Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars

This month 91 Magazine talks to Charlotte Martin, owner of lifestyle store Cuemars – a verdant oasis of beauty and calm tucked away on London’s Brick Lane. 

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars

How would you describe the essence of Cuemars?

Cuemars is an attitude. We curate with a conscience, and eschew trends in favour of a more timeless style. Our philosophy is founded on conscious curation and aesthetically-engaging designs. At the heart of Cuemars is the old adage, ‘buy less, buy better’. We house many independent brands that produce durable and culturally-relevant pieces – be it clothing, lifestyle, or homeware goods. We also love plants and all things botanical, and this has become a distinctive feature of Cuemars.

Where does the name come from?

Cuemars is a Persian myth. In the tale, everything is created from Cuemars, and everything has a bond with one another. We wanted to have a name that creates the vibe of things being inter-connected  - nature, our lives, our time…

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars

How did Cuemars come about?

It started with the vision that every purchasing choice can make a difference. We are committed to honest sustainability through our supply chain, and we seek to create a positive buying experience.  From sourcing to distribution, we scrutinise every process and every supplier before it reaches our customers.

What’s the ethos behind your business?

We pursue cultural significance, driven by a belief that good design is not synonymous with trends or fashion. Our focus is based on our conviction that nature is universally influential in what good design should be; a symbiosis with the environment. We see our name not as a product, but a story, and our designs are inspired by history, natural and organic forms. 

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars
Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars

What inspires you?

Our sources of inspiration are many! We love the ancient world of mythology, antique art, nature, contemporary art, mathematics, geometry, music and literature.

How valuable is the online community to your work?

Social media tools offer great potential to reach and connect with an audience. It’s great to be so directly involved with our community.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars

How did you go about designing and styling the store?

Our first shop was on Hackney Road, where we stayed for two years. In August 2018, we moved into the vibrant Brick Lane, in the heart of Shoreditch. Our new shop is in the Truman Brewery, which is a great spot for us as it brings both locals and tourists to see the street art and vintage market.

The space is not as big as we really needed, so we had to be creative and use it in a clever way. We chose an adjustable shelving system that we can modify (which is great as our range tends to change during the year). We also have an outdoor courtyard, which is visible from the main street, so that is used for display and allows us to attract people into the shop.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars
Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars
Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars

How do you source your products?

We don’t have a fixed system for this - we browse on Instagram, Pinterest, design fairs, and we contact independent makers that match our core values of sustainability, design and production with a conscience.

What are the joys of working as an independent retailer – and what are the challenges?

I really enjoy being an independent retailer, the best bits are meeting and collaborating with talented people and being part of a local community. Our daily tasks are very diverse, we never get bored! The challenges include often wishing to have more hours in the day (it’s hard to get everything done and we often run over time)!

How do you juggle an online business with a physical shop?

Our 2019 resolution is to get better at the online side of things - at the moment we find it a bit difficult to get the traffic we would like. We use, for example, the online platform Trouva, which allows us to reach a wider range of clients.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars
Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars

How do you approach marketing and PR?

At the moment, we mainly contact bloggers that match our ethos and style, in order to develop our community and expand our audience.

What are your favourite products or bestsellers?

We have many! But our three bestsellers are: our collection of botanical prints, our jewellery made from recycled sterling silver, and our plants are very popular.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars
Shopkeeper Spotlight: Cuemars

Any advice for aspiring independent store owners?

Always try to plan your day ahead as the tasks are usually multiple and very varied. You will never get bored, but you do need to be organised!

Before you go, are there any future developments in the pipeline?

As plant-lovers, we are excited to be opening our new oxygen room next month - it’s going to be a room just for green plants, located next to the shop.

Find Cuemars at 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL

www.cuemars.com

Photography: Caroline Rowland

Effective planning and making the time for your side-hustle

Like so many creative businesses, 91 Magazine began as what is often referred to these days as a ‘side hustle’. I was working full-time for a newspaper when the idea for creating my own magazine struck. Less than two years later I quit my job to pursue my own publishing path. I have no idea how I managed to juggle it all, and I seriously wish I had had the following post to guide me as there is a wealth of information about planning and managing your time when you are juggling a job and a personal project. Planning & productivity coach and podcaster Josephine Brooks shares her top tips for growing your side hustle in your spare time.

91 Magazine - effective time management for your side hustle

The driving force behind building my business on the side of a 9-5 has always been to create the lifestyle I long for with the freedom to do more of the work I love, to live a slower and more meaningful lifestyle and to reduce my work hours. It’s exactly the same motivation for the side-hustlers I work with, it always boils down to seeking freedom.

On the steep learning curve that was my side-business journey, I learned that making these dreams a reality takes planning and careful time management. For me this looked like getting serious about my side-hustle as a business. I learned how to plan more effectively and be smarter with my time. I used my project management skills from my 9-5 to develop more effective ways to grow my business within the limited time I had.

After a couple of years of constantly going full speed, feeling stressed and reaching the point of burn out I discovered that productivity and managing your time as a side-hustler doesn’t need to be about being busy or striving to get lots done every day. It’s about doing less and focussing on the most impactful tasks. Let me take you through a few of the time management and planning tools I’ve used to grow my business in a sustainable way, on the side of a 9-5.

91 Magazine effective time management for your side hustle

Writing more effective to do lists

My to do lists used to be endless scrawls, as soon as I’d have completed one task I’d add two more to my list, and it was demoralising. Now I have a few go-to tools that help me keep my to-do lists under control. 

  • Remove tasks from your list – This is one of the first things I cover with my clients. As I mentioned earlier, productivity if often about doing less and just focussing on the most impactful stuff. So, if there’s anything on your to do list that’s either not necessary or not having a big enough impact on your business, take it off your list. Another thing to look out for is if you’re doing tasks just because you feel you should, because someone told you that’s what all the successful people are doing. Take those tasks off your list. Use your gut instinct and be really honest with yourself - what's on there that isn't an impactful task, what’s on there that doesn’t feel right for your business?

  • The 2 minute method This is one of my favourite tools and it’s so easy. Have a look at the actions on your to-do list, are there any actions that could be done in two-minutes or less? I often find myself putting off actions that would only take a couple of minutes just because they're not my favourite tasks. Often, it's replying to an email or tweaking something on my website. Put a star next to those 2-minute (or less) jobs and action them right away.

  • Must do and could do - Try splitting your daily to-do list into ‘must do’ and ‘could do’ and make sure you’re not putting any more than three tasks into the ‘must do’ list. This will not only help you tackle the more important tasks first but also give you more chance of getting to the end of your to-do list and reaching that feel-good factor. 

91 Magazine - how to juggle a side hustle

Organising your weeks

Organising my weeks ahead of time is now a habit I heavily rely on because it avoids wasting any time in the week thinking about what to do next and it prevents me from going off after shiny new ideas and losing my focus on the impactful stuff.

  •  Plan out your weeks in advance - I like to plan for the week ahead every Sunday evening and it only takes about 10 minutes. I use a weekly planner to plot out when I’ll work on my tasks for the week. The benefit of doing this is that you know exactly what you need to do that week and you won’t be wasting time and mental energy deciding what to work on, you can get straight to it.

  • Block out your time - If you use a weekly planner or diary for your side-hustle, cross out the hours you’ve already committed to things like work, school runs, socialising etc. This will give you a visual representation of how much time you’ve got left to dedicate to your business and help you plan more realistically. Don’t forget to leave some time for YOU to switch off and recharge as well.

  • Create a new habit - If you struggle to make the time for your side-business, create a habit of working on it at the same times each week. Perhaps it’s putting every Wednesday and Thursday evening, or every Saturday morning aside for your side-hustle. By creating a habit of working on your business at set times it’ll start to become second nature.

91 Magazine - effective planning for small business

Longer term planning

At the end of March 2019 I’ll be taking my side-hustle full time, which is terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure. But none of this would have happened without some careful planning. I developed my 3-step planning method over the last 8 years of side-hustling and it’s been the biggest game changer when it comes to making the best use of my time. There are three main components to my 3-step planning method.

  •  Finding your focus - It’s tempting to dive straight into the planning but by taking the time to reflect first on what lifestyle and business you’re building as well as what’s gone well and what you’ve learned from over the last few months can quickly help to clarify where your focus needs to be moving forwards.

  • Making a 12-week plan – I like to plan in 12-week chunks because it's a whole lot less overwhelming than planning for a whole year. A lot can happen over 12 months which could throw you off course and leave you feeling disappointed that you’ve strayed so far from your plan. By planning in 12-week chunks you can pivot and adapt your planning throughout the year to react to those curve balls that inevitably appear.

  • Get motivated – A big part of staying motivated and achieving your goals comes from having a support network. For me this has come in a few forms; setting up an accountability partnership with a business buddy, working with a coach, joining communities online and going to workshops and in-person events. Reach out to those fellow side-hustlers you always find yourself chatting with on Instagram and ask if they fancy meeting for a coffee. Look for Facebook groups, find a coach or sign up to workshops and events. The connections you make will start to form a support network around you that you can fall back on when you get stuck on a decision or when you’ve had a tough week.

91 Magazine - Juggling a job and a small business

I can’t sign off without a mention to making time for YOU as well. I know from experience how self-care can easily take a back seat when you’re already juggling multiple commitments and a business. The irony is that when we take time out for ourselves to recharge we come back to our work with the energy and mindset to be more productive.

 After feeling burned out and struggling with anxiety over the summer of 2018 I realised I was waiting until I was ‘successful enough’ ‘big enough’ ‘earning enough’ to make the time for my own self-care. The problem is, what is successful enough, earning enough or big enough? These weren’t very quantifiable, meaning that I never reached those destinations and my self-care constantly sat on the waiting pile. This was not a sustainable way to build a business.

This is an area I’m very much still working on myself. I now try to make self-care part of my weekly schedule and I’m working on creating daily habits that make time to get out for a walk, to meditate for 5 minutes and do something as simple as enjoy a slow cup of tea in the garden before I start work. Essentially, I’m working on not reaching for a destination and instead enjoying the journey and making the time to recharge myself along the way. If you’re also putting your self-care on the waiting pile I urge you to make it a priority and schedule in some time for YOU this week.

As I mentioned, growing a business as a side-hustle for me and a lot of others is all about creating freedom and the lifestyle we long for. I think all of us, particularly side-hustlers, are on a journey to improve our lifestyles and do more of what’s most important to us. The starting point is making the time for what we want most.

Thank you Josephine! So much important and useful information there! For more help with planning and productivity head to Josephine’s website for blog posts, free resources and to listen to her podcast On The Make.

Word and Images: Josephine Brooks

Effective planning for your side hustle

An Instagrammer's guide to: Bordeaux

While Paris may be known for being the fashion capital of France, it’s the more southerly city of Bordeaux that we are heralding as the place to visit for great lifestyle shops and trendy cafes. The Shopkeepers are back with their top spots to head in between strolls along the Garonne and sipping French wine.

September is the perfect time to visit Bordeaux. The sunny, warm weather is perfect for exploring this French city that befits a Disney-themed princess set. Luckily I had a local guide (and her dog) to show me around this charming destination. I happily abandoned maps and GPS tools, whilst we strolled the cobbled streets. I loved walking around Bordeaux. There are wide swathes of paths for walking and cycling along the river Garonne, and there is limited traffic in the town centre. The historic old city of Bordeaux is on the UNESCO world heritage list. The majestic buildings in the old city serve as wonderful facades for their charming shopfronts. I stayed at the Mama Shelter hotel, conveniently located in the old city, perfect for exploring the streets, shops and cafes.

Sip Coffe Bar, Bordeaux - 91 Magazine's Instagrammers Guide to Bordeaux

Sip - We started our day with flat whites at Sip Coffee Bar, a lovely vintage-style interior with high ceilings and lots of seating options to sit and plan our day.

@sip_coffeebar

le local, bordeaux

Le Local is one of the most beautiful food shops I have ever visited. Crates of colourful, local produce displayed against the framework of the stunning original architectural features of the building, and neat rows of speciality goods line the walls.

@lelocalstore

Amour de Fleurs, Bordeaux

Amour de Fleurs - The day we visited Amour de Fleurs we were lucky to witness the owner changing the shopfront decor from summer to fall. Inside it is bursting with beautiful blooms and houseplants, which you may not be able to transport home but you can certainly admire and enjoy.

@amour_de_fleurs_bordeaux

La Garconniere, Bordeaux

La Garconnière - Behind a facade with dramatic soaring windows, is menswear lifestyle shop, La Garconnière. This beautifully designed store has a coffee shop, delicatessen, and barbershop, as well as men’s clothing and accessories.

@la_garconniere_

coutume, Bordeaux

Coutume is a modern hardware store with goods for the home and garden. The shop, with distinctive graphics, is divided into sections such as table, office, bathroom, kids and garden.

@coutume.store

Pow Wow Kids, Bordeaux

Pow Wow Kids is an enchanting children’s lifestyle shop. The displays and merchandising is charming, with clothing to the front of the shop and furniture and toys are displayed against a forest of wallpapered-trees at the back of the shop. There is a scandi feel with an emphasis on natural materials.

Mariage de Fleurs, Bordeaux

Mariage de Fleurs - Bordeaux has an abundance of beautiful flower shops. Across the street from Pow Wow Kids is Mariage de Fleurs. Plants decorate the unique teal green shopfront and inside plants are displayed on vintage furniture and crates.

@mariagedefleurs

Herbes Fauves, Bordeaux

Herbes Fauves - Yep! Another one for you greenery lovers! An abundance of colourful floral stems and foliage are grouped on a collection of tables in the centre of Herbes Fauves. Vintage furniture is used for the shop counter and a multitude of plant pots are displayed inside a cabinet.

@herbesfauves

Apache, Bordeaux

Apache - This pretty boutique with its natural wood fixtures and pastel painted walls offers handmade jewellery inspired by Native American influences.

@apachebijoux

Be sure to head to The Shopkeepers website for more beautiful shops and eateries to drool over. Their Instagram feed is particularly fab. Thanks for sharing guys!

Ethical living: a beauty & skincare guide

We’ve had such a great response to the ethical living theme in our AW18 issue of the magazine, that we decided to run a series of blog posts, highlighting great products for living more ethically. First up, Kay Prestney investigates the best buys to switch into your beauty and skincare regime.

91 Magazine ethical beauty guide

With shocking daily headlines and images highlighting the plight of our planet and the negative impact on our health, we are all feeling overwhelmed and concerned by the amount of waste and chemicals in our lives. The products in our bathroom are one area for great concern - we are aware of the things we should be trying to eradicate such as animal testing, chemicals, palm oil and plastic packaging - but we don’t all have the time to research the alternatives.

So, to help out, we have gathered together some brilliant small brands founded by people who want to make a difference to both our health and that of the planet. Every small act really does make a difference, so try some (or all!) of our swap tips to start the new year with some positive changes for yourself and the environment.

91 ethical beauty guide

Drink up!

One of the biggest and simplest things we can do to improve our health and cleanse our bodies is to drink more water. After the festive party season and with the heating turned up for winter, we are probably all dehydrated, so rather than reaching for more beauty products promising to hydrate and plump, start with an eco-friendly water bottle and make sure you are getting your two litres a day. Try adding some natural flavours, such as a twist of cucumber, lime or lemon, for added taste.

Mintie 350ml and 500ml stainless steel water bottles - £9.50 / £12

Environmental Life is a small Brighton business founded by young parents Vic and Dan who were concerned about the BPAs and toxins associated with the plastic containers and food wrappings they were using for their children’s packed lunches. They also wanted to reduce the amount of waste they were producing. They have designed a range of chemical free, eco-friendly and re-useable containers for food and drinks suitable for all the family.

@mintielunchboxes

91 Magazine ethical beauty guide

ONE great, natural facial oil

Using too many products on your face and body can cause adverse effects as your skin adjusts to each product. Keeping it simple and natural encourages your skin to regulate itself. You can also use oils on your hair to discourage split ends and on your body as a moisturiser; use when your skin is slightly damp after a bath or shower to encourage absorption.

MOA Aphrodite facial oil - £26

This rosehip, damask rose, yarrow and geranium organic facial oil by MOA hydrates, calms and nourishes the skin without the use of any chemicals or environmentally damaging ingredients.

@magicorganicapothecary

Alternative stockist: 19 Alexandra Road

LA-EVA Jasmina oil 50ml - £25

Organic UK brand LA-EVA makes what founder Louisa Canham calls ‘units of well-being’. Each product has been inspired by the memory of a scent or place and this blend of jasmine, argan, rosehip, safflower and almond oils evokes images of white muslin curtains floating on a summer breeze in a warm climate, transporting you to Mediterranean summer days. 

@lifelaeva

91 Magazine ethical beauty guide

Natural lip colour

Swap out endless lipsticks or lip balms and keep just one great product in your handbag for smooth, natural lips with a hint of colour.

Bloomtown red & berried lip balm - £4.80

Bloomtown are a small indie business creating palm oil-free, cruelty-free, natural, vegan body and skincare products handmade in Cornwall. They also donate 10% of their profits to environmental and social causes.

@bloomtownuk

91 Magazine ethical beauty guide

No more single use

Single use items are having such a significant impact on our planet - consider how many cotton wool pads you may have went through in your lifetime?! Ditch the single use for a reusable alternative.

La Nature reusable makeup remover pads - £15 (for 8 re-useable pads with a laundry bag, travel pouch and recipe book download)

UK small brand La Nature was founded by Anna and her husband in 2018 when they got tired of all the disposable toiletries they were throwing away and wanted to make a difference. Using one of these can save on average 300 disposable cotton pads. Made from a natural bamboo derived rayon fabric, they are more absorbent than cotton or hemp and are chemical and dye-free. Bamboo is naturally anti-microbial and hypoallergenic and the plant is fast-growing and biodegradable so these can be put on the compost heap when they wear out. They come with a brilliant free recipe book for five natural makeup removers (e.g. banana and soya milk) that you can make yourself, further helping the planet and your body.

@lanaturestore

91 Magazine ethical beauty guide

Non-plastic dental care

While toothbrushes might not be single use, we still go through a lot of them in our lifetime and the plastic versions end up in the landfill. Swap for a compostable wooden one instead.

The Humble Co bamboo toothbrush - £3.99

The Humble Co toothbrush has bio-degradable nylon bristles and bamboo handle, and each purchase funds projects for children in need.

@thehumble.co

Georganics vegan charcoal dental floss with English peppermint essential oil and natural wax - £4.90 (refills available at £6.90 for two reels)

Started from a farmers market stall in London, Sussex based company Georganics produces natural, organic, hand-crafted, zero-waste dental care products from ingredients sourced as locally as possible.

@georganicsuk

91 Magazine ethical beauty guide

DITCH HARMFUL DEODoRANTS

Earth Conscious jasmine & rose natural deodorant - £7.60

Handmade in the UK using natural, vegan ingredients, these deodorants by Earth Conscious are cruelty and palm oil free. They use sodium bicarbonate to prevent bacteria and odours whilst arrowroot keeps perspiration at bay and coconut oil and shea butter moisturise. Not only will you avoid harmful gases found in aerosols, the container is biodegradable cardboard.

@earthconsciousuk

Alternative stockist: Greener Habits

91 Magazine ethical beauty guide

PLASTIC BOTTLE ALTERNATIVES

Our bathrooms are often overrun with a vast collection of potions and lotions all contained inside plastic bottles. Cut down on these by opting for alternatives to shampoo, shower gel, bubble bath and hand soap.

Soapnut vegan shampoo bars - £6

Alternative stockist: MiApparel

Soapnuts have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, known for their anti-inflammatory, toning and softening properties which comes from the saponin. Organic, botanical ingredients such as coconut milk, rice bran and avocado oil have been added to these shampoo bars for additional conditioning properties. All of Living Naturally’s bars are cold-pressed and free from palm oil and chemicals.

@livingnaturallysoapnuts

The Printed Peanut solid shampoo bar with lavender and rose geranium - £5.95

Equivalent to the contents of three plastic bottles of shampoo, this natural, hand-made, vegan, palm oil-free, non-animal tested soap bar smells great and is packaged in recycled paper with beautiful artwork by The Printed Peanut designer Louise Lockhart, which is printed in the UK using eco-friendly inks.

@theprintedpeanut

Alternative stockist: Firain

91 Magazine ethical beauty guide

Wild Grove dark forest charcoal & sea salt spa soaps - £4

Canadian Lisa Pasquill is based in Bristol and makes all her Wild Grove natural beauty products by hand, selling them on her popular farmer’s market stall in the city. These soaps are made in the traditional way using natural essential oils and butters in a hot process technique which allows the fragrances to hold for longer. The rough finish of these soaps adds to the artisan feel and the scent fills the whole bathroom long after use.

@wildgrove

 Join Vitamin sea & hedgerow soap bars - £8

East London brand Join began producing essential oils and soy wax vegan candles inspired by the two sister’s childhood on the Cornish coast. All the products have evocative names conjuring the natural scents of the sea and cliff tops. The range has recently expanded to include diffusers, room mists and soap bars. The soaps are handmade, vegan, natural and are sent out in recyclable packaging.

@joinstorelondon

Greener Habits Co lemongrass & hemp soap - £2.90

Greener Habits is a small indie company based in London founded to make a positive environmental impact and to support the Friend Farm Animal Sanctuary in Kent. Hemp bran and essential lemongrass combine to produce a naturally antibacterial and deodorising soap with a fresh, zingy smell. Handmade in Yorkshire they are also free from palm oil chemicals as well as being vegan and cruelty free. Full points for the compostable label made with elephant dung and water based eco inks!

Sisal Soap pouch - £4

This clever biodegradable bag made from the Mexican agave plant serves the triple purpose of holding your soap in the shower, exfoliating your skin as you use the soap, and can be used to merge several small pieces of soap so you can use them until they are completely finished. Made by Hydrophil, stocked by Greener Habits in the UK.

@greenerhabitsco

91 Magazine ethical beauty guide

Yellow Gorse is based on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, this small company produces natural and environmentally friendly therapeutic products created to help alleviate the stresses of modern life and to encourage energy flow. Made using botanical ingredients in small batches, their products are ethical, vegan, natural and sourced locally where possible.

Herbal bath tea 500g - £24.95

Wild chamomile, lavender and clary sage essential oils mixed with mineral rich epsom salts help to remove toxins, stimulate circulation and promote energy in this relaxing bath tea. Fill the little bag with a handful of the beautifully scented ingredients and let your worries and toxins wash away!

Himalayan bath soak 175g - £12.95

With geranium to relieve stress, patchouli to ground, frankincense to calm and lavender to relax this blend of pure natural oils and Himalayan salt restores and revives you. A recyclable glass bottle and metal top and pure ingredients make it planet friendly as well as chemical free.

Lavender, frankincense & nutmeg bath & body oil 100ml - £16

This can be used in the bath or applied directly to skin to calm and moisturise with an uplifting blend of essential oils.

Chamomile & lavender Sleep balm - £4.80

Finally, after a busy day, try their chamomile & lavender sleep balm to help you drift off into a restful night’s sleep.

@yellow.gorse

91 Magazine ethical beauty guide

SOAP DISHES ARE BACK!

With switching out bottles for bars, there has been a come back of the humble soap dish. Repurpose a vintage saucer or support indie makers by purchasing a beautiful handmade one.

Libby Ballard Ceramics soap dish - £18

Libby Ballard’s work is all individually thrown, trimmed and glazed in her studio in Wiltshire and is inspired by her coastal childhood on the Isle of Wight. Libby uses a flecked stoneware clay which produces beautiful, tactile pieces. The swirls in this soap dish keep the bars raised allowing them to dry quickly, thus prolonging the life.

@libbyballardceramics

Remember folks…. “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world” Harold Zinn.

Thank you to the following brands for supplying samples of their products for trialling and photographic purposes to put this guide together: Environmental Life, 19 Alexandra Road, Bloomtown, La Nature, Georganics, The Humble Co, MiApparel, Firain, Wild Grove, Join, Greener Habits, Yellow Gorse & Libby Ballard Ceramics

Join us on our first Seek Inspire Create day out!

Over the last year, it’s been a bit of a dream of mine to bring 91 Magazine to life through days out with our readers. I spent months mulling over what these days could involve, how they could be structured and what they would bring to the people who came along. Then one day, in the summer, I had a brainwave. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. For once, instead of rushing head first in to organising it, I have taken my time - thinking, planning and talking to others, and made the decision to launch this idea in 2019.

It has been a slow burner (by my standards!) but I kind of want this to be reflected in the day. While we will pack lots of fun stuff in, I hope that it will feel relaxed and slow, and will allow attendees to soak up the atmosphere, get to know us and each other and enjoy a full day of creativity and inspiration.

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create day out in Lewes

I’m thrilled to share that we are now selling tickets to our first ever Seek Inspire Create day out on the 25th February 2019. It will take place in Lewes in East Sussex, a town filled with independent businesses and creative folk - a place I’ve enjoyed visiting to shop and explore over the years.

The idea behind the day is inspired by the hashtag I launched on Instagram around two years ago - #seekinspirecreate. This phrase also went on to become the name of our quarterly e-zine, and it was these three simple words that struck me that day in the summer as being the perfect structure for our days out. I wanted to bring lots of different elements to the day - all of which represent the ethos of 91 Magazine.

Marchand Son

Marchand Son

Freight

Freight

From Victoria

From Victoria

SEEK

The day in Lewes will begin with SEEK where we will visit three independent shops. Not only we will have time to explore these beautiful spaces and shop (wth discount!), each shopkeeper will spare us some of their time for a chat sharing some insight and expertise. Simon, proprietor of Marchand Son will talk to us about his own brand of eco-friendly paint. I, for one, hope he will explain the stories behind some of his paint colour names! Onwards to Freight, and a chat with shopkeeper Adele about mindful shopping. Finally, Victoria, owner of lifestyle store From Victoria will do a mini Q&A about house plants - so come armed with your plant care queries - I know I have many!

Inglis Hall - our venue for lunch

Inglis Hall - our venue for lunch

Social Pow Wow will talk about using Pinterest for business

Social Pow Wow will talk about using Pinterest for business

Jade Golding will talk on how to inspire your customers

Jade Golding will talk on how to inspire your customers

INSPIRE

Next, we will move on to the INSPIRE section of the day. And to get inspired, first we must refuel! So we will take a walk up to Inglis Hall - a kitchen design company whose Lewes showroom houses a beautiful fully working kitchen, where a delicious lunch will be prepared for us by Caccia and Tails, a pasta & focaccia bar based in the town. Over lunch, we will have two talks from local creative business women. First up Dorte and Georgie, the brains behind Social Pow Wow, offering digital marketing help to small businesses. They will talk specifically about how to use Pinterest for business, something many of us are not utilising well enough in our businesses. Following this, Jade Golding will talk to the group about how to inspire your customers and the importance of motivational and influential selling tactics. Jade runs lifestyle store The Little Deer and is also a creative business coach. Whether you are an existing business owner or it’s something you aspire to, both of these talks are sure to provide lots of knowledge and insight. Bring your notepads!

AS Apothecary

AS Apothecary

CREATE

Finally, we will walk off our lunch with a stroll over to AS Apothecary for the CREATE part of the day. AS Apothecary is a skincare brand with a difference. Their natural products are produced in small batches from ingredients picked directly from nature, and owner Amanda is truly passionate about ethical production and simply creating wonderful formulas that are kind to both us and the planet. Her beautiful store will be where we end our day learning how to make our own natural beauty balm to take home over a reviving cup of herbal tea.

Our attendees will hopefully leave with a head full of inspiration and a sense of a day well spent. Time surrounded by like-minded creative souls, learning, chatting, creating together. And, did I mention the goodie bags?! Everyone will leave with a little package of loveliness to take home, plus some further tips for exploring Lewes if you have decided to make a trip of it.

I have curated this day in the same way I curate 91 Magazine - with passion for the things that excite me - independent businesses, creative people, beautiful interiors, great food and appreciation for hand-crafted goods. It is everything I look for in a perfect day out and I hope you will agree! It’s a great chance to spend time with a friend you haven’t seen for a while or the perfect way to socialise and make some new friends with like-minded folk.

Come and be part of the first ever ‘real-life’ 91 Magazine experience! We are so excited to meet you!

Book your ticket now.

91 is pinning... Christmas table decor

Sometimes turning to Pinterest for inspiration can feel a bit overwhelming with it’s perfectly styled images and unattainable interiors, but if you are on the hunt for some ideas for your Christmas table this year, then bear this in mind: Simplicity is usually best. If you see something you love, it’s probably quite easy to deconstruct what is involved and realise it’s actually not overly complicated.

Below are a few ideas we’ve been pinning from Pinterest in the run up to the big day. From these you’ll see all that is really needed is foliage and some candles, texture in the form of a linen table cloth and napkins, and if you’d like to add a bit of sparkle, go for metallic candle holders or cutlery! Couldn’t be simpler right?! More visual inspiration on our boards.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year. We are taking a blog break now until January, and we’d like to say a huge thank you for all the support of 91 this year! Thank you to everyone who has bought the magazine, read our blog and came to our workshops! We are excited for what 2019 might have in store! Caroline x

Photo:  Jojotastic

Photo: Jojotastic

Photo:  Local Milk

Photo: Local Milk

Photo:  Sister Mag

Photo: Sister Mag

An Instagrammer's guide to: Greater Manchester

We head north for our latest Instagrammer’s guide to discover the most stylish spots to shop, eat and drink on the streets of Manchester and it’s surrounding neighbourhoods. Blogger and Manchester resident Susan Earlam shows us around…

Leaf

Tea heaven is just off a busy thoroughfare in city centre Manchester. Leaf offers 50 different flavours of loose tea and a delicious menu across the course of a day. The space was previously an art gallery and it has been beautifully converted into a welcoming, warm space which is cleverly divided into different areas. With gorgeous wallpaper, eclectic furniture and the industrial heritage also on show, this place is a combined feast for the senses and a refuge from the busy street outside.

IG: @LEAFonPortlandSt

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Manchester Beaumont Organic

Beaumont Organic

Originally selling online and at trade shows Beaumont Organic opened an emerald green fronted shop in Manchester’s Northern Quarter in September 2017. Hannah is at the forefront of the ethical and sustainable clothing movement and the shop regularly holds events to support causes worldwide. The clothing comes with no icky feeling about where or who made it. It’s classic yet contemporary.

IG: @beaumontorganic

Form Lifestyle Store

Tucked away, deep in the Northern Quarter and housed in a blue plaque building dating back to 1787, Form is gorgeous example of how brilliant it is when old buildings are re-used. It has the most instagrammable spiral staircase in Manchester, perhaps even the North West. But aside from that it’s a haven for great, independent, small designers. (Find out more about Form is our August 18 e-zine)

IG: @formlifestylestore

Photo:  Alex Ward

Photo: Alex Ward

The Winter Garden at Refuge

If you've ever wondered what a grown-up version of Narnia would be like, The Winter Garden at Refuge would be a good place to start. The real trees inside this beautiful atrium sparkle day and night. It is opulent and magical. You step inside and feel worlds away from life outside. From afternoon tea to cocktails and mocktails, this is the place to bring your Manchester visiting friends or anyone you'd quite like to impress.

IG: @therefugemcr

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Manchester - Moth

Moth

Sat on the leafy Burton Road in West Didsbury, Moth is a longstanding haven for stylists and homemakers with an eye for effortless style. It’s minimalist but with life and texture. From lampshades and rugs to handbags and jewellery. Buy something from Moth if you want chic but not showy. A neutral colour palette is easy on the eye and I’d be surprised if you are able to visit this gem without making a purchase.

IG: @mothstyle

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Manchester - Idaho

Idaho

Riding on the crest of Altricham’s recent revival, Idaho is somewhere I go for the perfect gift. It stocks a great range of greetings cards, long live the cards I say, it can be a small designer’s bread and butter. I always find things in here that I’ve not seen elsewhere, except, yep, you guessed it, Instagram. From jewellery and posters to planners and beauty products and even chocolate. This is where to visit for the difficult to buy for, but uber stylish friend.

IG: @idahoaltrincham

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's guide to Manchester - Rose and Grey

Rose & Grey

Before Rose & Grey opened their showroom they were an online shop for many years. Now the thrill of seeing their products and furniture in real life is always exciting. The showroom is set up in such a way that makes you feel at home. It often makes me want to redecorate too! Its an inspiring place that entices you to be bold and individual with your home décor.

IG: @roseandgreyinteriors

Photo:  Alex Ward

Photo: Alex Ward

Rare Mags

Perched midway up the cobbled street of Hillgate in the Old Town part of Stockport sits Rare Mags. Proving the naysayers wrong, those people who believe print is dead; well, here it is alive and kicking. Rare Mags understand that people like to touch what they read. Our brains interact with information on paper in a vastly different way than they do with something on a screen. The magazines sold here are tomes of creativity, including 91 Magazine of course. (I highly recommend stopping for tea and vegan treats at Hillgate Cakery which is directly opposite)

IG: @rare_mags

Object Style

Husband and wife team Rachael and Alex have poured love and devotion into their cosy Chorlton shop, Object Style, and the personal service you get on a visit is so warm and authentic. Selling clothing, textiles, houseplants and vast range of handpicked home accessories, the shop and the stock is always beautifully merchandised, I defy you to come out empty-handed. (see more about Object in our Feb 18 e-zine.)

IG: @object_style

Photo:  Scott Rhodes

The Creameries

A bakery and kitchen that is aiming to be zero waste, caters brilliantly for kids, offers a seasonal menu and looks good? It’s all here at The Creameries and it has the original tiles from its previous guise which was a dairy in Edwardian times. What is it about tiles from that period? I love seeing the layers of history that places like this help keep alive. If freshly baked bread and authentic food from the heart is what you love, then be sure to pay this gem a visit.

IG: @hellocreameries

Head to Susan’s blog for more tips on Manchester as well as interiors and fashion inspiration. Follow her on Instagram too.

Meet the Maker: Liha

Liha Okunniwa and Abi Oyepitan, the duo behind all-natural beauty brand Liha, are on a mission to bring highly-prized West African beauty secrets to the UK. Now in their third year, the business partners and lifelong friends focus on small batch and sustainable production, balancing their burgeoning brand with family life. We talk to Liha Okunniwa about the pair’s work…

Liha Beauty - Meet the Maker / 91 Magazine

Hi Liha! How would you describe your brand?
Relaxing, luxurious, unusual.

What inspired you to set up Liha, and what did you both do before?
We both knew we wanted to do this since our university days in 1998, but life got in the way! I’d studied English with American studies and moved back to Cheltenham from London when my daughter was born, where I ran a successful art publishing business. Abi had studied politics and sociology and had a career as an Olympic athlete, but we had both always had been making natural beauty products on the side. When Abi had retired from athletics, we just knew it was the right time. All along, the little voices in the back of our heads would not go away! We finally gave in to it and took the leap from totally different fields. It was worth it.

Initially, we tried to do a soft launch to test the market, but the demand was so great we just had to keep pushing and it forced us to develop quicker. At the moment we are raising investment, and it is exciting to pause, map and regroup, as we take each step in growing our brand to the next level. 

Liha Beauty - Meet the Maker / 91 Magazine

What is the ethos behind your business?
Minimalism is key - buy less, and choose well. This is why we make all our products multi-purpose and don't inundate people with new product lines, which can be commonplace in the beauty industry. We also take a lot of inspiration from family - we describe Liha as 'natural African roots with a quintessentially British attitude’. My mum is an English aromatherapist, and the unique mix is what makes us stand out. Much of our aesthetic - an extreme minimalism with African touches (what we call ‘Afro-Scandi’) - comes from my dad. He came from Nigeria on an engineering scholarship and ended up hitchhiking around the world in the early 60's, nearly settling in Scandinavia.

There is a West African philosophical concept, Asé-Ase, by which you conceive the power to make things happen and produce change. It’s somewhat similar to the idea of Chi. We want to show people how to take self-care to Goddess levels and keep that Asé up! All our products take a while to become familiar with - you can find your own unique ways of using them, or even make your own creation with them. They also force you to slow down – for example, it takes time for the Idan oil to melt, and you have to really work the shea butter into your skin.

Our values are also influenced by political crops and sustainability – the medicinal plants that grow in West Africa have huge potential in the west, with the correct legislature and scientific testing in place. We are aware that most people don’t associate West Africa with beauty secrets, but introducing people to shea butter is just the beginning. There’s a wealth of ingredients that have yet to be introduced to the western world which are centuries old, and tried-and-tested. A big reason we want to scale up our business is to be a true innovator in our field, by showcasing these new ingredients and wellness secrets. As we grow, we hope to transform what has been a traditionally destructive trade route (oil, gas) with new socio-economic cooperatives for West Africa.

Liha Beauty - Meet the Maker / 91 Magazine

How do the two of you work together, day-to-day?
We’re like Yin and Yang, and we work together really well. Abi is super-practical and I am more ‘head in the clouds’, but we are both very creative. We can talk about a tweak to packaging for literally months, and are both obsessive and perfectionists in different areas, which is a plus! Abi is amazing at visual merchandising and keeping up with the industry news, and I am always hunting for new ingredients and experimenting with mixes. Day-to-day, I live in Cheltenham and Abi is in Hackney, so we are constantly texting back-and-forth, but it really is essential to have face-to-face meetings as well, as that is when the ideas really start flowing.

Describe your workspace…
Our workspace is in Queens Park in a wonderful place called Kindred Studios. It’s a former college that has over 170 artists and makers in studios, spread out over two huge buildings. Every so often there are open studio days for visitors to look around and buy, which is a wonderful way to meet customers. In true 80s movie style, the developers are trying to move in on the building, so the artists, makers and supporters are all coming together to try and raise money to buy it back - hopefully this arts haven will stay safe a little longer.

Liha Beauty - Meet the Maker / 91 Magazine

Do you have a background in health and beauty?
In African Yoruba culture, making your own cosmetics is something natural that you learn at the same time you learn to cook. My mum studied aromatherapy, and my parents had shops that I grew up living above - she would test me from about the age of 8, so I've been learning a long time!

My first job was in the Body Shop in 1996; Anita Roddick came and said ‘hi’ and I nearly fainted! Then I worked for SpaceNK when I went to Uni in London - it was my mecca before online shopping, it was the only place to get cult beauty products. I’ve studied the industry for years, so when I saw there was still a gap for the idea we had been brewing for so long, we had to jump.

Liha Beauty - Meet the Maker / 91 Magazine

Where do you sell your products?
We sell in Being Content in Marylebone, Glow Bar, lots of other lovely independents. We also have a stand on Broadway market every Saturday which works as our shop for now, and we have a huge and very exciting new stockist we will be announcing soon!

Where do you find creative inspiration?
Everywhere! We try to make time to step away from working constantly, to enjoy the smaller things and let the ideas flow. I love the luxury of taking an afternoon to go to the cinema, and Abi is always losing herself in novels. It's an obvious answer, but we both love to travel too, and meditation or just good old daydreaming are essential for any creative person - and we get loads of our ideas from these!

Liha Beauty - Meet the Maker / 91 Magazine

What are the joys, and challenges, of being an independent maker?
The joys are when people say how much they love your products - that never gets old! The challenges are having to ‘make’ on top of everything else, and feeling like you never have enough time! 

Which products do you most love making?
Our Ose Gidi Black soap, because it took so long to perfect the recipe and now it is absolutely spot-on. It smells phenomenal, and always takes me back to being in our kitchens or our first tiny studio in Cheltenham with no windows! It was so hard to make at first, but now it’s second nature to us. It’s so nice when you can see your hard work pay off like that.

Liha Beauty - Meet the Maker / 91 Magazine

Do you hold workshops and events?
We do bespoke workshops for up to 15 in which we teach the absolute basics of making with shea butter, these can be booked through the website. It's great to inspire people to start their own journey and give them a crash course in aromatherapy. It’s amazing how much people bond, relax and open up when they are crafting with their hands.

Where do you source your ingredients?
At the moment we are sourcing from a number of different ethical places. In Ghana we work with the Shea Cooperative, and the Nigerian shea comes from Abi's dad's town, so we know exactly where it’s coming from. As we grow, our goal is to have our own farms and cooperatives in West Africa.  

What have been your highlights for Liha so far?
All of it! We wouldn't change one bit of our journey, even the tough parts. 

Liha Beauty - Meet the Maker / 91 Magazine

How valuable is the online community to your work?
We are not as good at posting as we should be, but we love Instagram. I’m not so keen on the algorithm but it’s a great community for wellness and makers. Our social media followers are all very valuable to us and we believe in quality over quantity.

What does the next six months hold for Liha?
We have some really exciting things coming up and we are growing pretty fast, so keep checking back for social media updates @lihabeauty

Any creative pastimes or hobbies?
I play music in my spare time, and Abi and I both write. Abi loves photography and we are both massive bookworms. Dancing around naked every so often is also a must for me to stay sane!

Liha Beauty - Meet the Maker / 91 Magazine

How do you approach marketing and PR?
We have been lucky in that we have never had to chase, and all opportunities have come to us directly through the website or via Instagram.

Any advice for makers starting out?
Just jump in and crack on! Trust the process and you will find your path. 

Quick Fire questions:

Describe your work in three words? Satisfying, fun, amazing.

What are your making rituals? Loud music (or Radio 4 on peaceful days), old clothes, self-belief, and a little alchemy.

Tea or coffee? Tea, always.

Mountains or sea? Sea.

Night owl or early bird? Abi is a night owl, but I’m an early bird.

I wish someone had told me... It's never too late to change direction. As a kid you are taught to find a path and lock on to it. That just isn't how it works, you can always change.

See more from Liha at: www.lihabeauty.co.uk

An Ethical gift guide

Christmas is only a few weeks away, and if you are aiming to shop more ethically this year but are still struggling to find the perfect gifts, then get inspired by our gift guide, collated by Lucy Saunders.

With moral principles behind each product featured, here are my top five ethical presents for him, for her and for kids this Christmas. Whether it’s a gift to pamper, to eat, to entertain or to look stylish we have it covered, saving you internet-trawling time and taking the shopping stress off your hands, leaving you safe in the knowledge your purchases are minimal in their harm to our planet.

FOR HER

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

1/ Envelop yourself in the nostalgic hues of jasmine, bound with green thyme and warming black pepper. La-Eva products are made in the UK, certified organic and are suitable for vegans.

La-Eva facial oil, £25 - The Future Kept

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

2/ Know a coffee lover? Treat them to a beautiful reusable cup, made from hand-blown glass. These are100% free of plastic and chemicals.

Sol Cup, £19 - Sol

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

3/ Proud to support the UK charity Womankind Worldwide who work to empower women all over the world, Lauren Hunt’s jewellery designs are not just stunning but also support a worthy cause, and wherever possible Lauren uses eco-friendly recycled gold.

Opal & Gold Ring, £152 - Lauren Hunt Jewellery Designs

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

4/ A fun four pack of soft, sustainable bamboo and organic cotton blend socks, which are breathable, naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. We especially love these ones from the Summer Vibe set.

Summer Vibe sock gift set, £24.90, Thought

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

5/ This classic style vegan leather watch is a contemporary yet ethical choice for your wrist that works with any outfit. They come wrapped in an eco-friendly felt pouch and box.

Light Grey & Gold watch, £120 - VOTCH

FOR HIM

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

1/ The George is the ultimate man bag. Handmade in Calcutta, using locally sourced materials and suppliers, this bag is ethically produced, as well as being a classic to last for years.

Messenger bag, from £165 - NV London Calcutta

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

2/ This 65% dark chocolate has underlying coffee aromas which perfectly balances the sweetness of the malt barley. Handmade in East London, this chocolate in also vegan friendly.

Malt dark Chocolate, £6 - The Future Kept

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

3/ Flourish Magazine is printed on FSC approved paper, has a underlying passion of sustainability within its written pages and is packaged using biodegradable tissue paper. An ideal gift for travel lovers.

Flourish Magazine, £10

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

4/ This low-foaming, vegan friendly soap is free of synthetic fragrances and lightly buffs the skin with botanical particles. Made in Margate, UK.

Haeckels Small Exfoliating Seaweed Block, from £4 - Haeckels

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

5/ These boots will add a little bit of sophistication to any outfit. Made from faux suede with a rubber outsole and elastic gore, the boots are vegan-friendly, as are all this brand’s shoes and bags.

Vegan Chelsea boots, £115 - Matt & Nat

FOR KIDS

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

1/ Choose from three different designs of these sweet bib and rattle sets. The bibs are made from 100% organic cotton and backed with organic velour. 

Bib and rattle set, £15 - Julia Staite 

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

2/ This very soft PJ set is made from 100% organic interlock cotton fabric to stay comfy all night long. Made ethically in the UK, this classic breton stripe design is suitable for both sexes and for all ages.

Classic Breton PJ set, £32 - Sleepy Doe

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

3/ This organic and vegan chocolate comes with a cute cardboard toy to assemble, which is one of six designs to collect. A perfect stocking filler.

Vegan chocolate & toy, £4.25, Berylune

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

 4/ Tomtect is a new construction toy using multi-length thin wooden blocks or planks, great for children’s fine motor skills and developing imaginations. Made in France with wood from sustainably managed pine forests. 

TomTect construction toy, £28 - Conscious Craft

91 Magazine Ethical Gift Guide

5/ This reimagined rocking horse is equipped with a winged saddle, footrests and an adjustable fabric backrest. Constructed from natural rubber wood and non-toxic water based dyes.

Rocking Pegasus, £99.95 Conscious Craft

Happy ethical shopping! x

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Choosing Keeping

Peek into Choosing Keeping’s stunning new store in London’s Seven Dials, beautifully curated with diaries, pens and dreamy papers and you could be forgiven for thinking that this was just a stylish stationery stockist. However, delve a little deeper, behind the exterior, and you’ll find that Choosing Keeping is an independent stationery lovers’ paradise, with true heart - and a homage to almost-forgotten trades.

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Choosing Keeping opened in 2012, in its former home on Columbia Road, with the aim of bringing together charming stationery products, that were “under threat of extinction possibly because they had become under-appreciated, or thought of as old-fashioned, or too expensive in relation to cheaply made in China alternatives”, owner, Julia explains.

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Identifying that national culture can be lost when items, like these, stop being produced, and that as consumers, we should do what we can to ensure that these items - and the memories they are attached to - prevent being lost, Choosing Keeping is keeping alive these old traditions.

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“The green Pentel R50 which sat in the pen pot by your grandfather’s telephone, the Japanese Nori glue you used to craft in school, all of these iconic objects combined are part of our cultural memory and therefore very important,” Choosing Keeping’s owner says. “The fact that each day such companies cease to manufacture in France, Italy, Germany … is a tragedy.”

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Of course, it’s not just the item itself or the history associated with it. Choosing Keeping are also concerned about the people behind the product too - with companies closing down, livelihoods being lost and the impact on the villages whose factories close. A sobering thought as many of us tick off our Christmas gift list.

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Since 1st November 2018, Choosing Keeping has closed its doors for the final time at 128 Columbia Road and have begun a new chapter, at 21 Tower Street in Seven Dials. With a new location, the Choosing Keeping team took the opportunity to think about their new space, designing their own made-to-measure furniture, as well as all their gorgeous pen display pots (made by Steve Harrison). Staying loyal to their ethos of enjoying something for as long as possible, their new store includes plenty of wood, bringing warmth and softness to the aesthetics, and perfectly complimenting the sensuality of the opulent stationery on offer.

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Given that Choosing Keeping’s focus is on bringing together items that could be forgotten about, the team work hard to source the best paper, art and office goods. This inspiration comes from watching films, travelling, chatting with suppliers and reading catalogues from cover to cover to find those items that should be enjoyed for many more years to come.

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Needless to say, there’s not any visits to gift fairs or trade shows for the Choosing Keeping team, instead it’s all about research and connection to find those almost-forgotten gems. One business they’ve built a relationship with over the last six years is German penmaker, Kaweco, who have been manufacturing pens since 1883. Choosing Keeping now have the largest range in a bricks and mortar UK shop.

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As well as carefully sourcing stationery products from across the world, the store also create their own items too, such as their four colour ballpoint pens, Italian leatherette notebooks, hardback notebooks and handmade watercolour paper, of which many are among their bestsellers.

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Needless to say, Choosing Keeping is a one-of-a-kind kind of stationery store, encouraging us shoppers to give thought when buying (not only about the product itself but about the makers and the community surrounding them) and then to take care, preserve and respect whatever it is we’ve purchased. In a nutshell: choosing to keep the memories, the heritage and people in work from independents, rather than buying mass-produced items. A visit to this beautiful store definitely gives us food for thought…

Find Choosing Keeping at 21 Tower Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9NS.

choosingkeeping.com

From the cutting room floor - AW18 issue

Thank you SO much for all the lovely feedback on the AW18 issue - we are so proud that lots of you have said it is your favourite issue yet! :) We recently announced that we are now offering one year subscriptions to the magazine - you can start from the AW18 issue if you haven’t got it yet, or start from the upcoming SS19 issue, out in April.

But if you’ve already devoured the current issue from cover to cover, then here is an additional little bit of eye candy in the form of images from the cutting room floor…

home of Aerende online shop owner Emily Mathieson

Totally in love with the simplicity of Emily of Aerende’s bathroom, in fact her entire home feels effortless yet thoughtful. Her bathroom also features products from skincare brand La-Eva - whose studio we featured in this issue. Shot by Jon Aaron Green.

Pickled radishes on rye bread recipe
Plum Jelly recipe

We ran a gorgeous food feature on preserving in this issue and stylist Sally Meier and photographer Catherine Frawley created these beautiful images - the colours, the textures… so fresh and enticing right?!

Lord Whitney's studio, featured in 91 Magazine AW18 issue

We visited so many stunning spaces in the AW18 issue - from shops and studios to homes and restaurants. Above is the super cool studio of Lord Whitney - there really is colour, fun and joy in every corner of this creative haven. Beautiful images by Kasia Fiszer.

Forest shop, London - featured in 91 Magazine AW18
Forest shop, London - featured in 91 Magazine AW18

The South London plant lover’s paradise that is Forest also had us swooning and wanting to add another 300 or so plants to our homes! Rachel Warne captured it beautifully.

Melissa Avila's apartment in Mexico City

During our trip to Mexico City earlier this year we got the chance to visit the home and studio of Melissa Avila. Her style effortlessly cool, her work immensely humbling. Thanks to Jemma Watts for her company and great photography on this trip.

Silo, Brighton - featured in 91 Magazine

We are in love with this little corner of zero-waste restaurant Silo in Brighton. How dreamy is that slouchy velvet seating?! Another great shoot by Jemma Watts.

Home tour - Daniele Schinke of Wunderblumen
Home tour - Daniele Schinke of Wunderblumen

The home that featured on the cover of this issue is that of Daniela Schinke. She has such a great eye for colour and a wonderful collection of objects around her home. How sweet is that mother and daughter illustration? Images captured by Olinga Ok.

Styling an Ethical home - 91 Magazine

Last but not least, an extra image from our conscious living shoot by Cathy Pyle, styled by Lauren Becker. How much do you want to curl up with a good book in this little spot?!

Grab your AW18 issue now, or why not treat yourself to a subscription?!

A simple winter table

Here at 91 we are approaching Christmas this year with a simpler mindset. Excessive consumerism is being dialled back and many of us are leaning towards living with less, enjoying the moment and not overdoing it; from food and drink to gifts and decor. Stylist Sophie Warren Smith shares her ideal winter table - one that epitomises this lifestyle - scandi-inspired, stylish, simple. Follow her tips to recreate the look…

a simple scandi winter table - 91 Magazine

Set the scene

To stop a simple Scandi table from looking too stark, lots of greenery is a must. You can keep spending to a minimum by foraging for as much as possible. I collected a few of different types of fragrant fir and small pinecones on dog walks - keep your eyes peeled - there’s also plenty of holly and ivy about too. You can then get a bunch of eucalyptus fairly cheaply from the florists, along with a few stems of thistles and roses, which all add texture and interest to your display.

Scatter a few small sprigs along the middle of your table, and then create a focal point with a vase - or a jug like the one I’ve used here. A great styling tip is to work in three’s, so here, I have added two glass candlesticks to flank the jug.

A tablecloth is a super simple way to add elegance to the overall look. If you don’t have one to hand, a length of linen or even a plain bed sheet will do the job! You can even leave the edges frayed for a more rustic, relaxed look.

a simple scandi Christmas table - 91 Magazine

It’s all in the detail

If you use glass bottles as candleholders as I have here, why not pop a small sprig of eucalyptus inside? Add a few vintage style mercury baubles to the centre that have a slight shimmer to catch the warmth and glow of the candlelight. Create a charming place setting by tying a stem of eucalyptus and thistle together, alternatively, you could use a piece of fir/Christmas tree (from the lower end of your tree) or some mistletoe.

simple Christmas table styling ideas - 91 Magazine

Make your table inviting

The key to this look is ‘less is more’, keep it uncluttered, simple yet sophisticated. Try layering your plates, it creates visual depth and makes the setting feel a little special. Place napkins in between the two plates to add texture, and to keep the table surface less busy. I’ve purposely chosen white plates for a more minimal look, but patterned plates on a plain tablecloth will look equally lovely. An optional, but wonderful finishing touch - add some sheepskins to your seating, they are super cosy and create a tactile, welcoming and comfy feel for your guests.

*The wall hanging in these images is part of A Foraged Christmas, a mini online course that goes on sale Monday 3rd December, priced at £18 for four festive easy to follow step by step projects that include a wreath, a mantelpiece garland and a festive bunch. See Sophie’s Instagram for further details.