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Crazy for Lunacy; shop spy.

Byline: Cathy Owen

IF you aremad about fashion then Lunacy Boutique is the shop where you must stop for OTM (of the moment) statement clothes and accessories.

Whether you're a fashionista like Carrie in Sex and the City, a sophisticated type or a quirky, cool customer there will be something that will steal your heart.

Located in the chic Castle Arcade in the heart of the capital the boutique is owned by sassy sister act Rebecca Bogue and Emma Hanford. The Cardiff boutique was opened last Autumn following four successful years with their first Lunacy Boutique in their home town of Port Talbot.

"Lunacy is the perfect name for our boutiques as it really reflects our passion for fashion," says the Rebecca, 29, a former customer services manager. "Both my sister and I had dreamt of owning a shop for a long time and we had a clear vision of what we wanted to do before an opportunity presented itself for us to take the plunge and run our business."

The boutique is colourful, kitsch and is adorned with life-size flamingos and great 50's cocktail bars as counters which add to the laid back atmosphere. With a keen and clever eye the boutique offers a mix of fashion styles that suit all ages and fashion styles. It is also home to some of Wales' most exciting Welsh and European designers.

Lunacy stocks a wide range of designer clothes from the Cardiff-based designer Eleanor Franklin and Emma Romano from Swansea who offer pretty and modern day and evening wear that fits and flatters the curvy as well as slim figure.

Other designers include a major and sought after Danish designer Remix who recently won the Guldknappen - a prestigious award in Denmark. Their collections offers an interesting and individual selection of knitwear and tailored separates that can be worn as casual or evening wear.

"We never stock more than one or two garments in each size and prefer to research and buy independent labels rather than the big well-known brands. We aim to offer each and every one of our customers an original customer experience, complete with styling advice that is honest," says Emma.

There is also the must-have Eucalyptus flirty and feminine summer dresses that have been flying out of the shop following several A-list national fashion magazines - such as Look magazine, Now and Company - featuring Lunacy in their pages on several occasions.

Lunacy stocks a diverse range of eclectic accessories, gorgeous girly gifts and popular jewellery such as the Vice & Vanity jewellery collection that is only available at Lunacy throughout the UK.

Not forgetting shoes of all shades and styles and cutesy hairbands that have been made by the sisters' fair hands.

The sisters admit that although they occasionally argue like any siblings, they do work well together and complement each other with their different skills.

"We go to fashion shows and some suppliers together but I am the more business-minded of us and Emma is the more creative," says Rebecca.

"I think what has made our boutiques a success is our personal and friendly approach.

"We have got to know our customers and their styles and tastes. Often Rebecca will purchase items with several customers in mind," adds mum-of-two Emma.

"I think because of the personal touch we are keeping our customers and winning new customers, which is exactly what we want to achieve."

Their personal customer service has brought a legion of customers from all parts of the UK to Wales, and the customer testimonials on their website commend the sisters on their professionalism, efficiency and of course their fashion eye.

It seems the sister have certainly put the F back in the fablousness of fashion!

CAPTION(S):

PASSION FOR FASHION Emma Hanford at Lunacy Boutique, Castle Arcade, Cardiff PICTURES: Peter Bolter Y
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 24, 2008
Words:635
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