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Darcy Long sets up fashion store Star Boutique with mum Mandy on Highcliffe’s Lymington Road





A teenager has set up her own high street fashion boutique with her mum only weeks after finishing her final year at Brockenhurst College.

Darcy Long says it had been her aim from a young age to set up a business and says the new venture, Star Boutique on Highcliffe’s Lymington Road, stems from her “love of fashion”.

She said: “Rather than go to university I decided to open the shop, as it is something I have always wanted to do. I have always loved clothes and going shopping.

Darcy Long is only 18 but she already has her own boutique
Darcy Long is only 18 but she already has her own boutique

“Having my own fashion business is my dream.

“People have been quite surprised that I have done it at such a young age, but they also think it is great. I have always known from a young age I wanted to have my own business, and mum also wanted to do something different.

“We decided to open the boutique together and so far it has been fantastic, exactly what we hoped it would be.”

Darcy studied fashion, textiles and graphic design at Brock and gained two As and a B in her exams.

During the summer she and mum Mandy went to fashion shows in London and Birmingham to decide what they wanted to stock in the shop. They sourced styles and met with suppliers during what Darcy called “a very busy summer”.

The result is what the ladies call a “unique retail space where anyone can find something special for themselves”.

Teenager Darcy Long and mum Mandy have opened Star Boutique on Highcliffe high street
Teenager Darcy Long and mum Mandy have opened Star Boutique on Highcliffe high street

Darcy said: “We are catering for women of age 30 up, but there is no upper limit. We wanted to offer a range of clothes, but the important thing was that they are of good quality.

“Customers will find an interesting range of styles which they can pick and choose from. We wanted to have a shop where women felt comfortable dropping in and browsing.”

Labels available at Star Boutique on Lymington Road include Great Plains, Luella, and Lily&Me.

Customers can ask Darcy and Mandy for style advice which the teenager said she “always loves giving” adding: “We will be offering a very personal, friendly service in the shop.

“I love clothes so am always available to help someone get the look they want. Mum is good on that too. We wanted to have an independent store that is different from the big high street stores in towns.

“Women who have come into the shop say they are very glad to have somewhere like this in Highcliffe.”

Star Boutique was set up by teenager Darcy Long and mum Mandy
Star Boutique was set up by teenager Darcy Long and mum Mandy

The store also stocks a wide variety of jewellery and accessories from scarves to necklaces, along with candles from local producers the Beaulieu Candle Company.

Star Boutique opened two weeks ago with a celebratory event which included balloons outside the shop and giveaways.

Darcy said: “A lot of people came in, and many said they were really glad to see a young person opening something on the high street. People have been very welcoming, and the opening was a great success.”

“Mum and I are really excited to be embarking on this business venture together, and the reception has been everything we could have asked for.”

Mandy said of her daughter: “I am super pleased that she wanted to get out into the workplace, she is so driven for someone of her age, she really just wants to get up and get on with it.”

Until recently Mandy was working as a social media content manager and is responsible for Star Boutique’s online presence which can be seen on Instagram @starboutiquehighcliffe



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