• Carli

Chocodolly... Our story.

Hello, Dolly! well, here we are at last- we have a website after a few weeks of hiccupping and tantrums. (I still have no doubt that we have forgotten something, and as well as uploading countless new stock items we will be rectifying website blunders for the next few weeks)

So I have a shop. And now I have a website. And both need to be run with care. But how did I get here? well, it's a long story...

I'm an actress. Loads of people know this- Most recently I was in Eastenders and a stint on Holby City (which I loved) but, having two small children, plus four more with my new husband and a house to run, I felt that the 12 hour filming days were too much for all of us. I was looking around for something to inspire me and my wardrobe happened to be open.

A few years ago I ran a boutique from my home, Kitty's Cottage, in Thorpe le Soken, Essex, selling 1950s swing dresses and retro style separates. I love the fashion of the 1950s and the way it just seemed to 'fit' better. The way women took care of themselves, from setting their hair every morning to darning undergarments and 'shape-shifting' by the way of corsets and bullet bras! I love the make-up, the glamour, the music, the fun. I adore the compliments my husband gives me when I descent the stairs for a night out dressed in a Dita Von Teese-style wiggle dress and heels. In short, making the extra effort now and again lifts my spirits and I wanted to pass that feeling on.

Many women come into my shop not really wanting to try anything on as they think it won't suit them, or they're not confident enough to carry off a full swing skirt with petticoats and a pair of Irregular choice shoes, but after half an hour with me they leave laden with the beginnings of a new look, and a whole load of new-found confidence. And that's why I do it. That makes my day. Because if I can help just one woman leave with a smile on her face, whether or not she'll return to buy more (unquestionably they all come back to add to their new style, of course!) I am satisfied. I was once unconfident, bored, lack-luster and didn't care. I only realised after I started wearing these dresses again that the compliments that go with them are worth every second of pampering, every penny I've worked hard for, and the odd look from strangers that could be interpreted as "who does she think she is?" I'll tell you who, honey, I'm Carli Norris and I'm here to put a smile on your face...

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