With the recent opening of the Trinity Leeds shopping centre and plans moving quickly ahead for Victoria Gate (another huge shopping complex) independent stores are being spread more thinly across the city centre than ever before. Finding somewhere offering products and an experience that are more unique is becoming harder and harder to find, but luckily that hasn’t stopped Mummy-turned-entrepreneur Charlotte Oldroyd.

Tired of having to scour the internet for unique, quality clothing brands for her two young daughters, Charlotte has been trading online since 2012. The website’s success has resulted in their flagship store opening in the Victoria Quarter earlier this month, and it’s a breath of fresh air from the usual mainstream brands that have settled there.

With cute and colourful displays of high end childrenswear, including local brands, Cootchie-Coo is ready for the hoards of families that will no doubt flock to the shop, whether they’re looking for togs to play around in or frocks for tiny party people! Here’s what Charlotte had to tell us about juggling motherhood with business, partnerships with local designers and product testing with her own kids…

Who are you and how did you get here?

I am Charlotte Oldroyd and I founded Cootchie-Coo, an independent childrens clothing and accessories boutique. Ive always had a passion for fashion and I absolutely love dressing my two young girls in beautiful, uniquely designed clothing. For me, the quality of the garment is everything and its really important for my children to feel comfortable in what theyre wearing.

I had tried and tested so many different brands and knew what I liked and what
other Mums looked for so I decided to launch Cootchie-Coo.com last year selling branded clothes and accessories for children aged 0-8 years old.

Following the success of Cootchie-Coo.com and spotting a gap in the market for a luxury independent childrenswear boutique in the centre of Leeds, I decided to open a boutique and fortunately a space in the VQ became available!

What do you think makes Cootchie-Coo unique? What do you offer that other retailers don’t?

All of the clothes have been tried and tested by my girls and I so I feel completely confident in the quality of every item I stock.

Weve also teamed up with local luxury wedding dress designer, Anita Massarella who has handcrafted a range of beautiful special occasion childrens clothing (third picture).

Cootchie-Coo is also home to Joseph Photography Joseph works from a studio in the basement of the shop and offers unique childrens portraits unlike other mainstream offerings.

What can shoppers expect from Cootchie-Coo?

The personal touch, both in the service we provide and the clothes we stock. We stock a range of high-end UK and worldwide designer childrenswear brands offering something different to high street stores.

What’s your favourite item in the store?

Im in love with one of Anitas 100% pure silk christening gowns – the material she has used and the design shes handcrafted is just stunning and truly special!

What’s your bestselling item?

For the little ladies, our beautiful Dollcake dresses are very popular. The Bamboo Baby star shirt has also been incredibly popular for the little misters.

What do you think makes Leeds so awesome?

I love how one minute you can be in the centre of a buzzing city and then twenty minutes later in the tranquillity of the Yorkshire Dales!

Where do you like to hang out in Leeds?

As a busy mum of two, when Im not working I tend to hang out at soft play! But when Im away from the kids I love nothing more than enjoying a meal at Anthonys in the Corn Exchange and relaxing with a cocktail in one of Leeds many chic bars!

Finally, describe Cootchie-Coo in 3 words…

Personal, unique and memorable.

Cootchie-Coo is now open in the County Arcade of the Victoria Quarter.