Fashion that feels as good as it looks at Bella and Mae

Bella and Mae owner Susanne Marie Miller. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Bella and Mae owner Susanne Marie Miller. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The owner of new women’s fashion shop in Haleigh Bella and Mae on style for all sizes and her range of Peaky Blinders hats.

Winter style at Bella and Mae Picture: GREGG BROWN

Winter style at Bella and Mae Picture: GREGG BROWN

Hadleigh is not short on independent women’s fashion stores, but the managing director of new shop Bella and Mae promises a “unique” style which will only add to the many retail attractions of the picturesque market town.

Susanne Marie Miller is a life-long fashion obsessive who personally chooses and checks every item she buys for the Market Street shop to curate a range of clothes and fashion accessories that look and feel special, yet are in sizes for everyone.

“I think my buying is quite unique,” says Susanne. “I make sure I get a real mix of styles and sizes. I go into London to my suppliers and pick out everything myself. I even feel the material. I think it is so important that something feels as good as it looks on the person.”

Suzanne, who lives in Ipswich, hopes the range of styles and sizes and her friendly service will ease the intimidation factor some fashion retailers can have.

Style for all sizes at Bella and Mae. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Style for all sizes at Bella and Mae. Picture: GREGG BROWN


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“I never want somebody to feel self conscious about coming on because they think they are too big and we won’t have their size. My clothes go from the very small up to size 18.

“There will always be a warm welcome. I’ve always got time and a smile for people. I want people to feel good about themselves.”

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Despite always loving getting dressed up – Suzanne, who went to Kesgrave High School, Ipswich, was a New Romantic during the early 1980s “I love all the lace, gloves and frilly shirts” – she put her fashion dream on hold to look after her four children, two girls and two boys with husband Johnny.

When they all had reached school age, Susanne worked in a friend’s fashion shop, Tea Boutique, in Nicholas Street, Ipswich, before opening branches of Bella and Mae – derived from the names of her daughters Isabella, 11, and Page Katy Mae, 21 - in Ipswich for three and a half years and then “a little area” at Friday Street Farm Shop in Saxmundham.

Bella and Mae in Market Street, Hadleigh. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Bella and Mae in Market Street, Hadleigh. Picture: GREGG BROWN

But when the Hadleigh shop came up for rent, Susanne thought it would be perfect. “Hadleigh is full of independent shops so I thought I’d really fit in,” she says.

Susanne opened Bella and Mae in Hadleigh on December 5 last year and has been delighted by the initial response from customers in and outside the town. “I am thrilled with the new shop and I love the location. I hope some of my Ipswich customers will come and join me here.” she says. “We’ve had lots of lovely comments and feedback from customers since we moved in.”

As for Suzanne’s unique style, there’s more than a touch of gangster’s moll chic in her latest window display. She say: “We have got the most fantastic range of 1920s hats. If you’re a fan of Peaky Blinders on the BBC then we’ve got the hat for you.”

Bella And Mae is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4.30pm. For more information, visit the Facebook site or call 07738 389809.

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