Getting the Festive feels with some local shopping in support of independent shops, local craftsmen, designers and artists.
As independent business owners ourselves, we wanted to give a big shout out to the high street. Not only will you be supporting your local economy every time you shop local, but you will be connecting with your community on a personal level. That is something very rare nowadays and it is to be cherished. Up and down the country there are brave souls setting out their stalls and inviting you into their open studios to buy some gifts or decorate your house for the festive season and if you haven't tried it before, it's time to dive in and start living the lovely local life! How rewarding to know the person who made your gifts and to know that your purchase will continue their growth.
So last week we got out onto our local streets and met our local talented makers and artists to show you that you never know who is just around the corner. Wood turners, furniture makers, world-renowned artists maybe just on your doorstep, all you have to do is get out there and look.
We put Buckley the wonder dog in his blue cable knit jumper and set off for our first visit to a long term design crush of our, Michael Ruh, who just so happens to have a studio around the corner from us. Michael is a world-class glass blower and it was such a thrill to meet him in person and see his stunning handmade lighting and tableware. He is passionate about colour, just like us and we left with a few beautiful water glasses to remember our visit. Over the next couple of Sunday's as we near Christmas you can even book in a slot to blow your own Bauble with Michael in his studio. Yes please!
Next it was off to Havelock Walk in our beloved home turf of Forest Hill. Havelock Walk is mews of live workspaces tucked away behind the high street and every space houses a different designer, artist or maker! Track down your local craft community as they often group together in warehouses or a mews like this and open studios are a great way to get introduced to their work.
Our first port of call here is to our friend and award winning designer, Sarah Colson. Her refined and beautifully coloured glass objects and lighting are so beautiful and deservedly getting lots of international attention from the humble beginnings here in South East London. Who can resist their delicate charms?
Havelock Walk is also home to the super talented artist, Super Mundane. We love the bold graphics and colours. With affordable prints and bigger more ambitious pieces on board, there is something for every budget here. We own a couple of prints from Super Mundane and love them all the more knowing that they were created here in our local community. Prints make great gifts too.
You may also want to check out some other South East London talents like, ceramicist William & Co, or Ornamental Grace - a designer/maker of painfully beautiful products with an obsession for jesmonite. Or try gifting a succulent in a stunning concrete creation from ConPot. And you absolutely must check out the crazy talented Jono Smart. His pottery studio is up in Glasgow now, you lucky people, but he started out in Peckham and now has a much deserved and hugely devoted following.
After a trip around the studios, we head back onto the high street to our good friend Syrus in his Framing Salon, to pick up a print he framed for us. His work is pure quality and he loves what he does. Getting something perfectly framed, an old photo or new art print can be a very personal and sometime emotional gift.
We also pop into our vintage faves, Wild Horses and Farr & Wyde, then onto the haberdashers, Stag and Bow to look through their latest selection of broad velvet ribbons for wrapping. Finally it's a visit to friends Ruth and Nathan at our local organic Butchers to pick up something amazing for dinner and a cheeky bone for Buckley. By this stage there is nothing for it but a long black and a flat white to rest our feet at our own coffee shop, St David's. Feeling creatively fulfilled and cosily Festive as a Robin in a nest.
Make the most of your local high street and craftsmen and artists studios for some unique gifts. Community is rare in this world and we want you to nurture yours.
Cherub courtesy of Beep Studio