Tucked away near the top of John Street is an unassuming little shop named Madia & Matilda. The shop front may be small but inside is a world of fashion!
Shalize Nicholas first formed the idea for her clothing brand back at university. Now she makes and sells beautiful clothes in sizes 6 – 20, inspired by vintage patterns but adapted to her own designs. I had a little peep into her workshop to find out more.
Shalize: From a very young age I wanted to do something crafty and I’ve always had a love of fine fabrics. Then as a teenager I became very interested in recycling. At university all my projects were geared towards sustainability and then my final project was called ‘Craft Britannia’ – all upcycled clothing. The pieces all fell into place at that point. The quality today in Fast Fashion is so poor, I wanted to make clothes that will last.
I source my materials from factories, suppliers and closing down shops. It’s often dead stock or end of lines, things that would otherwise go into landfill, but it’s always good quality. When I have a fabric that I love I’ll save every last bit of it – even small scraps can be used as trims for cuffs. I hate waste!
Because we’re using up ends of fabrics our clothing is all very limited edition – we make no more than 2 – 5 garments of any design. Everything is made to order to eliminate waste, and we offer a bespoke alteration service for men’s, women’s and kids’ clothes to make your unloved garments loved again (see our website for details.) We also offer a wedding consultation service to help you with style, fit and alterations.
In addition to running the clothing brand, Shalize is happy to pass on her creative skills to others. She has taken on a few interns to help teach them valuable skills for the fashion industry.
Shalize: Each intern is working on a different program as they are studying different courses at university. One is a textile based course teaching different sewing techniques; another focuses on fashion photography. Another of my interns has come to us through the GEM Project (Going the Extra Mile) in Gloucestershire which helps to give people the skills they need to find employment. I’m just about to start a 6-week recycling workshop in Gloucester for a group called Crafty Ladies. It’s for anyone who wants to learn how to repair, alter and upcycle their clothes. It’ll be £4 a session, running from the Global Education Trust bookshop in Westgate Street, Gloucester from 21 March. There are still a few places left, but book soon to avoid disappointment. Call 01453 454160 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. We’ll look at running other workshops in the future. If you’re interested to find out about these, sign up to our newsletter on our website or in the shop.
Madia & Matilda, 6 John St, Stroud, GL5 2HA
(Tues-Fri 10am-6pm & Sat 9am-4pm)