have just ended up with mannequin bottoms!  Having used their fitting service before I can vouch for how good it is, I am not the easiest of clients, no I don’t have weird breasts, but I do suffer from pain around my ribs, initially worried that this would be an awkward experience, I found myself at ease, able to talk about my issues and get an appropriate product for my needs.

Sheen Living ,  321 Upper Richmond Road West,  SW14 8QR – 0208 876 7203 

I must admit to always going a little camera crazy in here as I am rather partial to popping in just to see what is new and what I can deliriously add to my permanent list called “oh I must have that.”  I sadly note that ‘my’ puggy Christmas cushion bought by  my husband for me as a seasonal present, which I evilly returned due to it’s ermm look (see here for details) is still sitting lazily in the shop avoiding being purchased.  I did mention to the wonderful sales assistant that it might in fact end up becoming a shop icon, she looked at me with what seemed horror which can only indicate to me she feels the same way about poor puggy cushion.  Surely there is someone out there that likes it?

Shelter, 337 Upper Richmond Rd, SW14 9QR – 0208 878 4990
 

Helping those in need of housing and much, much more.

Oh Darling, 226 Upper Richmond Road West,  SW148AH – 020 8876 7226

Another one of my favorite shops, ideal for presents and downstairs of course are the beauty rooms, don’t forget a perfect present could be buying a gift token for a massage or going the whole hog and booking one as a surprise one weekend.

Sandrine, 239 Upper Richmond Rd W, London SW14 8QS -020 8878 8168
A truly yummy shop, I think some people forget about buying chocolates for Valentines as being too traditional or predictable, but for a chocaholic like myself that is catastrophic, there can never be too many chocolates in a girl’s life.

And there I leave you, Ladies & Gentlemen, hoping that you have a very merry, perhaps seductive, perhaps loving, the variations are endless, but have a great Valentines! xx

© Justine @ LivinginEastSheen.co.uk