Published: 20:25, 22 September 2021
| Updated: 13:18, 24 September 2021
A popular and much-loved wedding clothing store is to close after 40 years of business.
Fashion Scene, known for its mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom outfits, is closing this weekend after four decades serving customers in Meopham.
The shop on the parade has served thousands of customers over the years from across the South East with customers coming from as far as Bournemouth and Portsmouth to try on their items.
Shop owner Maura Thomas started her venture in August 1981 with only one store but soon expanded into the neighbouring shop with one offering wedding clothes and the other causal attire a couple of years later.
Since 1981 she says they have sold 1,000 wedding outfits every year, totalling 40,000 outfits for mothers.
Talking about her time owning the shop, which will come to an emotional end on Saturday, Maura said: "It has been exciting, rewarding and enormously fun.
"It was tremendously exciting to have all our seven fitting rooms on a Saturday filled and people queuing outside."
The shop is closing its doors this weekend as Maura heads into a well-deserved retirement.
She said: "It is not sad because we have had 40 wonderful years. It is the right time. I have reached the time to retire.
"It is exciting. It is time to do what I have not had a chance to do."
Fashion Scene is known for its extensive range of wedding outfits for mothers from specialists across Europe including Spain, Italy and even further afield from America.
Maura recalled how she used to go to Spain and pick the designs which would then be exclusively created for her clients.
Fashion Scene's customers would leave the store with a whole new outfit from jackets, suits and dresses to hats, bags and shoes which would all co-ordinate.
She added: "We have sold hundreds of thousands of hats in all shapes and colours."
Maura suggested not much has changed over the past 40 years and simply stated that customers "just want a nice dress".
She continued: "It was bursting with customers."
However, she did say she had noticed tastes did vary with some women wanting pastels, some bright colours and others something nobody else has in their wardrobe.
Maura thanked her "loyal customers and wonderful staff" in a message on Facebook.
Her staff have also remained loyal with one working with her for 22 years and two for 19 years.
The former Meopham resident lived in the area for 50 years and decided to open up shop locally to provide a service for the village.