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Shop Small and Independent!


With Covid-19 keeping us indoors, I’ve had a bit more free time on my hands. So I’ve turned my attention to this online Journal where I will share things that I think you will appreciate too.
The last few weeks have been tough, but during this strange time, I’ve been so impressed by the community of independent businesses coming together and supporting one another. So this first post will be about a selection of independent bricks and mortar shops, who need your support, now more than ever.
I've rounded up eight of my favourites, some which I've had the pleasure of visiting in real life and some which I feel I know through the ever absorbing lens of Instagram. Although their physical shops may be closed for the time being, they all have online shops which can be supported from afar.

Botany

When I lived in Clapton, Botany was my go-to – a beautifully curated shop full of plants, pots and everything slow-living. Angela's shop is instantly calming, an escape from the intensity of city life.
Botany believe that good, useful, ethical design & considered surroundings combined with life long learning make for a beautiful and balanced life. They run a seasonal workshop programme of nature related creative workshops throughout to help you develop new skills. They also host the most wonderful exhibitions, showcasing the works of artists inspired by nature.
Botany - Wreath Making Workshop
Botany - Happy Houseplant Workshop

Alice in Scandiland

Alice’s Instagram feed never fails to inspire me, with her Scandinavian/ Nordic style, interiors and wares. I used her comprehensive guide to Copenhagen on my trip there last year and I’m sure I’ll be referring to her pages again for more travel tips, styling guides and interiors inspiration. What started off as a blog has grown into a bricks and mortar shop in Cornwall.
Like many small businesses, Alice made the difficult decision to close her online store as well as her physical shop. But she is re-opening her online store for a few days starting tomorrow (Sat 4th March). So if you’ve had your eye on something, now is the opportunity to get your hands on it.
 

Form Lifestyle Store 

I’ve followed Form Lifestyle Store for a long while now and I’m always fascinated by their feed and carefully selected range of handmade products - also their shop in Manchester’s Northern Quarter looks beautiful.
Form Lifestyle Store believe in slow-living and taking a thoughtful approach to buying – choosing to buy fewer, well-considered, products that have been made to last and that will be cherished for years to come.
They have a great online shop but also sell gift vouchers which you can use in store when they reopen.
 Form Lifestyle Store
Lindform Daniella Witte Stam Candle Holder

Earl of East

Candle making was Earl of East’s original pursuit but they now create a range of incense, home mists and bath and body products, as well as stock a wonderful range of lifestyle and homeware items. I’ve long been inspired by Paul and Niko’s journey, a passion project which started by trading at markets to setting up a studio to now having three London stores, including their flagship at Coals Drop Yard.

They’ve forged a real community of makers, offering their spaces for workshops, with online workshops in the pipeline.

www.earlofeast.com

Earl of East - Paul and Niko

Inside Store

When my workplace moved from East London to North London, I was worried I’d be missing out on the independent scene. But I was wrong! The Inside Store (formally known as Future and Found) is a haven for interior design enthusiasts. All of their products have a common design aesthetic: they're simple, stylish and thoughtfully designed, with an understated yet playful personality.

Alongside their collection of contemporary furniture, Andrea has curated a shop full of independent designer homewares and lifestyle accessories, to give your home a lift (perfect for say, a lockdown where we are spending more time at home than ever!)

www.insidestoreldn.com

Inside Store Shop Photo

Frank

Frank - one of the shops that really stuck with me from our day trip to Whitstable last summer. Located in an eighteenth-century fisherman’s cottage, Mary Claire and Rob’s shop also doubles up as a wonderful gallery.  Their collection reflects their passion for the handmade and the artisanal with a focus on individual creatives – contemporary crafters, artists and printmakers – working sustainably and using ethical means of production.

Put it on the ‘to visit’ list for when we come out the other side and in the meantime, they stock their wares online and have gift vouchers!

www.frankworks.eu

 

Venner Store

If you’re a Leyton-er, you’ll be aware of Lucie and Tiff’s beautiful shop on Francis Road.

Venner is the Norwegian word for ‘friends' and their shop celebrates independent artists, designers and makers, many of which are local to the area. There’s a real community spirit when you visit this shop and it’s neighbours – a true grassroots collective approach to retail which I love!

For now, Venner is closed, but they do have a selection of gift vouchers online which you can use when they reopen.

www.venner-store.co.uk

 Venner - Shop Photo

Unlimited

Recently relocated along Brighton's seafront, Unlimited is an independent design studio with a shop and gallery in Brighton showcasing other designers and makers to bring together the very best in creative talent. They offer a diverse and dynamic range of playful and experimental graphic-flavoured prints, jewellery, homewares, textiles, furniture and more – the perfect place to find that imaginative gift or piece of art for your wall. Sara, who curates the shop has a great eye and their feed is a constant source for colour, print and graphics inspiration.

Unlimited’s online shop is open and they are offering free local delivery to the Brighton area.

www.unlimitedshop.co.uk