Crowberry Wood country lifestyle store offers an array of covetable, high-end labels - and there's a second store opening this spring.

The team at Crowberry Wood, just outside Darlington, are busy with a bit of a revamp when I pop in to say hello. But amid the rails of shirts and jumpers and piles of covetable clothing, their energy and enthusiasm are palpable.

The lifestyle store, which stocks fabulous country clothing and fashion labels, accessories and gifts, opened at Humbleton last year. Another store is following hot on its heels in the centre of Helmsley this spring. And they're not stopping there - the plan is for five Crowberry Wood shops in five years.

Darlington and Stockton Times:
Owner, Lottie and Chief Operating Officer, Lisa Watkins, have a wealth of knowledge in retail. Both were born and raised in the North Yorkshire countryside. Lottie grew up in a farmhouse on the Castle Howard Estate with chickens, cows and pigs roaming outside. Lisa grew up at Battersby Junction and could often be found walking up the incline.

Crowberry Wood is based at Darlington Farmers Auction Mart, you will get a warm welcome from the team, Charlotte and KM and they have already proved popular with the regular mart customers and new faces alike.

Crowberry Wood is a quintessentially quirky lifestyle and fashion business that welcomes you with open arms, with a wealth of product knowledge, customers can come to us for a good old chat with a cuppa or a personal styling appointment for an event.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

They are also in the process of finalising their online store.Those drawn in to visit the store can browse fabulous labels, including Ridgeline, Holland Cooper, Gant, Ariat, Dubarry, Welligogs and Hartwell. The most popular items with customers are Hayley Menzies' colourful knitwear "for refined rebels" and RM Williams' iconic Australian hand-crafted boots.

So which comes first - style or practicality? "We stock thoughtfully sourced pieces that offer both a practical and a fashion approach to dressing," says Lisa. "There's no reason a practical piece of clothing can't be stylish as well. At Crowberry Wood, we offer modern solutions to country lifestyle dressing, but there's a nod to traditional country, too."

The team also offer expertise; they pride themselves on their extensive product knowledge. And on being friendly and welcoming. "Customers are valued and respected, without exception," says Lottie. "We like to think we go above and beyond."

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Area Retail Manager for the business is Emma Dodsworth, who says approachability and great customer service are the order of the day at Crowberry Wood, as well as offering an enticing array of goods.

"Our tagline is Quintessentially Quirky. We specialise in catering for everyone, whatever their budget. Lottie and Lisa have a wealth of experience in retail, they see beyond the usual country stores and are always looking for the next exciting brand to bring on board."

The team are hugely excited about opening their second store in the Old Yorkshire Bank building in Helmsley and aim to give the space a real wow factor. The centrepiece, a huge and very ornate chandelier, has already been sourced from a reclamation yard in North Yorkshire, and the mood boards have been finalised.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

"The interior reflects both Lottie and Lisas tastes, with sumptuous colour pallets and fabrics, unique pieces and one off art installations, we both are maximalist people when it comes to interiors and the shops will all reflect that vibe, providing an experience as well as a shopping destination." says Lottie.

"The store will have a mix of covetable brands. Helmsley is our local market town and we're looking forward to welcoming locals and tourists. We are also thrilled to be providing jobs for the local community."Lottie and Lisa have always loved being in the countryside.  Lottie now lives on a smallholding. "We have our own farm animals, but they are pets for our daughter MiMi," she says. "I like nothing more than heading out with my wellies across the fields with our dogs, or duck racing on the stream with MiMi."

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Lisa lives near Helmsley "My favourite thing to do is spend time on the Yorkshire Moors walking my dogs, or creating outfits and posts for my social media following @lisaloustyle and @crowberry.wood".

Further afield, Lottie is always on the lookout for independent shops that sell unique pieces, salvage yards, and coffee shops. She's passionate about the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors, the North East coastline and the Lake District, "and a good walk on the beach in all weathers, followed by a bacon butty and a cuppa. I love everything wild and untouched about the countryside."

So what would we find them wearing when when they are out and about ? Lotties is: "My must-haves include a Hayley Menzies cardigan, Shuttlesocks and a Ridgeline coat." For Lisa it's "Ariat boots, Holland Cooper jeans and a trusty Ridgeline".

Crowberry Wood, Unit 9, Darlington Farmers Auction Mart, Humbleton Park, Darlington, DL22YH

Opening late spring at 14 Castlegate, Helmsley, York, YO625AB

Find out more on our socials: