The Chronicle & Echo May '23

The Chronicle & Echo May '23

Founder feels ‘fortunate’ that luxury ladieswear store is soon to celebrate a decade open in Northampton

“Never in a million years did I think the business would grow to what it is now”

A luxury ladieswear store is soon to celebrate a decade open in Northampton, a milestone the founder never anticipated the business would reach.

32 The Guild, in Guildhall Road, was set up by Zoie Walker 10 years ago when she took a chance on starting up a business on borrowed credit cards – while juggling being a mother to two young children.

The business is now known as a destination store for those wanting a premium everyday look, and the all-female team has made their mark on the luxury ladieswear market.

Former footwear designer Zoie moved to Northampton from London more than a decade ago and struggled to find any stores that inspired her – so she decided to change that herself.

“I followed an urge,” she told this newspaper. “It was tough in the early days but we offered something different and people were intrigued.

“We look to offer luxury everyday. You wouldn’t come to us for a ballgown or anything dressy – we’re all about simple, laid back, everyday chic.”

As the brand was not on social media and Zoie ran it by herself as she could not afford to employ staff to begin with, the founder is proud to have come so far.


When asked at what point she knew the business had made it, Zoie said: “The luxury of taking on my first member of staff was a major milestone and achievement.”

The team at 32 The Guild is now a five-strong female team and Zoie says it is a “lovely working environment and everyone supports each other”.


For the business to be going from strength to strength during a difficult financial climate, the founder feels “incredible and fortunate” to be in the position she is.

“It all comes down to hard work and our ever-growing, loyal customers,” Zoie added.

Her proudest moment is making it to a decade of being open and she admits that “never in a million years did she think the business would grow to what it is now”.

Zoie is also proud that 32 The Guild has been featured in a number of national publications, including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and Tatler magazine.

This has not only helped to open up a whole new audience online, but has attracted celebrities to shop with 32 The Guild.

Though the pandemic proved to be the store’s biggest challenge, Zoie described it as “transformative” in growing their online presence and it “forced her hand for the better”.

With a shop full of clothes when the first lockdown was announced, the team had to jump on social media in an attempt to sell the items.

32 The Guild is celebrating on the day of the anniversary, next Saturday (May 20), with an in-store event that promises “lots of surprises”.

Looking to the future of the business, Zoie would like to see it continue to “grow and evolve” into a nationally recognised website.

Though she admits it is a big dream, Zoie hopes 32 The Guild will one day become the go-to website for laid back and contemporary ladieswear.

Words by Katie Wheatley at The Chronicle & Echo


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