Alice in Scandiland
Form Lifestyle Store
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.
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!)
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!
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.
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.