If you follow Donna Ida Thornton on Instagram or Twitter, chances are you'll already know who Sam Moss is, as the two entrepreneurs are the best of friends. Sam is the founder of Bottega, a beautiful lifestyle brand with boutiques in Tarporley and Shrewsbury which are akin to an Aladdin's cave filled to the brim with treasures.
Bottega turns 10 this year and to celebrate, Donna has designed a new silk blouse especially for the occasion called Spot The Leopard At Bottega featuring the iconic DONNA IDA Leopard Print clashed with a monochrome polka dot on the classic Miss Maggie Pussybow style.
We travelled to Bottega to chat to Sam about fashion, business and friendship.
Sam Moss: I’m definitely not a girly girl & if I can avoid wearing a dress I do. If I have to wear something soft and feminine, I will always toughen it up somewhere. The edit of the clothes at Bottega are a reflection of that and we don’t tend to carry pieces with too much structure. In terms of my wardrobe I invest heavily in accessories, I let them to do the talking! I fall in and out of love with items quite quickly so Vestiaire Collective has been fantastic for me to pass the pieces on as I do love to update my look.
Sam Moss: I love boyfriend jeans, they're great for long haul travel & I love that I can wear them with heels. If I’m going to a restaurant for dinner, I’d wear boyfriend jeans, a tee, a jacket and heels. If it's a floaty top, I’ll wear skinny jeans and flats.
Sam Moss: So much, the business has evolved every year! My client base here is so regular, I’ve been with my customers through births, marriages, divorces and bereavements & we have a close relationship. I do feel pressure to freshen things up with a floor move, pop ups & trunk shows and by changing up our brand mix. We also host incredible events. I do push boundaries & myself, I am constantly researching because I worry that the second I stop, there may be a dip in trade so I rarely take time off. I freely admit to being a workaholic but then it's my passion.
Sam Moss: We bonded over the Dukan Diet! I saw that Donna was tweeting about it and we had a shared love of Diet Coke (a habit which we have both since kicked) so I realised we were kindred spirits. Here was a woman who seriously loves her food but like me was always looking for a quick fix! One morning, I was in the school car park having breakfast on the run, eating ham out of a packet, thoroughly ashamed of myself, I tweeted about it and Donna responded straight away and that was it.
DONNA IDA: What do you love about the DONNA IDA range?
Sam Moss: We stocked the very first IDA collection back in 2012 because there was a huge gap in the market for true waisted jeans with a bit of stretch. Donna Ida is now one of our best selling brands, it is the only denim range the we stock and customers love the ready-to-wear too. Many of our clients say that they no longer struggle with dressing or packing now that they have discovered IDA. My favourite pieces over the years have been the Married to a Rolling Stone Velvet Jacket which I still wear & love, and the Pallenberg Scarf that I want in every colour. The denim line has been revolutionary in this area with Rizzo the Ankle Skinny being our best-selling style. The jeans are also versatile & transcend age and we are selling the line from 17-70.
DONNA IDA: How did you decide what the exclusive blouse will look like?
Sam Moss: Print is something that perennially sells so well for us, especially stars, leopard or polka dots. Leopard print is always a Bottega favourite with our clients and orange is a colour that everyone associates with us so it seemed a natural pairing. We tried them together and I think it looks phenomenal, the reaction on Instagram has been unprecedented and we currently have a wait list for them. We’ve planned a fun window for when it launches.
DONNA IDA: How do you create a lifestyle collection to compliment the fashion range in your boutiques?
Sam Moss: Once we have concluded our fashion buying, we then sit down with the Visual Merchandising team and we generate stories. We then look at ideas for interiors and lifestyle product and homeware to pull the stories together. We try to be inspired and open to ideas all of the time and you never know where it may strike.
DONNA IDA: What interior design tips do you have?
Sam Moss: Don’t over style anything and don't force things to match. It's always really important to use one or two strong pieces that you already own that have history & build on them, creating an evolved style rather than something overdesigned. I think eclectic is good, one or two investment pieces in the mix will pull up an upcycled sofa along with a smattering of Habitat or Ikea, don't scrap everything and start again and don't be afraid to mix prints, just ensure that the scale is correct. I adopt the same principal with the way I dress, there's always a piece of high street in there, the trick is can you tell which piece it is?