Life-saving wife’s vintage venture

Karen Mountford, of Kwirky Kow.
Karen Mountford, of Kwirky Kow.

A Boston businesswoman who helped save her husband’s life earlier this year says the brush with death has inspired her to open up her own shop in the town.

Karen Mountford, 42, of Freiston, launched Kwirky Kow, in Dolphin Lane, at the end of November.

The mother-of-two has been making a living out of selling vintage clothes at festivals across the country for a number of years, but has now opened a shop for her business.

The inspiration for taking this next step came partly through customer demand, with her repeatedly being asked if she had a shop; however, another factor was a dramatic incident earlier this year which saw her help save her husband’s life.

After her husband, Simon, collapsed at home from a cardiac arrest, Karen performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him until paramedics arrived at the scene.

“If I hadn’t heard him (collapse), he would not be here today,” she said.

“Simon’s brush with death definitely made me decide to open the shop,” she added. “Life’s too short not to go for your dreams.”

Karen says the business began several years ago merely as ‘a hobby’, with her buying items from charity shops and car boot sales to sell on.

Her initial investment was £100, with all profits being used to buy more stock.

It would go on to see her have a collection that more than filled a 20ft by 10ft summer house and provide her with enough of an income stream that she could take a wage.

A large amount of her stock, which also includes wholesale items, sits in reserve at the shop, ready to offer something new for returning customers.

The pieces date typically from the 1940s-1980s and include men’s items.

Of the appeal of vintage fashions, Karen said: “It’s having that item of clothing that no one else is going to have. That’s the beauty of it.”