I'd spent time chatting to Catherine, the owner, on Twitter, so I already felt like I knew her - when we wandered in, complete with shouty toddler, she enveloped me in a bear hug and cried, "you MADE it!" If every shop welcomed their customers that way, I guarantee they'd do a roaring trade.
Catherine couldn't have made us feel more welcome if she'd rolled out a red carpet - there were offers of tea and coffee, lengthy chats, toys to keep the Boy entertained.... and even the donation of a changing room to hide the Boy's modesty when he required a quick nappy change.
While we were there, several other customers came and went, and while Catherine chatted to them, I wandered around, trying on hats and running my hands over the dresses and blouses.
I knew there was no way I'd be able to leave without buying at least one thing, and while I umm-ed and ahh-ed over several dresses, I finally chose the most delightful cardigan. Hand knitted, multi-coloured, and with a gorgeous little fifties style neck tie. A winner!
The whole shop is simply marvelous - the displays, retro shop-fittings.... Hepwright's is a veritable treasure trove, and I highly recommend a visit, whether you live in Southampton or not.