Tributes to ‘well-loved’ Kenilworth businesswoman

Stella Pink (right), who ran Savoir Faire in Castle Hill for more than 50 years
Stella Pink (right), who ran Savoir Faire in Castle Hill for more than 50 years

Tributes have been paid to a ‘well-loved’ businesswoman who ran a Kenilworth clothes shop for more than 50 years.

Stella Pink, formerly Stella Wakeman, who ran Savoir Faire in Castle Hill, died aged 77 after battling motor neurone disease for around six years.

Stella in her younger years

Stella in her younger years

Her husband William said: “Everyone over 50 in Kenilworth probably knew Stella. She wasn’t just a lady who sold clothes - she was a friend to many of them.

“Stella had a wonderful time running the shop. She was a well-loved lady and she made a lot of people happy.”

Stella was born in 1939 in Cliftonville in Kent, and later moved to Essex as a child because her father ‘wanted to move away from the Germans.’

There she met her first husband, David Wakeman, and the two would move to Kenilworth after he was promoted at work. She would have three children with him, Nowlson, Adrian and Niki, and two grandchildren, Tabitha and Trudy.

William added: “Family was a big, big part of her life. Her children could do no wrong in her eyes. She was so devoted to them.”

Stella opened Savoir Faire in 1964, and the business first started as a shop focusing on new, designer clothes.

In 1985, she decided to change the focus of the shop and it started to sell ‘nearly-new’ clothes - mainly party dresses that had only been worn once or twice.

Stella and David later divorced, and in 1991, she met William, who became her second husband. After getting married, William said the pair had enjoyed ‘a fantastic time’ together.

Stella with her granddaughter Tabitha

Stella with her granddaughter Tabitha

They enjoyed activities such as going sailing and playing bridge in their spare time.

But in 2011, Stella was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, which got progressively worse.

Due to her declining health, the shop had to close June 2017, before Stella eventually passed away on Wednesday July 5.

In all the years Savoir Faire had been trading, the shop never made a loss.

When asked what he will most remember about Stella, William said: “Her attitude to life, I think.

“She always wanted her friends to enjoy themselves, as well as enjoying herself. A

“And a lot of people would confide in her. Stella always used to say: ‘there’s no problems in this world, only solutions’ and ‘it’s quite easy to make friends, but you have to work hard to keep them.’

“Stella was a really lovely soul - that’s the side of her I’ll remember most really.”

Her funeral will be held on Friday July 21 at Oakley Wood Crematorium at 10.30am.