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We stand or fall by our capacity for renewal

After what seemed like the longest winter on record, finally the sun has decided to show itself and the reaction has been worth the wait.

My customers have come to expect a product mix from us that they won’t see on the high street or in other independent shops, but one that still keeps the flavour of wearable, on-trend clothing that works in the modern woman’s wardrobe.

It’s a constant challenge to find young brands that have a rounded offer within their remit. However, if you look hard enough, they do exist. There’s something to be said for introducing an otherwise lesser-known brand to your mix rather than relying on the obvious names that can be bought everywhere.

We now live in a world where fashion brands spend more money on tie-ups with celebrities and marketing campaigns than they do on most other aspects of their business. There’s nothing wrong with self-promotion, but I think we are in serious danger of missing the fashion point. Fashion is all about the future, individuality and standing out from the crowd, not resting on your laurels and sticking to a once-successful formula. To truly appreciate that, we have to look to new talent to keep us on our toes.

As we slowly emerge from the deepest recession in decades, we can see which businesses have fallen and which have thrived. My customers seem to appreciate the extra mile (or thousands) I travel to bring them something unique. These are reflected in the takings and sell-throughs, and now I’m in the unenviable position of having to find extra stock. Thankfully, Eurostar meant the volcanic ash of last week didn’t hold me back too much, but it’s good that we can now fly confidently again.

Pamela Shiffer is owner of the eponymous womenswear indie, which has two stores in London

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