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Owner of Etta Lingerie and Nightwear in Mill Street, Oakham to open store in former Cakes and Co building in Stamford

A mum who founded a lingerie shop in the hopes of empowering women is opening a second store after ‘channelling her negativity into a positive’.

Hetty Arnold opened Etta Lingerie and Nightwear in Mill Street, Oakham in January after noticing a gap in the market.

Less than six months on, she has announced plans for a second store and has signed a lease for the former Cakes and Co building in Stamford.

Etta Lingerie, with her children Poppy and Bridget outside the new shop
Etta Lingerie, with her children Poppy and Bridget outside the new shop

The cake shop is moving to the Old Pear Tree pub in Broad Street. Hetty, who grew up in Louth, said: “I’m born and bred in Lincolnshire.

“Whenever we want to go out as a family we go to Stamford.

Etta Lingerie in Oakham
Etta Lingerie in Oakham

“We love the architecture and when you walk through it feels like it’s miles away, almost as if you are on holiday.”

On her 30th birthday last month, Hetty experienced a late miscarriage, which pushed her to take on the lease for the new shop. She hopes to open in August.

“If it wasn’t for that I wouldn't have been looking elsewhere as there’s no chance I would have had time,” she said.

“I channelled the negativity into something positive.

“I lost my baby on my 30th birthday but I have taken on a shop lease which has kick-started my business’ future.”

Etta Lingerie in Oakham
Etta Lingerie in Oakham

It was on a visit to Stamford on market day that Hetty noticed the high level of footfall which the town attracts. This, along with the short distance between Stamford and Oakham, was what solidified that it was the right place for her business.

Hetty describes the response to the business in Oakham as ‘incredible’ but noted the number of shoppers visiting the town can often be quite low.

Common feedback she has received relates to the price and range of items. But this is something she plans to tackle in Stamford, as she hopes to get more customers through the door.

Hetty is trained in bra fitting and prides herself on a personalised service, particularly to those who are a bit out of their comfort zone.

“We want to bring back control into the bra industry,” she said.

“Standing there without clothes on and asking what your bra size is, can make you feel vulnerable. When else would you have to do that?

“We get to know our shoe size and clothing size without having to ask anyone.

“When we fit people we teach them how to do it themselves.”

In the shop Hetty also discourages women from describing themselves or their body in a negative way and promotes body confidence.

Etta stocks sizes six to 22 and up to H-cups in bras from a range of brands, including independent designers and the underwear is described as being ‘practical but pretty’.

Hetty moved to Rutland last year with her husband Jamie and two young children, Poppy and Bridget, to be within a blue light zone of a hospital.

Poppy, who was born in 2021, was diagnosed with a heart defect and required open heart surgery while she was a baby.

Although Poppy, who was born with Down Syndrome, recovered from the operation, there were no nearby hospitals in North Lincolnshire which had departments for children with cardiac conditions.

One year ago the pair welcomed their second daughter Bridget.

Hetty Arnold and Lizzie Adams
Hetty Arnold and Lizzie Adams

Hetty is holding a boudoir photoshoot on July 21 with Rutland-based photographer Lizzie Adams of Shoot It Momma Photography.

Tickets quickly sold out and new dates are being announced on the Etta Lingerie Instagram page.

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