The month of July is Independent Retailers Month and Calladoodles are getting involved in this annual campaign. To celebrate,( and on their behalf) I interviewed four women involved (in one way or another) with running independent shops on Carshalton High Street. This week, it is Rebecca Mackenzie turn. She is owner Dotty Teahouse. Rebecca talks motherhood, favourite food, and holidays.
When was Dotty Teahouse set up? Dotty’s Teahouse opened in May 2016 following 4 years of trading at festivals and private events from my vintage caravan “Dotty”.
Why was Dotty Teahouse set up? Dotty’s Teahouse was a natural progression for me having spent much of 2015 establishing a tea room in Kingston’s famous market place. Originally a Christmas ‘pop-up’ concept championed by Kingston Council we were able to use the opportunity to learn, adapt, and spend time building our brand and perfecting our style.
What should we expect when we visit your cafe? Dotty’s is a vintage style teahouse serving freshly made food, cakes, cream teas and of course the traditional ‘high tea’. We are a family friendly café offering mums and local’s a place to meet, eat and shop as we have a lovely selection of handmade gifts which are all sourced from local independents. Dotty’s is a community hub and we are so thrilled that people are enjoying what we have to offer!
How has motherhood changed you? Motherhood has changed me in a lot of ways, some for the better, some for the worse. But like most mothers I am fiercely protective of my children. I think this is mainly because I was very ill during my (twin) pregnancy and there was a serious threat we could have lost them. That thought still haunts me to this day but conversely, it has also been a huge motivating factor and I strive each day to make their little lives as happy and secure as I can.
How do you maintain a work and life balance? At The moment my work / life balance is a little off kilter… but that’s because I have taken on a huge project with Dotty’s Teahouse and it is still early days. My girls are hugely involved with the Teahouse and they love helping Mummy when they can, they are learning valuable life skills and whilst that is important I am very conscious that we spend time together as a family and that we have fun! Working, looking after children and running a home is a constant juggling act but I have a very supportive family and we all help each other as much as possible, it's teamwork!
What is the movie that made you cry the hardest? Beaches with Bet Midler! It’s an old film about 2 little girls who become friends and go onto to lead separate lives, but one of them dies and it’s so sad…it just gets me every time!!
If you ran the world, what law would you introduce? Be kind to one another.
What is your favourite vacation spot? I love the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire. We visit the Cotswolds as often as we can. It’s such a change of pace, lots of fresh air and lots of beautiful countryside to explore…not to mention the fact that it is home to many beautiful tearooms and I always love to pick up new ideas!
What skills would you like to pass on to your daughters Oh this is a hard one... I guess it would have to be my determination and self-belief. My mother and father have always said that when I get an idea into my head I do not let it go and whilst this can be infuriating for my long suffering family, I think it’s actually a good attribute to have! I hope my daughters have the confidence and determination to live their life as they wish and fulfil all of their dreams no matter what.
What is your favourite food? I love Chinese food! Definitely my favourite food of all time!
Freewill or destiny? Destiny