About Melbury Gallery
The Melbury Gallery story first began in London, in the early heady days of the Seventies, where a young Thelma arrived wide-eyed, amazed and delighted by metropolitan freedom. “We had the iconic Biba Store” she recalls, “along with Laura Ashley’s flagship Sloane Square store, the first Monsoon, the Kings’ Road stores; all ground-breaking, all inspirational. We were always at art galleries and music venues too. It was such an incredibly happy and exciting time”. Working on Kensington High Street, eccentric and eclectic London street markets were a part of daily life. “I bought a treasured white embroidered Afghan coat from Portobello Road market, even my engagement ring came from there.” “We were always doing crazy things – like driving from London to Florence in a VW split-screen camper van!”
At this time Thelma also made her own clothes - velvet jackets, cotton dresses and even a suit for her husband, all created from market-stall finds. Thelma’s love of fashion is inherited, she says, from her elegant grandmother, styled in the glamorous 20’s and a massive early influence. There is no doubt that the 70’s era, and the amazing ‘can do’ attitude that was experienced by many during this period, shaped her life’s work, finding expression today in the unique character of Melbury Gallery.
The first Melbury Gallery shop opened in Shaftesbury, in April 1980. Originally an art gallery jewellery, ceramics and then clothing were gradually introduced. 1983 saw the move to Sherborne, where, from the bottom of the High Street, the new Melbury Gallery store went from strength to strength. In 1995, Melbury Gallery relocated to its current fabulous Sherborne site; a brave and highly successful move mid-recession! In 2010 the Dorchester shop was launched and in 2020 we decided to close this premises and amalgamate it into our Sherborne shop..
Thelma is the very heart and soul of Melbury Gallery. Her individual style and flair is felt in everything within the store, from the smallest shapely earring to the largest luscious throw. In fact every single item is still hand-selected by Thelma, always being conscious of ethical trading and the environment.
An incredibly proud moment was when Melbury Gallery won the Best National Independent Gift Retailer of Jewellery Award in 2012. A massive accolade for an independent business, especially sharing the room with retail giants such as John Lewis and Selfridges. Recognition indeed for Thelma's ability to seek out a dazzling array of stock from artisans as local as Cornwall, to the far flung corners of the globe. Winning again in 2017 was another amazing triumph for Melbury Gallery!
A huge thank you to all the incredible staff at Melbury Gallery who have helped make it what it is today, and a huge thank you to you, our valued customers, many of whom are now friends.