From the market to Muswell Hill: New store opens in Fortis Green Rd

Owner and founder of What Mother Made, Charlotte Denn, outside the new store in Fortis Green

Owner and founder of What Mother Made, Charlotte Denn, outside the new store in Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill - Credit: What Mother Made

Muswell Hill added to its strong selection of independent businesses over the weekend, as adult and children’s wear company What Mother Made opened its new store to customers on February 12. 

Located in Fortis Green Road, the site is owner and founder Charlotte Denn’s third shop, with the other two in east London, in Homerton and Stoke Newington. 

Charlotte, who is also based in Homerton, said she started What Mother Made just over 11 years ago, when she began selling clothes she made for her young child at Columbia Flower Market. 

As well as its adult and children’s clothing ranges, What Mother Made stocks handmade dolls, toys, puzzles, prints and a host of other children’s gifts. 

Knowing she wanted to open a third store, her plans were derailed by the pandemic, before she found the Muswell Hill site last year. 

Charlotte Denn started What Mother Made when she began selling clothes she made for her young child at Columbia Flower Market

Charlotte Denn started What Mother Made when she began selling clothes she made for her young child at Columbia Flower Market - Credit: What Mother Made

She said: “I knew through research that Muswell Hill didn’t have anything here like it, and so I came up quite a few times and got a feel for the area. I spoke to lots of the surrounding independents and they said how good it is up here, and it felt like a good opportunity.” 

While the company has grown over the last 11 years, Charlotte’s desire for What Mother Made to retain its identity as a sustainable and local independent has not changed. 

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She said: “We still handmake all of the clothing ourselves. It’s all done in east London, so it’s very local. The fabrics are locally-sourced as well, so nothing’s travelled very far.” 

Charlotte said the launch was successful, with “lots of interest in it, lots of people coming to have a look and really interested in the space and the product”. 

As well as its adult and children's clothing ranges, What Mother Made also stocks puzzles, toys and other gifts

As well as its adult and children's clothing ranges, What Mother Made also stocks puzzles, toys, prints and other locally-sourced gifts - Credit: What Mother Made

She added that, although some people coming into the store already knew the brand, she appreciates that What Mother Made is less well known in Muswell Hill than it was in Hackney, when she launched her Stoke Newington site. 

Unphased by the challenge, Charlotte says that gradual growth is something that has benefited the company over the years. 

“It’s been very slow, very organic, slow growth, with no investment or anything", she said.

“It’s taken a long time to get where I am. But I’m very happy with that pace.”