It's been months since I had the privilege of chatting with Joney Lyons, one half of the dynamic duo behind 'Cox & Baloney' - a vintage boutique, tea room and all-round genuine jewel on the Cheltenham Road in Bristol, UK.
Cox & Baloney is the brain child of two best friends, Joney Lyons and Amy Cox, with a shared background in the TV and film industry. When the long, stressful days of their original careers began to lose their luster, they took the initiative channeling their creativity into the clothing venture that began as a rail in artisan markets and evolved into the treasure-trove boutique open today.
New facets of their adventure are being added all the time: from collaborations with a dressmaker, a bookshop owner and most recently, a furniture restorer, they've paired up with people whose skills complement their vintage vision, creating a space that celebrates craftsmanship across multiple platforms. The addition of a tea room, both quaint and glamorous in equal parts, has been an ace in their hands, allowing them to host popular events such as hen parties and baby showers in a haven of wonderful aesthetics.
Nothing is accidental. Everything from the decor and visual merchandising, to the shop's contents and its capacity to stylishly cater for special occasions, is the result of meticulous and on-going planning, market research, investment and evolution.
The most humbling and uncomfortable aspects of our discussion held a mirror up to my own behaviour and made me reconsider some of my buying expectations.
Joney talked about the difficulty faced by retailers wanting to offer something of value to consumers who are used to clothes coming cheap. We are often unwilling to recognise that higher prices reflect the fact that garments sourced in great condition from by-gone eras are inherently worth more because of their history, their quality and their uniqueness. Similarly, she described the pricing dilemmas facing British designers and artisans looking to make a living in competition with imported mass-produced products that imitate their labour-intensive handmade techniques.
Contact Cox & Baloney
182-184 Cheltenham road Cotham Bristol BS6 5RB