For this week’s #FinditInExeter we popped in to see Emma Vowes, founder and creative force behind Busby & Fox. Busby & Fox is a contemporary independent lifestyle shop, and is now one of the newest residents along the cobbles of Cathedral Close.
When entering Busby & Fox, there’s an immediate sense of warmth and welcome. The shop is bustling with a spectrum of simple yet lovely items, including clothing, accessories, homewares & gifts. After browsing through the shop’s charming collections, we sat with Emma as she recalled her journey to creating and nurturing Busby & Fox, and revealed what we can expect from the new store.
Emma had her first taster of the industry after moving to London at 19, where she worked in fashion, retail and wholesale. During her time in London she took a floristry course and found a job doing such in Holborn. It was this that first ignited her love of flowers and talent at floristry. After a stint in London, she moved back to her home town of Totnes where she married her ‘childhood sweetheart’ (now co-owner at Busby & Fox) and had three children. While loving her life as a Mum, Emma wanted to do something which allowed her to get her own identity back. She decided to take up floristry, and would do so from the kitchen table once the girls went to bed. This hobby grew, and so from her make-shift workshop she started doing wedding fairs and other events. Her unique style, wild and seasonal, got recognised and she soon realised she could turn her floristry into a business. With time, the retail side of her floristry business started to grow and she gradually introduced other elements to the shop – homewares, accessories, scarves etc. It was here that she found her fashion experience kicked in, her new venture had begun and she now proudly owns four Busby & Fox stores.
Each shop still has a collection of simple flower arrangements, but the other side of the business is a creative environment to display products that Emma has a genuine love for. Busby & Fox combines fashion that looks and feels great, with fragrances that smell amazing, with homewares that look charming, to create a little Utopia of everything you could want.
When asked what makes Busby & Fox different, Emma said “We’ve filled a gap as far as what we offer. I’ve really felt there was a void for the 40 – 65+. I’ll soon be turning 50, but I don’t feel any different to when I was 25. That doesn’t mean I want to wear what I wore when I was 25, but of course I still want to be current; I want to be fashionable, but I don’t want to be ‘high fashion’. It’s easy to get lost in the world of ‘Mum’ – I love being lost in it – but I also want to feel like me. Going out, whether it’s on the school run, for drinks or to work should be ‘picking up a little top which you can sling on with a pair of jeans’, so you don’t even have to think about it. That’s the basis of everything here, it’s easy, but it’s ‘yummy’ too. Everything it’s here because I think it’s brilliant. We have shapes to fit everyone, whether you’re a size 8 or 18, 5ft or 6ft. Busby & Fox is simple – we’re not reinventing the wheel, we’re polishing it”
What we particularly love about Emma and Busby & Fox is the genuine investment in people and ensuring that they leave feeling happy, regardless of whether they’ve bought a bunch of flowers for £2.95 or a whole new wardrobe. As a culture we’ve become so used to convenience and a ‘grab and go’ lifestyle, but we crave nostalgic comfort, which is precisely what Busby & Fox endeavour to provide.
Next time you’re heading into Exeter you must take a look around this lovely store, and why not stay for a coffee and a chit-chat while you’re there?