New sustainable jewellery and accessory shop opens near Teddington Station

By Oliver Monk

14th Feb 2024 | Local News

Piece-a-Kate's opening sees restored and vintage jewellery arrive in Teddington just in time for Valentines Day. (Photo: Ollie Monk)
Piece-a-Kate's opening sees restored and vintage jewellery arrive in Teddington just in time for Valentines Day. (Photo: Ollie Monk)

Nestled between Teddington's high street and station, Piece-a-Kate opened its doors for the first time today, 14 February.

The business' founder, Kate Slabbert, hopes her combination of restored or upcycled jewellery and handmade accessories will appeal to the local community.

Speaking on her first day with a physical storefront, Miss Slabbert said her customers "have been really positive [...] even before I opened, people would knock on the window giving me a thumbs up," adding: "customers like the uniqueness," of both her products and the store.

Miss Slabbert restores and upcycles a variety of jewellery herself. (Photo: Ollie Monk)

The shop's displays are littered with vintage shelves and artwork, most of which have been sourced in Teddington itself, in keeping with the owner's sustainable, community-oriented goals.

The feedback is immediate, unlike her previous online venture. Combined with high selling fees, she believes the move to a physical location will both increase profit and free up time to work on restoring vintage fashion items.

She is especially proud of her handmade alice bands and scrunchies, which are made from anything from vintage bed linen and curtains to salvaged antique dresses.

Piece-a-Kate's scrunchies and alice bands are each unique, using fabric from a number of sources. (Photo: Ollie Monk)

The business began online during the pandemic after Miss Slabbert left her role as a sales assistant at Chelsea Design Centre only a week before the first lockdown.

Missing out on furlough payments led her to spending more time on her side business, leveraging her years of experience as a fashion designer and pattern maker.

The business quickly grew, shipping worldwide. Brexit regulations made European sales more complicated however, with Piece-a-Kate selling more to the US than the continent as a result.

She soon found her and her partner's home overrun with stock: "my boyfriend would find stuff under the couch, everywhere."

The shop hosts a small workbench for jewellery restoration. (Photo: Ollie Monk)

The location at 33 Park Road had appealed to Miss Slabbert since the first time she walked past it.

Speaking on the phone with her mum, she would talk about "just passing my shop now".

Upon overhearing the then-tenant, the owner of another jewellery shop, speaking on the phone about closing her business to move away, she struck up conversation before being offered the lease.

"I never thought it would happen really."

Kate Slabbert outside Piece-a-Kate's first location along Park Road. (Photo: Ollie Monk)

The move-in process was difficult, starting with a 4-month delay.

Miss Slabbert found it difficult to find an alternative, affordable unit that fit her business: "nothing quite compared to this little shop."

Preparing the space took weeks of work from her and her family, with numerous unanticipated issues arising from the age of the unit, with the contractor sanding the floorboards estimating them to be over a century old.

The unit is still being worked on, including repainting its frontage. (Photo: Ollie Monk)

The unit was once a sweet shop according to Miss Slabbert, who looks for similar histories in her products where she can.

Even on opening day, Miss Slabbert spoke of her future plans, including stocking a "more luxurious" collection of solid-gold pieces.

Piece-a-Kate is currently only selling products in-store, but the owner hopes to return to the world of e-commerce on her own terms via a new website.

The shop is open 11am to 5pm Wednesday to Friday and 11am to 4pm Saturday.

A pair of restored earrings from New Zealand. (Photo: Ollie Monk)

The business also released a promotional video prior to opening day with help from Miss Slabbert's brother.

(Video: Piece-a-Kate/Glass Mountain Films)

     

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