Muddy gets stylish with Dionne Moore
Set your shopping mode to ninja, there's a super-chic retail hotspot in Glos. We tore ourselves away from the rails and ramen bowls to chat to the woman heading up the facelift.
Fashionistas and foodies rejoice … after a two year, £25m makeover the old Merrywalks shopping centre has been totally transformed into Five Valleys – a super-chic retail and dining destination.
Big names and the best indie boutiques are pouring in, from childrenswear go-to Jojo Maman Bebe to Sub Couture – one of the best loved stores in Notting Hill.
And as if that’s not enough to tempt you down, there’s a brand new street food market to rival (and based on) London’s Borough Market.
In the first of a special three-part series of features we caught up with super-glam centre manager Dionne Moore to chat life, fashion and food.
Hello Dionne! Tell us a bit about you? …
I’ve been the manager of Five Valleys since 2018 so have been here every step of the way for what is a really exciting redevelopment. The centre has changed so much over the past 18 months. I live nearby in pretty Painswick with my fiancé David, I love the Stroud area. Our wedding was actually set for September this year but the pandemic interrupted so we’ve moved it to September 2021! But I’m so excited to be tieing the knot in our village church, St Mary’s.
So you’re a fervent fashionista then?
You could say that! Before coming to Five Valleys I spent five years at Bicester Village running the Tommy Hilfiger and Kate Spade stores. But I have worked in fashion retail for many years and started my career on the high street managing stores for River Island, Zara and All Saints. I then moved into management and buying for the German Brand Oska, opening their store in
Having spent so many years running fashion businesses I just love all things fashion. I really enjoy blending high street brands with designers in one look, there are so many brands that I love, but some of my favourites are ba&sh, KateSpade and Sandro. My go-to high street stores are definitely Zara, Anthropologie and & Other Stories.
Five Valleys has had an incredible £25m makeover – what’s the vision?
I really believe Five Valleys will breath new life into the town and strengthen what is already a very vibrant and exciting place to visit. Patterns are changing and more people are looking to our corner of the country to settle down in, so it’s important the town has the right facilities – from our new doctors surgery and town centre apartments to the indoor street food market and fashion stores. I hope we can provide residents and visitors with everything they need with the new centre.
So what’s fresh and fabulous there?
We are opening our brilliant indoor food market in phases, with eight traders now fully open and we have more amazing, local traders coming soon including Pie Minister, Xocolatl, The Artisan Baker and Waghorn Butchers. There will be 20 in total so the place will have a fantastic atmosphere.
I’m also really excited to be able to say that Sandersons Department Store from Sheffield will be opening a brand-new fashion boutique here. It’s an independent department store that will bring an amazing range of new brands to the area.
We’ve also got lots of great events planned for the coming months from a Gluten Free Day on Saturday 16 September with special dishes from every trader, to some fabulous Festive Workshops coming up in December.
Describe your ultimate ‘dawn till dusk’ day?
A perfect day for me is all about great food, company and a good pamper session. I would start with breakfast at The Painswick taking in the beautiful views of the village. Then I’d head over to Francesco’s in Cheltenham for a blowdry by my hairdresser Lisa. Heading back into Stroud there’s nothing better than having a look around all of the quirky independent stores, you can always pick up something unique. I’d have to end up at our new night market at Five Valleys, with my friends, eating fabulous street food and listening to live music.
We’re whisking you off to your dream retail destination, where would it be?
It has to be the Champs-Elysees or Boulevard Haussmann in Paris every time! Shopping heaven for me.
Tell us something surprising about you?
I’d actually love to learn Portuguese one day as David and I spend a lot of time out there.
What can we expect at Five Valleys next?
I see Five Valleys as being the top spot for food and fashion in our area. We’re planning to introduce lots of new fashion stores, food traders as well as other leisure facilities so visitors can spend a full day here.
Over the next five years we hope to have worked closely with the local community to champion Stroud’s spirit too, and provide something special for people that live here and tourists alike.
The quickfire round ….
Describe yourself in three words? Determined, principled and caring.
Podcast, album or app of the moment?
The Headspace app for mindfulness.
Who’s your wardrobe spirit sister?
Olivia Palermo, as she always looks so chic and stylish.
I’ve always wanted to …
Create my own fragrance, I love perfume.
If you had one last meal? …
Asian food every time and any wine!
Share your pet peeves?
Noisy eating and bad table manners.
Best gift you’ve ever received?
My bespoke engagement ring.
Who do you most admire?
My mother, she’s my biggest role model in life.
Your three dream shopping buddies?
Gok Wan, Olivia Palermo and Anna Wintour.