Artichoke Collection: a unique fashion website with a great back story

One of the joys of owning Annabel & Grace is that we get to meet extraordinary people and hear their fascinating back stories. Artichoke Collection and its owner and founder Sarah Simonds is no exception to this ideal. Unfortunately, due to lockdown, I was only able to talk to Sarah on the phone. Nevertheless her energy and passion for what she is doing was still very evident.

Sarah Simonds owner of Artichoke Collection fashion website
Sarah Simonds in Artichoke Collection (previous season)

Sarah is a Norfolk farmer’s wife who has entered the fashion world because she has a great understanding of the fashion needs of older women and she wanted to find clothes that would suit them. She is herself a woman of a certain age and is only too aware of how few fashion collections are designed with the older woman in mind. Sarah has set about rectifying this with her website Artichoke Collection.

She scours Europe for clothes that will not only fit older women but will still be stylish – none of us want to look dowdy as we get older. This often leads her to Germany as some of their brands fit this brief and are relatively unknown to UK customers.

One of her great ‘finds’ is the Anna Montana Angelika Magic Stretch jean. They were recently featured on Lorraine on ITV and subsequently sold over 1000 pairs. Sarah kindly gave Grace and I each a pair to try out.

Scroll to the bottom of the post for the A&G discount code for Artichoke Collection.

Grace’s review:

OMG if you haven’t tried these magic stretch jeans yet, you are missing out. Super comfortable (you could do yoga in them) and mid-rise tummy-flattening design are the least of it. Very flattering Blue Black colour makes my legs look slimmer (definitely no bad thing). I usually wear a 12 but the 14 fits me perfectly.  Worn here with a classic navy crew neck made from 100% cotton.

Grace
GRACE RELAXING IN HER ARTICHOKE COLLECTION JEANS £69 worn with COTTON CREW NECK JUMPER also from Artichoke Collection
GRACE RELAXING IN HER ARTICHOKE COLLECTION JEANS £69
worn with COTTON CREW NECK JUMPER also from Artichoke Collection

Annabel’s review:

When Sarah said she would send us each a pair of these magic jeans, I chose the 7/8 Angelika Magic Stretch jean as a contrast to the more classic shape that Grace chose.

The 7/8 Angelika stretch jeans £66 (wearing size 10)

I think it is one of life’s fashion conundrums – the search for the perfect jean. However I can understand why so many women love these jeans and won’t buy any other brand. They are figure flattering rather than squeezing. They feel more like leggings than denim which can be quite constricting. They are designer style without the accompanying price tag.

Back view of the Angelika 7/8 jeans from Artichoke Collection
And from the back!

Sarah is a very warm and friendly person and it is obvious that she makes lifelong friends with both brand owners and her clients as is shown on the Artichoke Collection blog. She calls them all the Artichoke Girls.

One of the reasons I love Artichoke, not just because the jeans are magical, is that there is a very wide and varied choice. Sarah, unlike many buyers, caters for all tastes, shapes and budgets. There is a lot of colour as is shown by the Spring 2020 Dress collection. Click HERE for more info.

This time worn with Breton Style cotton polo neck £59

Grace and I love to support smaller businesses and post lockdown they are going to need our support more than ever. Let’s not lose these innovative business women like Sarah who are catering for our needs far more than many of the big brands with the big bank balances.

If you want to see Sarah at work then follow Artichoke Girls on Instagram and catch one of her live videos.

Artichoke also has a shop in Swaffham, Norfolk which will be open again after the lockdown. Sarah also takes her collection to many fairs. Have a look at her pop-up diary to see if she will be exhibiting near you in the future.

Finally Sarah has kindly offered our readers a 10% discount code ARTICHOKE20 which is applicable until 31st May 2020 on one basket.