Mum and daughter team Liz and Clare started the business six years ago with a heart for old-fashioned high street shopping. Since then, the team has grown and we now have a fantastic all-girl staff: Liz, Clare, Victoria, Kate, Rebecca, Emma and Caitlin.
We have a passion for beautiful gifts, cards and homeware and love creating amazing displays and keeping up with all the latest trends (and starting some of our own too!).
At Calladoodles, we pride ourselves on providing the very best one-to-one customer service. We love our community and do our utmost to create a special experience for our customers. We try to combine a traditional high street shopping experience with a truly independent feel.
We hope that when you visit us you will feel our enthusiasm and energy for what we do!
"Hi, I'm Clare, or "high street mummy" as my daughter likes to call me! I'm a local mum of two and I manage Calladoodles. I initially had a career in the mental health sector as a senior support worker in Brighton, where I worked in hostels with the homeless, ex-offenders and addicts. Whilst doing some work at the YMCA, I met a friend who was also a designer/maker and we ended up doing the craft markets and fairs together. We grew a great network of creative people there and felt inspired to explore that avenue further. However, I had to move back to London and the job that I had there was seriously unfulfilling. After sticking at it for a while, I had the mad idea of opening our own shop that sold handmade cards and gifts!! It was at this point that my mum got involved and the dream became a reality. Over the years, the shop has evolved enormously and we have made it a top priority to be consumer and design-led as far as our stock is concerned. We are all about the high street, maintaining community and playing our part to ensure that these traditions don't die out."
"So... I'm Victoria (not Vicky!) I'm 36 (yikes!) and married with one lovely little girl (aahhhhh!). I've worked in retail, like, forever! Which is lucky actually, because I love people. I started my humble beginnings as a Saturday girl in Clarks Shoes, working up to supervisor for five years - I loved fitting kids' shoes! Then onto fashion retail at Oasis as Assistant Manager and then Manager for 10 years (I loved the discount!). I was unbelievably lucky to strike up a friendship with Clare, here at Calladoodles after we'd had our girls, and as a result started working for her in 2013. I'm not just saying this - I love it here!! Our team is just wonderful (friends as well as colleagues) and I can't help but love everything we sell, which obviously helps! I love people and spending time with my family - on the flip side, I also love and value time on my own for box sets, reading and wine! Looking forward to meeting you all someday in the shop!"
"I started working life in the bullion department of the Bank of England in 1969, keeping an eye on the stacks of gold and silver bars which are lodged in the vaults at Threadneedle Street. I made my way towards Calladoodles via jobs in local social services, the DHSS, family planning clinics, plus a long stretch as a photographer's assistant and, at the same time, a teaching assistant. Ready at last to take my gap year at the age of 60, I was drawn into Clare's plans for a gift shop and here I still am!! I love the buzz and feedback from our customers, the challenge of squeezing an ever-growing selection of brilliant cards into the limited space, and working with a truly great young team, whose energy and skills keep the business improving and flourishing. That said, I still have a yearning to take that gap year and hope to disappear to my favourite city (after London) Paris, before my 90th birthday. My spare time, such as it is, is spent chatting, drinking coffee, eating cake, drawing, enjoying music, art and plenty of good red wine! Oh, and of course spending time with our two lovely grandchildren Chloe and Zak."
"Hi! I’m Caitlin and I am 15. I have actually been with Calladoodles since the very first day it opened its doors (although I didn’t do much back then) and have loved every second of seeing it grow. I mainly work holidays and half terms as I am currently taking my GCSEs and play netball every weekend. My favourite thing about working here would have to be being able to work with such friendly people and everyone always teaching each other new things, especially tips and tricks to get things done efficiently (as well as what good TV series and films I must watch!). In my spare time, I love to spend time with my family and two sisters and watch the TV series that Victoria recommends!!"
"Hello! I'm Emma and I'm 15. I love working at Calladoodles! I work every Saturday from 11am-3pm. My favourite thing about working here is that it has really helped to build my confidence. When I first started I was really shy, but my confidence has really grown. I also like to wind Kate up by pretending to fall when I'm up the ladder!"
"Hello I'm Kate! I'm 27, married to Russell and we love living in Carshalton. I am a creative lifestyle & wedding photographer and love having a go at anything crafty (including making this website!). I love to sing and have previously run a variety of choirs. I have a huge heart for kids and have a background in childcare, along with working with social services and the Salvation Army. I also have a professional youth work qualification and just love working with people in general. I have struggled with illness and depression for many years and the amazing Calladoodles family have been a source of encouragement and support. I am so grateful to be a part of this team and I am passionate about our local community. I'm really enjoying getting to know you all better and hope to support and discover more local projects and events. My favourite thing about our shop (apart from the team!) is that the beautiful cards and gifts help me to celebrate my friends and family in a more personal way. Whether that's a birthday, a new baby being born or just a reminder that they are loved - I know I will always find something that they will love and that helps to make their special occasion even more special!"
"Hi, I'm Rebecca! Along with my passion for the shop, I enjoy skiing, cycling, literature, art and being by the sea! I have worked in Calladoodles for over five years now! I started off by sheepishly entering the shop after asking around the local community for work experience and Clare offered me an opportunity that I will be forever thankful for. After my work experience was finished, I was taken on as a Saturday girl and have never left! I work throughout all holidays, helping whenever I can as I always look forward to returning to the shop. I love Christmas time in Calladoodles - particularly Christmas Eve - as the atmosphere is festive beyond belief and the spirit is alive with joy and excitement! During my time in the shop, I have grown into a confident retail assistant and am completely at ease within my work. Since very early on, I have called the shop my ‘peace haven’ as Calladoodles brings happiness and joy to both me and its customers! Chatting with them has to be my favourite part of the job, as well as getting to peruse all the fantastic and beautiful new products that are about to go on the shelves. Since moving away to Wales, I have had less chance to be with the shop but it, my colleagues and customers will always hold a dear place in my heart and I hope I will always have the opportunity to return! Calladoodles feels like a second family that I am honoured to be a part of as I have watched it grow and transform. I can’t wait to drive past in years to come, telling the next generation about how it all started and how I was a part of that amazing journey!"
Big thanks to the lovely Sam Neill for letting us use Village Perk as the back drop for our staff photos!