Our stockists mean so much to us here at Thought, so what better way to celebrate them by giving them the spotlight so you can get to know them too. Next up is A Brilliant Disguise, an independent fashion store that began life 13 years ago, and quickly became a much-loved part of the community on Stroud High Street, in Gloucestershire. Keep reading to discover how founder Kayleigh is staying positive and ways you can #SupportSmallBusiness.

Tell us a bit about your business?

A Brilliant Disguise began life on Stroud High Street over 13 years ago with the original owners, I worked there with them for a few years. It’s such a great place to work and the shop was very popular. When they announced their retirement and closure of their business my husband Tom and I decided to reopen the shop with our own company and with a focus on independence and sustainability. We love our town and I particularly love the personal touch being a small business grants you in such a place.

Are you still trading at the moment?

Yes, we created a website so that our lovely customers and new followers can shop with us: www.abrilliantdisguise.co.uk

We are also on Facebook and Instagram keeping everyone entertained and up to date with what’s going on, which has been fun!

We did have it all planned; the grand opening, the launch party, the newly renovated shop, the new Spring collection but sadly the impact of COVID-19 meant it has all been postponed and we are yet to open our shop doors. Someone said to me recently, “life is on pause”, so it is nice to look to the future when we will be welcoming everyone through the doors on the High Street.

What’s life like outside the shop? 

My husband Tom and I live near to Stroud town centre with our cat who loves having us at home more! We are really appreciating having a lovely garden to spend some of these sunny days in and as with most people we’ve spoken to we are looking for ways to improve the space. We’ve decided we’d like to create a wildflower meadow area to encourage the butterflies and bees to visit! We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country, venturing out for walks in the woods or into the fields has been a great escape from lock down in the house and there are some beautiful villages in the Cotswolds surrounding our town to explore.

What are you missing the most during these times?

I miss my family the most; my younger sister is expecting her first baby any day now and my brother and his wife had a baby in March so there’s a lot going on! Thankfully in the wonderful age of video calling we are all keeping in touch which is lovely. I can’t wait to see everyone and meet the new additions to our family!

What’s keeping you grounded and positive?

Tom, my husband is keeping me afloat. He’s my best friend and he always manages to make me smile. We got married last July and went snowboarding in Finland for our honeymoon in January, so we have been looking back through our wedding photos and holiday pics which has been lovely reliving those happy memories.

Have you started trying your hand at anything new?

I have tried to channel some of my creative energy into writing poetry; I used to write a lot when I was younger, and I find it’s a useful tool for unloading my thoughts. Most of it is total rubbish but my mind always feels a little clearer afterwards! I’m not winning poet of the year that’s for sure!

What have you been cooking lately?

We’ve been baking and cooking, I have a big family, there’s about 20 of us in a WhatsApp group and we’re all comparing bakes. It’s quite fun, we all went mad for baking flapjacks one week, then cakes the next. Most recently we all seem to be making take-away inspired dishes. I found a cracking Vegan Chinese Curry recipe by Vegan Punks! If you’ve been missing take-away food this hits the spot!

Given the current climate, how do you think we can all live more thoughtfully at the moment?

People mean it these days when they say, ‘how are you?’ because we all are experiencing something together, something global. I really hope that element of care and empathy continues. I think this time has made me realise that it is important to slow life down a little, it’s not a race or a competition. It has put emphasis on what matters most; relationships, making memories and being more mindful of our impact on the world.

Do you have any favourite pieces from our latest collection?

While all Thought fabrics are divine, this season I particularly love the bold floral print on the Giardino Tencel™ Print Trousers, such beautiful colours. I can’t wait to parade round town in them and not just the garden! 

Thanks, Kayleigh!

Make sure you visit www.abrilliantdisguise.co.uk and follow them on Facebook and Instagram