by Sophie Bloodworth
Deadly Is The Female
The name says it all; deadly, bold and beautiful. This shop based in Frome, Somerset, embodies the powerful yet charming characteristic of being a woman.
‘Deadly Is The Female’ opened its doors back in 2008 and it has gone from strength to strength, clothing women of all shapes and sizes, offering retro and pin-up styles, from wiggle dresses and sailor pants to swing dresses, Fatale Lipsticks, stockings and more. And it offers more than just classic clothing and accessories as the shop prides itself on giving good old-fashioned customer service too. All three females working in the shop share the same mentality of listening to the customer, being supportive and attentive and most importantly, encouraging their female patrons to celebrate their bodies by dressing them in stylish, feel-good clothes.
I met Scarlett, the Manager of ‘Deadly Is The Female’, to find out more about this fantastic little shop and it’s wonderful outlook on women and fashion.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in getting to where you are today?
Well, when Claudia, the owner, opened the shop back in November 2008, at first a lot of people thought it was some kind of adult/sex shop! So, it was a little tricky to begin with but once the shop had established itself a bit more, we were able to just run with it. I would also say that being an independent shop can be challenging as you are constantly competing with the high street which offers lots of cheaper products, but we continue to maintain our ethos around quality and helping women feel fabulous!
What was the inspiration behind setting up this type of shop in Frome?
Claudia was a designer in London at the time and was regularly having pieces shipped over from America and started getting lots of compliments and queries about where those pieces of clothing were from, so she decided to set up her own business stocking these items. She saw a gap in the market for offering this type of glamourous clothing and liked the idea of being her own boss, and so she began from there.
What skills do you think have helped you succeed the most?
Determination and risk-taking. Claudia is really inspiring seeing what she has done over the last 10 years and when ordering clothing we don’t get to see it in person, so we have to take a risk by selecting something and hoping it will do well in the shop. However, we’ve developed a good eye for detail over the years so we have become pretty confident in knowing our fabrics, our style and what will work best. Customer care is another key skill we all share. We look after our customers and enjoy building a rapport with them.
Have you learned anything in your work that influences your daily life?
Yes. A lot more body confidence and appreciation for the body I have. Seeing a range of different shapes and sizes of women trying on clothes every day teaches you to accept your body, for all of its contours and complexities. And decorating it, no matter what the occasion may be!
Or even if there isn’t one, who says you have to have an occasion to wear something special anyway? Do it because it makes you feel good.
What is your main type of customer? Are they already interested in vintage/retro styles?
No, we don’t have one type of customer. We have a mixture of ages and interests, as well as various body shapes. We have young ladies shopping for prom dresses and we also have a few regular customers who are in their glorious 80s!
Do you have any particular female inspirations?
Each other. The ‘Deadly Girls’ as we call ourselves, inspire one another. I can’t say I have a specific celebrity as an inspiration, but I can say that the three of us working here together consistently motivate one another to celebrate and enjoy the power of dressing up!
‘Deadly Is The Female’ is a real gem and much like going to the Goodwood Revival weekend in September, it’s just like taking a step back in time where you can expect to be greeted with good old charm and find yourself surrounded by a revitalization of celebratory, colourful and chic clothing.
You can find Claudia, Scarlett and Kat at ‘Deadly Is The Female’ at: