Meet the owners
Voted one of the Top 50 UK Independents by Grazia Magazine, Iris & Violet is a vibrant fashion and lifestyle boutique in Cambridge. We speak to its owner, former fashion buyer Bethany Scott-Morris.
You have a background in fashion, don’t you?
Yes, I did a fashion course at university and in my third year had a placement at River Island in London. They offered me a job when I finished university, so I went back for four years, before moving to a small start-up boutique called Lost Ink. It was a really hands-on role, and I got to travel to China, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Berlin on inspiration trips, and worked across a broad product range, so when it came to buying for my own business, I had an indepth knowledge of fabrics and costings.
What inspired you to launch Iris & Violet – and how did you devise the name?
My favourite colours are lilacs and purples so the name came from a pantone fan. I opened my first store in Stamford in 2019, because I felt there was a gap in the market for a boutique with affordable yet beautiful brands.
Why did you choose Cambridge for your second store?
I’d only been trading for nine months and then Covid hit and in between the lockdowns in Stamford, we were busier than ever, which was crazy! So that gave me the confidence to consider expanding. I’d also had a baby girl during Covid so because the Stamford shop was fully staffed whilst I was on maternity, I didn’t want to reduce anyone’s hours when I returned to work, so it was the perfect opportunity to think about a second location.
Cambridge just felt right because it’s only an hour from Stamford, but it’s a completely different market with all the tourists and students, so it felt exciting. Also, at the time there wasn’t anyone in Cambridge who stocked my clothing brands, so we decided to go for it and opened in June 2021.
Can you tell us a little about the range of stock you sell?
We offer a carefully curated selection of clothing, homeware, accessories and gifting.
We mainly stock Scandinavian and French brands, and our dresses are very popular. We have dresses that start from £40 and go up to £130, though our average dress costs around £75, and the fabric, quality and detailing you get for that is so good. We also do basics like T-shirts, plus knitwear and denims. A lot of our fabrics are organic cottons and recycled polyester CHIC BOUTIQUE Voted one of the Top 50 UK Independents by Grazia Magazine, Iris & Violet is a vibrant fashion and lifestyle boutique in Cambridge.
We speak to its owner, former fashion buyer Bethany Scott-Morris so around 75 per cent of our range is sustainable. We also sell different jewellery brands such as Big Metal and Tutti & Co, plus homeware, bath oils, candles, and hair accessories. It’s a real mixture of products which work well together – and we offer free gift wrapping.
What’s the ethos of Iris & Violet?
I wanted to create a really relaxed shopping environment where customers can pop in regularly and not feel the pressure to spend. We try to give really good, friendly customer service, honest styling advice, and always go above and beyond, so if a customer needs another size, we can bring that over from Stamford, or if someone orders from the website and lives locally, we will deliver to their home.
What do you like about being an indie in Cambridge?
It’s an inspiring place to be and the reach of the customers we get from being in Cambridge is amazing, so you never quite know who is going to walk through your door! We’ve also got a great website so it means that customers who are only visiting Cambridge for a day or two can still shop with us once they are home.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the customer interaction on the shop floor, and we have some wonderful regulars. I also love the buying days in London, when we get to see the latest fashions. It’s so exciting seeing the new products and knowing my customers are going to love them too!
Iris & Violet is at 4 St Mary’s Passage, Cambridge. Visit irisandviolet.shop
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