My Cabbages & Roses Journey - Louise

Louise and Moe outside C&R Avery Row

On the 5th February just gone it was my one-year anniversary working at the Cabbages & Roses Avery Row store in Mayfair. I started working at Cabbages when I was 17, whilst in the middle of sitting my AS levels. I was a complete Cabbages fanatic, and was determined to get a job there – despite living in Oxford. As you can imagine, my mum wasn’t happy – she said it was too far away and that I needed to concentrate on my studies. This didn’t stop me, however, and through numerous email conversations with Kate Strutt (Christina’s daughter) I landed a job interview. I had also done a week’s work experience at the Northcote Road store, and this was very helpful in getting to know the business and become more experienced dealing with customers. I soon found myself having an interview for a part-time position that was going at Avery Row, and from the moment I entered the hidden gem tucked behind the chaos of Oxford Street I knew it was perfect for me. Luckily I seemed to fit the criteria for the part-time position, and started working the following weekend.

Becoming part of the Cabbages & Roses team was by far one of the best things I have ever done.  I felt extremely proud to be working for my favourite company, in London’s Mayfair – especially at the same time as doing my studies back in Oxford. Working at Cabbages has been a huge learning curve and it certainly made me reconsider the direction my life was taking. At the time I was studying subjects such as business, economics and government and politics. Cabbages made me realise how much I missed being a creative, as I was an extremely artistic person before studying the more academic subjects stated above. I couldn’t compare Cabbages to school, and I wasn’t happy studying subjects that I no longer felt passionate about. As a result I decided to take a big risk – dropping out of school and instead of completing my A Levels applying for Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts to do a Foundation Year. This was actually my mum’s idea. My grades had been slipping and I think she could tell I wasn’t happy. Getting the job at Cabbages made me realise that anything is possible – and going to Central Saint Martins would truly be just what I needed.

Not only has my job given me an insight into the fashion business, but it has also come into good use when applying to art schools such as Central Saint Martins. I was extremely lucky to be offered a place there soon after applying and having an interview. This resulted in me moving from Oxford to halls of residence in Hackney and having to completely self sufficient – leaving behind my family and home of 17 years. Despite all this change in one year, the one thing that has remained solid has been my job at Cabbages – and being a poor student you can imagine how grateful I am to have it. Living in Hackney I am now able to bike to work instead of commuting from Oxford, and I think that my skills acquired at Central Saint Martins has also come into use on occasions at Cabbages. It certainly makes good conversation with the customers – several of whom have children also studying art and fashion in London. I have also met a few other art students who have come into the shop, most of whom adore the clothing but being a student cannot sadly afford it!

Overall, my year at Cabbages has been full of changes and excitements. My life has taken a different direction and I am extremely lucky to be where I am now. Currently, I am applying for BA undergraduate courses in London and Falmouth – my two favourite places. At this time in my life nothing seems to stay the same and I think this is what makes life so exciting. On the other hand it is nice to know Cabbages will always be there, with its beautiful clothing, kind customers, and lovely staff team.

Love, Louise x


Ruskin said...

What an inspiring story! It makes so much sense to begin with one's interests and a real-life work place and then have studies fit around that. Enthusiastic people who think out of the box will always do well and be happy in life. Great article!

Unknown said...

wishing you lots of luck Louise - you were fabulous in the store when I came in (for hours!)
tina xx

Liz said...

wow - what a brilliant story! Sounds like you have a lovely, supportive mum who is helping you figure out your true path in life. I wish you every bit of luck with your journey, and I'm sure you'll do really well whatever you decide to do.