Meet the Browns - Seonee

Most people know that Browns is a family run business, meaning we work together, spend holidays together, live together and so we consider it a good day if no one attempts to kill anyone else! Just joking, but we do see a LOT of each other.

Being a family run business is one of the things which we think makes Browns special, so we thought what better way to share a little insight into our family with you than to do a series of articles getting to know us Browns. 

Our first interview is with Seonee Brown, display guru, customer service star and all around good egg. 

What is one thing that customers don't know about you?

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, was my Head Girl at my senior school in Sunningdale, Berkshire. 

What jobs did you have before setting up Browns?

Oh goodness, so many! I am retail through and through. I had Saturday jobs in a fabric shop and Army surplus shop.

I have worked for a clothing company designing leisurewear for Boots and Long Tall Sally. Then I worked for a fashion buying house in London, shipping out top designer fashion to exclusive American boutiques. Ranges included Zandra Rhodes, Jean Muir etc. I also hosted stands at trade shows. 

I then worked as a quality controller for Jaguar cars with their top market clothing range and promotional racewear. Later I worked for an international courier company.

I have now been self employed for over thirty years. Phil and I have had a bridal shop, a children's clothing shop, a cook shop with a cafe, and I have sold jewellery on a market stall.

What are the best and worst things about being self employed?

I love meeting and talking to customers, love being my own boss and choosing items for the shop which I want to buy. It gives me great satisfaction and pride to run a successful shop and work with my family. I love being able to take the dogs to work with us everyday.

The downside is a definite lack of time to get everything done and just not having enough hours in the day and not getting the paid for holidays you have when you are employed by someone else. 

What is your favourite item you have ever had from the shop?

Very difficult as we love everything we get into the store, that's why we choose it! Two of my favourites are my watches, my silver watch which comes from our Israeli silver company, and my great big Newgate watch, because unlike the silver one I can see without my glasses on! 

If you could take one item from the shop home right now, what would it be?

It is very temping to take everything in the shop home, but at the moment I think one of our faux fur lined ponchos that have just come in, as they look so cosy. But I also wouldn't mind a Jellycat or two.

What's your favourite thing about Dulverton?

I love knowing all the locals, but I also like meeting all the visitors who come from far and wide. I love the size of Dulverton and that you can get most things you need without having to leave. I absolutely love the charity shops. 

If you could change one thing about the shop, what would it be?

I would like the shop and courtyard to be bigger as we are always struggling for space. If we could take over the whole central carpark next to us that would be great.

What is your proudest moment?

Seeing both children graduate from University, having not been to University myself (I went to fashion college in London). 

What three things couldn't you live without?

My dogs, my family and the beautiful place where I live.

What is your favourite film?

I can't decide between two, Titanic and Dirty Dancing. 

What piece of advice would you give to someone who is thinking about going self employed?

Expect to work harder than ever before, don't expect to take long holidays or loads of time off. Enjoy being your own boss and in charge of your own destiny. You get out what you put in. 

And finally, if you were a dog what breed of dog would you be?

I would be an Italian Spinone.

Now for a few throw back photos...