The Carnival Queen, her attendants, the Mayor and Mayoress get set to open 'Velvet Rose'

A new fashion boutique and bespoke fabric design shop for Whitchurch was officially opened on Thursday by the Carnival Queen, her attendants, the Town’s Mayor and Mayoress, with many friends, family and visitors joining in the sparkling celebrations.

Marsha Swanzy relocated her ‘Velvet Rose’ shop to Whitchurch from Thatcham earlier this year; It is in the town centre, where the old House’N’Home shop used to be. You won’t recognise the place now though – it has had a huge transformation!

A large design table dominates the back room of the shop.

The front of the shop is filled with “Quintessentially English” dresses, skirts, trousers, jewellery and soft furnishings – with decorations like colourful lampshades and painted antlers completing the cosy feel. A changing room is tucked in the back so that you can make sure you get the perfect fit.

The rear of the shop is the heart of the business: a large table dominates, with sewing machines nearby and shelves filled with various fabrics. This is where Marsha Swanzy, the shops owner, applies her creativity to produce each custom fashion piece and furniture covering.

A crowd of well-wishers join in the opening celebration.

The landlady of the White Hart, Julie Moss said, “Both myself and Andy are so happy to see Velvet Rose move to a new Whitchurch location. We have known Marsha for a while and I am a great fan of her work, now owning an impressive nine velvet rose skirts, her items are so unique, do not date and make you feel special.”

Marsha Swanzy with friends and family.

She continued, “Marsha is offering a 10% discount to customers bringing in a White Hart receipt and is making her signature velvet roses for our customers eating on Monday from our Valentines menu. I predict Velvet Rose will be a big hit in Whitchurch and hope we will work together on future promotions too.”

Congratulations Velvet Rose – and welcome to Whitchurch!

Marsha’s website is at
This story also listed in BUSINESS NEWS.

Velvet Rose shop

Decorative lampshades and a table of arty accessories are in the front of the business.

Snip! The Carnival Queen and Mayor declare the shop open officially!