91 is reading... non-fiction summer reads

We are big book fans here at 91, and of course summer (sometimes!) gives you a bit more time to relax with a good book. We've got five titles to share with you, not all of which will necessarily be suitable for tucking in your suitcase if you are heading away, but you could certainly spend a sunny evening in the garden gleaning inspiration for your home, life and travels. 

91 Magazine - summer reads 2018
Appetizer - new Interiors for Restaurants & Cafes
Appetizer - new Interiors for Restaurants & Cafes


When it comes to interior inspiration, we shouldn't restrict ourselves to only looking for ideas within other home environments. Shops, cafes and restaurants are full of great ideas too, and Appetizer is a hefty tome filled with some of the most stunning eateries around the world. From Beirut and Barcelona to Kuala Lumper and Kazakhstan, no corner of the world has been left unexplored in discovering the best in food establishment design. You may just find yourself planning a foodie-based round the world trip in your head, I know I am! :) 

Available to buy here

Little Big Rooms - New nurseries and Rooms to play in
Little Big Rooms - New nurseries and Rooms to play in
Little Big Rooms - New nurseries and Rooms to play in

Little Big Rooms

If you are in need of some inspiration for your kids' rooms or have a little one on the way, then Little Big Rooms is the book to help. Whether you want to create a play area that doesn't jar on your decor or a sweet nursery to welcome a new baby, there are so many lovely spaces in here that prove you do not have to compromise on style when it comes to interiors for little people. 

Available to buy here.

Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee


This is one to be read gradually, as it's quite thick and wordy, but let's face it, we are all on a quest for happiness in our lives aren't we? In Joyful, Ingrid Fetell Lee aims to demonstrate how every day objects and the spaces around us are all we need to ignite joy in our day-to-day. As someone who loves design and aesthetics, I must admit I do find joy in inanimate objects or when entering a space than inspires me, but how do we harness those moments and bring more of that joy into our lives? I'm looking forward to getting stuck into this one and finding out more.

Pre-order here. Publishes on 6th Sept 

Urban Botanics by Maaike Koster and Emma Sibley
Urban Botanics by Maaike Koster and Emma Sibley


I genuinely don't think you can ever have too many plants or too many plant books. Probably the more plants you have, the more books you might need, as I've found that they don't always feature every houseplant that you might own. When I've got a concern about a certain plant, or I've just brought a new one into my home, I love to flick through my mini plant book library to try and find the answer. Urban Botanics is a great addition to that library - with stunning illustrations by Maaike Koster and knowledge from London Terrariums founder Emma Sibley, mainly covering succulents, cacti, flowering plants and green foliage. 

Available to buy here

Travels through the French Riveria by Virginia Johnson
Travels through the French Riveria by Virginia Johnson


If you've got a trip planned to the south of France anytime soon , then this book is sure to raise your anticipation ahead of your trip, or make a lovely companion while there. Written and illustrated by artist Virginia Johnson, the book is a poetic journey along the coastline - part guide, part watercolourist's sketchbook - she shares the best place for ice-cream in Antibes alongside notes on the diversity of Nice. A must for any travel book fan or Francophile. 

Available to buy here

From the cutting room floor - SS18 issue

I always enjoy going back through the images from our previous issue and rediscovering some of the shots that we couldn't quite fit on the pages of the magazine, but that I still think are visually inspiring. It seems such a shame to hide them away from the world, so, as always, here are a few from the cutting room floor from our SS18 issue, which by the way, we only have a few boxes left of! So, if you haven't furnished your home with a copy yet, make sure to pop to the shop and grab one before they all go! Pre-orders for the AW18 issue will be opening in just over a week (eeee!), so keep your eyes peeled for that. (signing up to our mailing list will send you a handy reminder)!

 Stylish Bristol Cafe - Albatross
Albatross Cafe, Bristol - featured in 91 Magazine SS18 issue
Albatross Cafe, Bristol - featured in 91 Magazine SS18 issue

Could there be a more dreamy cafe?! This feature on Albatross Cafe in Bristol literally makes me want to make the three hour trip there just to sit in here and while away an afternoon! Gorgeous photography by Kym Grimshaw

Artemis Russell of Junkaholique's home as featured in 91 Magazine
Artemis Russell of Junkaholique's home as featured in 91 Magazine
Artemis Russell of Junkaholique's shed as featured in 91 Magazine
Artemis Russell of Junkaholique's shop Rust as featured in 91 Magazine
Artemis Russell of Junkaholique's home as featured in 91 Magazine

The home and creative spaces of Artemis Russell, shot by Maria Bell provided us with so many gorgeous images, and even though the feature was spread over ten pages, there was still lots of lovely unseen shots to share with you here.

Duck Duck Goose Coffee as featured in 91 Magazine SS18 issue
Duck Duck Goose Coffee as featured in 91 Magazine SS18 issue
Duck Duck Goose Coffee as featured in 91 Magazine SS18 issue

Photographed and styled by Cathy Pyle and Kay Prestney, Duck Duck Goose Coffee, a gorgeous space for both adults and children, offered many photogenic corners, so again, we struggled to fit all the shots into the mag. These were a few extra faves of mine.

Home of Rebecca Lawson of Malmo & Moss as featured in 91 Magazine
Home of Rebecca Lawson of Malmo & Moss as featured in 91 Magazine
Home of Rebecca Lawson of Malmo & Moss as featured in 91 Magazine
Home of Rebecca Lawson of Malmo & Moss as featured in 91 Magazine

Jemma Watts photographed the lovely London home of Rebecca Lawson AKA Malmo & Moss, where around every corner appears to be another perfectly styled scene or vignette! Isn't her en-suite bathroom the stuff of interior dreams?!

crafting with flowers feature with The Real Flower Co in 91 Magazine
crafting with flowers feature with The Real Flower Co in 91 Magazine
ideas for using Edible flowers as featured in 91 Magazine
ideas for using edible flowers as featured in 91 Magazine SS18 issue

Lastly, we had a few impeccably styled features sharing dreamy ideas for making and baking, all with flowers. Firstly, Catherine Frawley styled and shot some beautiful projects, including pressed flower frames, while stylist Lauren Becker and photographer Veerle Evens worked together to demonstrate three ways to delight your senses with edible flowers. Just stunning. 

I think you'll agree, we have a seriously talented group of contributors, who truly make the magazine what it is with their fab photography and styling. Thank you so much guys! 

Remember, get your SS18 edition before they all disappear folks! 

Make: A Floral Hoop

Pretty foliage and greenery can make for a stunning focal point at any celebration. Whether it’s an extravagant wedding feature or a simple summer garden party, flowers are always the most striking way to create a memorable focal point. Marianne of Frances and Rose and photographer Kathryn Taylor share a wonderfully simple way to create your own handcrafted floral hoop which can add that touch of pretty creativity to any occasion.


You will you need:

  • A Hula hoop (a children’s hula hoop is perfect!)
  • Green stem tape
  • 26 gram reel of green wire
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon for the finish
  • Foliage/ flowers – a mixed bucket of around 50-70 stems, if using foraged foliage make sure to condition them properly to prevent it from wilting.
DIY tutorial - flower hoop decoration for weddings

Flower Preparation: To condition foraged foliage and prevent them from wilting, cut the stems at an angle and make a straight cut vertically to create a slight split. Place the stems into a pan of boiling water for around 30 seconds, or until they stop releasing bubbles, and then immediately plunge into a separate bucket of cold water to cool. Leave them in there for one hour. A good tip to remember is that flowers with stronger, waxier leaves tend to work better than softer, floppier leaves for this particular project.

If you are decorating for a special occasion you can also source local, lovingly grown cut blooms from the ‘Flowers From the Farm’ organization. This is a collaboration of growers and florists based throughout the UK who sell freshly cut flowers by the bucket!

To find your nearest British flower farmer see their website and make your handmade arrangements something truly unique: www.flowersfromthefarm.co.uk


1. Take the floral stem tape and wrap around the entire hoop so you have a totally green base to work from. This will give the hoop grip for the flowers and an even backdrop. Plastic hoops can be very slippery so if possible a wooden or bamboo hoop is a great alternative.  

2. To start with, take your scissors and cut a collection of stems. You can make them as long or as short as you wish. However prepare these in advance before the next step.

Make a floral hoop decoration - summer party styling
DIY project - Floral wreath using a hula hoop

3. Take your wire and secure it by winding it tightly at the starting point of your hoop. A good tip is to twist it a couple of times to build security. Leave the reel attached at this stage, don’t cut the wire!

4. Separately create small bunches of 3-4 stems. Hold them together in one hand and place them parallel to the hoop. Simply follow by wrapping the wire around each floral bundle three to four times to hold strongly in place. 

5. Make the next bundle and lay it over the last with the stems in the same direction. You should aim for the new leaves to cover the stems of the previously secured bundle. Again wrap each floral collection approximately three to four times.

Make a floral decoration using a hula hoop

6. Continue this process the entire way around. Try to plan out your flowers as you go but don’t be afraid to get creative. Create clusters using flowers alongside simple greenery that will add beautiful contrast and balance to your design as it grows around the hoop. For this example we built the greenery and flowers around two thirds and then left space for the addition of a classic green velvet ribbon as a finishing touch.

DIY floral hoop decoration
Floral hoop decoration - using British grown flowers

Flower Tips: If you are hoping to use a lot of flowers, it is recommended to make your floral feature as close to the event as possible to avoid wilting. Stronger stemmed flowers or even dried flowers like hydrangeas or helichrysum can make the most beautifully diverse arrangement that will also last the course. If you are really keen on using garden roses and other soft flowers out or water for any length of time, florist test tubes wired into the design can help to keep them plump and in bloom for longer. And why not get a bit experimental. Sturdy fruit tree branches such as apple tree springs or even hardy herbs can add texture and fragrance to your party piece as well as much needed structure and strength.

Learn with Frances & Rose: If you fancy learning more about how to make floral hoops, crowns or bouquets using home grown, seasonal British flowers, Marianne of Frances & Rose holds group and 121 workshops from her studio in the heart of the Peak District.

To find out more go to www.francesandrose.co.uk or @francesandrose on Instagram.

Photography: Kathryn Taylor - follow on Instagram: @hello_kathryntaylor

Simple summer outdoor dining

What a hot, dry summer we've had so far in the UK! While many of us have found it overwhelming, there's no denying one of the joys of the warm weather is eating al fresco in the evening, as the light fades and the heat subsides. Writer and maker Claire Holland, who recently launched her lifestyle blog Paper Thin Moon, shares some simple styling ideas as well as four delicious dishes to serve for a relaxed summer meal.

outdoor summer dining styling and recipes

I often sit in the garden at this time of year and ask myself, what would it be like sitting here on this patch of grass under the apple tree during the winter months.  The truth is, I can’t imagine it.  We live through such long periods of the year when it’s too cold to sit and relax outside that it’s easy to forget how glorious the summer months can be. Walking barefoot on grass, reading beneath the shade of a tree, and the warm glow of the early evening sun on your skin all very quickly become distant memories once winter comes around. If I ever need to remind myself to live in the moment, it’s during the summer months that I find it easiest. It’s the perfect time for slowing down, being with friends and family, celebrating togetherness and good food, and taking in as much sunshine as possible before the autumn leaves begin to fall.

outdoor summer dining styling and recipes

In deepest summer, I try and eat every meal outdoors. When there’s time - usually at the weekends when the days are more lazy and carefree - I like to take the dining table out into the garden and style up our outdoor space for a relaxed summer soiree, creating an atmosphere that’s cosy and a little bit magical. The trick when dining outside in the evening is to keep the colours of your linens and accessories light and bright.  That way, once the sun starts to set you can see what you’re doing more easily as any available light bounces off them. The dusty pink table cloth here is from H&M, and I picked up the faded grey napkins from Closet & Botts. The pale blue side plates are recent buys from the John Lewis “Jaipur” range. The white ones did have a pattern on them when first bought, but over the years it’s been completely faded by the dishwasher, leaving them plain and boring.  I achieved the 'splatter' look by flicking multi-surface gold paint on to them with an old toothbrush.

summer outdoor dining styling and recipes

Soft lighting is what makes a dinner table and, of course, lighting is key when eating outdoors at night. Inside, I always err on the dark side when lighting a room, but it’s disconcerting not to be able to see what you’re eating once the light starts to fade, or the faces of the people sitting opposite you. As soon as the sun starts to set, we switch on the overhead festoon bulbs (ours are the extendable version from Cox & Cox), and light the candles on the table to create a soft, warm glow. Once the moon is high in the sky, the solar lanterns (Ikea finds) hanging from the tree start to come on one by one, adding ambient light and a magical feel.

summer outdoor dining styling and recipes

Flowers are non-negotiable on any dining table as far as I’m concerned. The searing heat and lack of rain has left my garden parched and overgrown. The delphiniums, lupins and foxgloves were over weeks ago, but the climbing roses are starting to bloom for the second time this year, and I added some of those to my arrangements. I also utilised the flowering dill, mint blossom and the small blooms of late flowering purple hydrangeas from my garden, supplementing them with florist-bought waxflower, stocks and alliums, and grasses picked from the hedgerows. 

summer outdoor dining styling and recipes

Naturally, it’s not my favourite time to be in the kitchen but it’s always a joy to celebrate the season with dishes that are perfect for summer dining.  Fresh fig and goats cheese salad, slow roasted tomato and asparagus tart, soft peppers stuffed with fennel, and a chicory and fennel salad served with a zingy anchovy and lemon dressing were the simple dishes on the menu. During this long, hot summer of ours, I’m all about keeping the food fresh and light. Serve with a loaf of rye sourdough, and plenty of chilled Sancerre, and you’ve got a table fit for a feast. 

  Roasted red peppers stuffed with fennel and tomato

RECIPES (all serve 4) 

Roasted red peppers stuffed with fennel and tomato


  • 4 red peppers
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 400g tin of whole plum tomatoes
  • A teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • Half a teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method: Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180C. Cut the tops off the fennel and cut the bulbs into quarters and then into eights, being careful to try and keep the layers together as much as possible.  Blanch for five minutes in a pan of boiling water. Set aside to cool. Slice the peppers in half with a sharp knife, cutting through the green ends and leaving them intact (you wont be eating them but it looks nice). Remove the seeds then lay the peppers on a baking tray. Drain the plum tomatoes and divide them equally between the peppers. Toast the seeds for a few minutes in a frying pan over a low heat to help release the flavours, then crush them in a pestle and mortar. Arrange the segments of fennel in the pepper and sprinkle fennel and coriander seed powder over the top and then drizzle with the oil. Season and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for one hour.

  Fig, Prosciutto, and Spinach Salad with Chèvre and Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette

Fig, prosciutto, and spinach salad with chèvre and preserved lemon vinaigrette

Ingredients for the salad: 

  • Pack of baby spinach leaves
  • 70g flaked almonds, toasted
  • 450g fresh figs, quartered
  • 115g fresh cherries
  • 115g blueberries
  • 115g chèvre (hard goats cheese). I used the delicious St Helen’s Farm hard goats cheese.
  • 55g prosciutto, thinly sliced

Ingredients for the dressing: 

  • 1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  •  1 1/4  teaspoons of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 sea salt

Method: For the preserved lemon vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon rind, oil, vinegar, honey and salt until completely combined. Toss the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately. {This recipe is from the book “First We Eat” by Eva Cosmos Flores, published by Abrams} 

  Roasted tomato and asparagus tart

Roasted tomato and asparagus tart

Ingredients for the pastry:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 100g chilled butter, diced
  • A couple of tablespoons of water
  • A pinch of salt

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 400g cherry tomatoes
  • 400g asparagus
  • A few spring onions or one leek, sliced
  • 3 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons of double cream
  • The zest of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 50g parmesan

Method: Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1/2, 120C. Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the salt, and water if necessary and mix to a firm dough, firstly with a butter knife and then with your hands. Knead the dough on a floured surface. Put in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and arrange on a baking tray. Season and drizzle with olive oil. Bake them in the oven for approximately 50 minutes. Break the hard ends off the asparagus then blanch it in boiling water for 3 or 4 minutes. Plunge the asparagus into a bowl of chilled water, then lift it out and set to one side. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, cream, lemon juice and rind, parmesan and dijon mustard. Season to taste. Take the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface. Place the pastry in a 25cm tart case, leaving an overhang of approximately 5cm round the edge. Use remnants of the pastry rolled into a small ball to gently pad the rolled out pastry into the corners of the tin. In a separate oven (or once the tomatoes are ready, take them out and turn up the heat) blind bake the pastry case for 20 minutes at gas mark 3, 170C. 

While the pastry is cooking, fry the leeks or spring onions in a tablespoon of olive oil for around five minutes. Add some sprigs of thyme and fry for another five minutes and then take off the heat. Remove the baking beans from the pastry case and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Trim the edges of the pastry case. Put the onions/leeks on the bottom of the pastry case and then arrange the asparagus spears on top. Add the egg and cream mixture carefully and then scatter the tomatoes on top of the mixture (they may sink a little). Bake for another 20 minutes, watching it so that it doesn’t overcook around the edges. Check the tart is ready by poking a wooden or metal skewer into the middle. If the skewer comes out clean, the tart filling is set.

  Chicory & fennel salad with lemon & anchovy dressing

Chicory & fennel salad with lemon & anchovy dressing


  • 1 bulb of fennel (remove the tops and set aside)
  • 2 heads of red chicory
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • The juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method: Whizz up the oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon and anchovy fillets in a blender. Thinly slice the fennel and chicory and arrange in a bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and decorate with frilly fronds from the fennel tops.

summer outdoor dining styling and recipes

Styling: Claire Holland / Photography: Charlie Bibby: www.paperthinmoon.com

Follow on Instagram: @paperthinmoon

Growing your creative business

With so much noise on the internet these days, it's often hard to track down the genuinely great content that will be worth spending your precious time on. We often find ourselves endlessly scrolling Instagram or reading memes on Facebook that, let's face it, aren't really going to benefit our lives in any way. If you've found yourself craving an online haven, a place to learn, socialise and get inspired without all the distraction, then let me introduce you to Sisterhood Camp. Lou Archell launched her 'IRL' Sisterhood retreats back in 2015, but this summer she has created an online retreat - perfect for those who can't make the real life events but want the benefit of the creative community and learning they offer. 

It is a private member community, which runs for three months each season. Once enrolled, you'll have access to all of the content - e-courses, blog posts and forums. It encompasses a range of topics - career development, creativity, wellness and travel. Summer Camp is already in progress so enrolment for that is now closed, but we have a little snippet from one of the e-courses to whet your appetite. If it floats your boat, then do hop over to the website for more blog content (many of the posts are public, although some are for members only) and register your interest in Autumn Camp which will open for enrolment on 20th August. (Pricing: £200 for 3 months. or instalments of £67 per month.) Autumn Camp starts on 1st September through to 30th November.

Growing your own creative business

Growing your own creative business - with Camilla Westgaard of Folksy


Is there a secret to building a successful creative business? Scroll through Instagram and it feels like there are some creatives who have just got it down. Their feed is full of beautifully wrapped parcels ready to be shipped, their workshops are sold out in seconds and their inboxes are overflowing with DMs asking when the next shop update is happening. But how did they get there? Probably with a lot of hard work. Growing a business takes time and dedication, and stories of overnight success are rare or not quite what they seem.

Over the last decade, I’ve been there, put in those hours, had the successes and the failures, watched, learned from, listened to and guided other indie businesses as they’ve grown and thrived. It’s these creatives who keep the world interesting, so in this series I’m going to share the lessons learned to help you take your idea and grow it into a fully-fledged business or a nice little side-hustle that nurtures your soul, depending on what you want and need from it.


Growing your own creative business

Consider what kind of business you really want – and be honest here. Do you want something you can do from your sofa while listening to podcasts, that will bring in a little extra money to subsidise adventures away? Or do you aspire to having your own design studio with a team of people working for you so you can focus on ideas? Maybe enjoying the physical process of making is more important? Or maybe you want to travel the world passing on your wisdom and meeting interesting people?

If your business takes off, you may end up making the same products a hundred times or running the same workshops over and over again. How good are you at repetitive tasks? Think about which parts of the business you enjoy, what you would like to do more of and equally what you’d like to do less of. Then design a business around that – one that suits you. We all have to start somewhere but if you know where you’d like it to go and how you’d like it to look, it’s easier to get there… and also to make sure you don’t end up in a place you never meant to be.

How: Write down what your ideal business looks like in terms of the number of hours you are working on it, the number of people you have working with you, the scale of your output, where you work and what that work consists of. This will help you create a business that you can sustain and nurture.


When people start a new business, they often assume that by offering a vast variety of products and choice, they’ll be able to appeal to more people and sell more products. In most cases, the opposite is true: occupy a niche, limit your product range and you’ll have a stronger business. You don’t need loads of product lines and variations to be successful; you just need to do one thing really well. Imagine you’re a restaurant (bear with me)… don’t be the one with the stressed chef serving hundreds of items on the menu, buying in tons of ingredients and juggling hundreds of pans. It’s not cost-effective and it’s not the way to go if you value reputation or quality. Instead be the one where the chef has a limited board serving the best ingredients, combined to create interesting and original dishes, cooked well, and where people queue for tables.

Focusing on one thing also makes it easier to define your customers, target your marketing, hone your skills and stand out as the go-to person for that product, style or content.

How: Think about what you want to sell. Are there lots of other people doing something similar? Good, that means there’s a market for it. But how can you get a slice? Who are the established businesses people look to? Is there something they are not doing that you could? What can you offer that isn’t currently out there, or what can you specialise in? Is there a community you can serve?

Growing your own creative business

Don’t expect to be able to leave your 9-to-5 straight away. If you do want to make your business full time, be realistic about when that’s possible. It’s true that if you leave your job you’ll be able to focus all your time and attention on your new venture, and it may well flourish more quickly. Some people thrive on this and feel they are more likely to succeed when all the safety nets have gone and the only option is to make it work. But being completely dependent on your own business for your income is risky, which is why having fallbacks in place and designing several revenue streams makes sense.

This isn’t just about how reliant you are on your new business to pay your bills, it also relates to where you focus your business and the channels you rely on for your marketing and sales. Think about Instagram: if you only ever focus on reaching customers through IG, what happens if a new platform comes along and people leave Instagram in droves, or the algorithms change the network so significantly (as happened on Facebook) that it no longer works for indie businesses who don’t want to pay to advertise their posts? You might be able to move your business across but you could have a period when your revenue plummets and your business might not survive the dip.

How: Being absolutely reliant on your business, or turning what you love into a profession, can change how you feel about it, and leaving financial stability for a new business venture is also a risk that not everyone can afford to take. You know your situation, so take everything at a pace that works for you.

*Extracted from Camilla Westgaard's e-course on growing your own creative business - part of Sisterhood Summer Camp.* - Camilla Westergaard has been immersed in the world of creative indie businesses for almost a decade, first as a designer & maker stocked in Liberty’s and then as Content Lead at Folksy, the home of British craft, where she interviews makers, writes advice for other sellers, commissions articles and designs social media content and campaigns. She is genuinely passionate about supporting makers and believes there are simple, practical steps everyone can take that will help their creative business become successful. If you want to see pictures of hedgehogs, cats and cushions, you can follow her on Instagram at @bbutterscotch

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman

When a shop became available next door to their beautiful New York coffee shop (with a French flair - named Maman), Elisa Marshall and Ben Sormonte, saw an opportunity to create a unique retail environment, bridging the gap between traditional long-term storefronts and trendy retail pop ups, and affords beloved brands to have a retail presence in New York. The Shopkeepers' Paula Flynn chats to Elisa of Marche Maman to talk creating a lifestyle experience, curating beautiful products and what it's like to have Oprah as a fan...

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

What motivated you to open Marche Maman? 

I think with the Marche space specifically, it started for us when we had so many retail brands contacting us at Maman to open a café within their shops. From high end fashion brands to tech brands, we were getting many inquiries for those looking to incorporate food and drink into their shops. Everyone was looking for a more ‘lifestyle’ experience and ultimately, food and drink drive traffic. None felt like a good brand fit for us. We also had friends with brands from France wanting to open a pop-up near us in the U.S. and rent was extremely high. Not to mention you also have to look after interiors, merchandising, staffing, utilities, marketing, PR and most importantly getting people in the door & generating foot traffic!

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

The space beside our Soho location became available, which also had a beautiful garden, and we were trying to be creative, as to what we could do with it from an expansion point of view. Then the lightbulb came on, and we decided on a co-retailing Marche and creating a community of brands who share our same customer and concept.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Do you have prior retail experience? 

I grew up with the retail bug and started in retail at a denim store on the day of my 16th birthday when I was finally able to legally work. Over 10 years, I went from sales associate, to managing, to buying, then to merchandising and PR & marketing for international retail brands. I had much more experience in retail then in hospitality and actually never had a serving job prior to opening Maman, so it was evident retail would somehow come back around…it was just waiting for the perfect time & place!

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Who designed the shop? 

Myself and my partner Ben look after all the design for the shops.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

What are you best known for? 

At Maman, we are most known for our nutty chocolate chip cookies (Oprah named them one of her favorite things in 2017) but on the marché side of things, I think we are most known for hard to find imported French items. From baskets & flatware imported from the south of France to our children’s vendor who brings in the most beautiful unique one of a kind kids pieces, we have a very loyal customer who always come to us for hard to find gifts.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Where and how are products sourced and made? 

We source the brands by what we love, trying to keep them French when possible, and in the mentality that the customers are likely coming for lunch or breakfast so what would they buy while doing that. With experience we have noticed that high price point items that are a sought-after purchase don’t work as well. Our customers rather come for brunch with their friends, and leave with a bracelet for themselves, a beautiful kids toy for a gift and a mug for their Maman. We like to offer small beautiful and unique ‘easy’ purchases.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

What makes your shop unique? 

There is nothing else out there like what we do and I think what makes it unique is that it elevates the dining & shopping experience. Not to mention there is always something new as our vendors rotate every few months.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Why did you choose the location of this shop? 

Naturally we chose the space as it was attached to our existing café. We knew we had the customer, the need and the foot traffic for retail, something that many stand alone retail shops do not have.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

How has the shop enriched the community? 

Community is everything to us and we really owe our success and growth to our surrounding community – family, friends, our staff, and customers. I think Marche Maman and our concept really defines community and we wanted to bring that world and concept to life with our new location. Our ethos here is to bring together like-minded, amazing brands and people who all share the same customer and clientele.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

We created a space that allows small businesses to flourish in a like-minded high traffic environment, and at the same time, created a dynamic multi-sensory space for our customers, combining food, florals, jewellery, fragrance, kids’ items, and home decor. What girl doesn’t love those things!?

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

How has the shop evolved since opening? 

Our shop evolves monthly, so it is always exciting for us and our customers. We have had an ice cream shop, florists, teas, linens, home goods, bath and body and so much more!

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Who are your customers? 

I think Marche Maman attracts people who love beautiful things – from fashion to home, to food and even pretty coffee cups, attention to detail and curating all things beautifully naturally attracts a like-minded clientele. Especially being in Soho, I feel there is a higher concentration of those who appreciate this. We want to create an environment where everything you see, touch, smell, and taste is memorable, beautiful, and of course delicious!

Our customers are primarily women, 25 to 40, living and working in the area. We share our Maman clientele so it was interesting to really get a good understanding on who that customer is and source brands to collaborate with that they would also love!

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

What inspires you? 

I take inspiration from everywhere, from a conversation with a stranger to a sign on the street corner. I am a very creative person and always have something brewing in my mind so I am always looking for inspiration in my everyday life and in the small things.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Before I was a shopkeeper, I…. 

was a buyer, merchandiser, interior designer, event planner, baker & caterer…and those are all still my titles today! Growing up, I never had that ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’  kind of thing. It was always a mixture of a hundred things, from a fashion designer, to a baker, to an event planner, an interior designer or the next Martha Stewart. I found myself juggling numerous ‘careers’ and passions with not enough hours in the day to do everything that I loved. I couldn’t find the perfect job, so I had to invent it, and put it all together under one roof (or six at this point).

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC
Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Did you follow any areas of study or apprenticeship? 

I started my studies in fashion business, taking many courses in retail business, PR and marketing. That path led me to numerous jobs in retail starting from the bottom & working my way up.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? 

Don’t follow the crowd & take risks: Be unique, be different and don’t do what everyone else is doing. I didn’t want to open a regular store, I wanted to build a world for myself where I put together everything I love under one roof and interact with amazing customers who enjoy it as much as I do. I know too many people who settle for where they are and jobs they don’t enjoy because they are afraid to go out, take risks & pursue their dreams. It will not come to you and you have to not be afraid to go get it!

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Minimise negativity: It is so easy to be negative, judge others and complain about issues and life without trying to fix it yourself. Though not always an easy task, I try to avoid these people and surround myself with supporters. My time is so precious these days and I don’t need people in my life who only see the negative & bring me down. I want to only surround myself and spend my time on things that inspire me to move forward.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Go with the flow: I love to plan, have things all lined up, goals to hit and things to work towards, but more and more I am realising how in the big picture of life, how unrealistic that is. You don’t know what tomorrow will hold or what opportunities will be presented. Goals of course are always important, but you have to be open to the fact that things may not go exactly the way you have planned it – that’s ok. You can’t predict the future so don’t get too caught up and waste too much time planning for later.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Find your passion: There is nothing better for me than waking up every day getting to do what I love & doing it beside the person I love. I was struggling for a while, as I couldn’t pin point that one thing I wanted to do, or that ‘perfect’ job, so in reality I knew I had to create it. I had to get my hands dirty in so many different industries and various jobs until I was able to really shape my path, identify my strengths and weaknesses & ultimately figure out what I liked and didn’t like. I interned at countless jobs, took on various opportunities and was always hungry to test the waters. College tuitions, a long resume & years later, it all fell into place.

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

Say “Yes” More: Saying yes opens a world of doors and opportunities that saying no shuts down. People say no so often because of fear, because it’s the easy answer and way out, or because of things they don’t understand. But saying yes to the five minute cup of coffee with a stranger, or taking on a new challenge you never would have tried, could change your life forever, so why not?

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Marche Maman, NYC

My personal motto, and inspiration can be wrapped up in my favourite quote: “I am going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life.”- Elsie De Wolfe.

237 Center Street, New York NY


Find Maman at other five other locations across New York and also in Toronto.

Meet the Maker: Paper Covers Rock

We chat to Rachel Caunt, the artist behind Paper Covers Rock about her stunning collages, finding inspiration in ordinary places and her love for all-things paper… 


Hi Rachel! How did you know you wanted to become an artist? 

I enjoyed creative activities from a young age but, like many people, I have been employed in all sorts of roles over the years - from care assistant to retail buyer. Life takes twists and turns and I never really had a very clear career plan. It has only been in the past three years that I have been able to properly develop my small business and generate an income doing something I have always loved. 


When and why did you start Paper Covers Rock?

I started working with collage about nine years ago during a short period of time living in Driftwood, Texas, about an hour’s drive from Austin. Located in the woods and unable to drive, I filled my days with walking, cooking and creative projects. l became fascinated with a collection of old kaleidoscopes, the patterns and colours that they produced and attempted to recreate them using tissue paper, tweezers and a great deal of patience. 


My ‘Kaleidoscope Collages’ received unexpected interest from friends and later stockists and led to the creation of Paper Covers Rock, my brand of prints and greeting cards based on original paper collages. 


Where do you find inspiration?

With each collection and project, inspiration is drawn from colour, shape and texture, and how these elements work together to tell a story, create a mood and form a composition. On a daily basis, I am inspired by my surroundings, paying attention to the smallest details and finding beauty in ordinary places. I like the way that paint peels on derelict walls revealing colours beneath and the unintentional collages that are created by torn advertising posters.


The most striking colour combinations can often be found in nature, with different places having their own colour palette. Bodnant Garden in North Wales has become a very special place to me in recent years. Its beauty is magical and fills me with ideas. During my trip to Japan last year, I spent a day walking across Amanohashidate, a pine covered sandbar that spans the mouth of Miyazu Bay. It was stunningly beautiful and evoked all kinds of emotions. Some places just stay with you once you’ve left.


Sounds magical! What has been your favourite 'career high' so far?

During the Edinburgh Festival in 2016, I exhibited a collection of collage prints at my friend Helen's beautiful café, Fieldwork. This year I created work for an exhibition entitled 'Into the Haze' at Botany on East London's Chatsworth Road. I would definitely consider these exhibitions to be my 'career highs'. It was truly lovely to see my designs displayed in such inspiring, thoughtfully curated surroundings. It is also wonderful to receive positive feedback, every complimentary word at a market or kind comment on social media, is a boost of confidence and validation of what I am trying to achieve.


How would you describe your style?

It evolves with every collection and sometimes I worry that I do not have a clear and recognisable style, however I hope my use of colour, shape and texture somehow unites the work.  

I tend to use gentle, muted colours to create simple and thoughtfully constructed, abstract compositions. 


Can you talk us through the process? 

Every design starts as an original collage, these are largely made solely from paper but I have recently started to experiment with other materials, such as fabric. Most projects begin with a trip to Shepherds on Gillingham Street – paper heaven! I also bought some beautiful handmade papers during our visit to Japan last year so I have incorporated those into many of my most recent pieces, including those created for my exhibition at Botany. 

I sit at my desk or on the floor, surrounded by any new papers I have sourced as well as the large collection I have accumulated over the years. I experiment with colour and texture combinations and then spend time creating a composition using the chosen fragments. 

Sometimes the original collages are the finished pieces but I often develop my designs a little digitally at this stage so they can also become greeting cards and Giclée prints. 


Speaking of Japan, some of your most recent work was inspired by your trip - how did it inspire you?

Last year I travelled around Japan for three weeks with my partner, Adam. Before the trip, a number of people told me that, once you've visited Japan, you will want to plan a return visit almost immediately after stepping off the plane. They weren't wrong! 


Japan was everything that I had hoped it would be and so much more. New designs began to take shape very naturally on my return. My mind was full of all the beauty we had seen and the joy I felt discovering new and inspiring places each day. The attention to detail and thoughtful consideration in every aspect of Japanese design is astounding and yet it is presented with an effortless simplicity. I wanted to create pieces of work that captured the colour palette that emerged from my memories and photographs, as well as the feeling of calm that I experienced whist gaining an insight into their wonderful way of life.


Can you tell us a little about each of your collections? 

I have always enjoyed working in 'Collections', I decide on a theme or aesthetic and then allow a set of designs to develop from this. My earlier collections, 'Pie' and 'Arrow', were more geometric. They were still inspired by colour and texture but with a focus on balance, repetition and pattern making. The next collection I produced was the 'Sightseer Collection', these are fun, little postcard style designs. Each one is a memory of a place visited or an emotion felt, like holiday snaps. Then came the 'Fragment Collection', a set of abstract collages inspired by fragments of songs, dreams and memories. My most recent work was created for my exhibition at Botany. These designs have a more fluid, organic feel to suit the environment in which they were to be displayed. I enjoy challenging myself to create something new and develop my style with each collection. 


Is there one piece that you love a little more than the others?

Some designs seem to come together with a lot more ease than others and they often tend to be my favourites. At present, I am most satisfied with 'Flow I' because of the colour palette and fluidity of the shapes. The design I have most consistently favoured over time is 'Rotation I', I love the cornflower blue background and the overall balance of the composition. The cards that I choose to send out the most are 'Whirl' and 'Into the Haze'. 


You've just finished exhibiting at Botany (a concept plant and homeware shop in East London) - do you have any advice for other artists wishing to exhibit (but perhaps aren't sure where to start)?

Have confidence in your own work. It's not easy to put yourself out there but I think if you try to produce work that you personally like and are proud of, then other people will like and appreciate it too. 


Perhaps you have more advice for those starting out?

Just keep plodding on... having a small creative business is a complete rollercoaster. I have really positive times when I think it's all going brilliantly and then other times when I question what on earth I am doing with my life. I think the key is to accept that there are highs and lows and just try to enjoy the ride. Being able to generate an income doing something you enjoy is a very fortunate position to be in so be grateful for that and work hard. 


What does the next six months hold for you?

I’ve just had a baby boy (Isaac, born on 28th May), so, over the next six months I will mainly be embracing all the joys and challenges that come with being a new mum. As I work from home, I fully intend to continue with all things Paper Covers Rock as soon as I feel comfortable to do so. I hope to find a nice balance and one of the first projects I would like to work on is a children's range of prints and cards. 


Congratulations! As well as the children’s range, do you have any other goals you'd like to share with us?

My dream is to move to the coast and have a studio/retail space. I would like to expand my product range and also work on more commissions and collaborations. Earlier this year I worked with Henri, a contemporary women's shirting brand to produce a series of collages for their new London store. The artwork used offcuts of fabric from the shirts and the compositions were a response to the imagery that had inspired the SS18 collection. The collaboration took me nicely out of my comfort zone and led to the production of work I was extremely happy with. I am always open to interesting new projects and like to keep an open mind in regards to the future of Paper Covers Rock. 

Quick-fire questions

Describe your work in three words...

Gentle, thoughtful and abstract

What are your making rituals?

A pot of coffee, my Spotify Daily Mix, a desk covered in paper and a little fresh air in the afternoon. I'm sure this will all be far less leisurely now I'm a mum. 

Tea or Coffee?


Mountains or Sea?

Depends on my mood, it's just lovely to escape the busy city.  

Night Owl or Early Bird?

Early Bird

I wish someone had told me...

Never to wish the time away and to appreciate every stage of life a little more because it is constantly changing and it flies by! 

Visit Rachel's website at: papercoversrock.co.uk

Images by Jon Aaron Green

How to create a beautiful guest bedroom

Summer often means the arrival of visiting friends and family, yet creating an inviting bedroom for them needn’t involve lots of time or money. Abi Dare of design blog These Four Walls teams up with other interiors experts to bring you a few easy tips.

Spare bedrooms are so often an afterthought, furnished with leftover pieces from other areas of the house or used as dumping grounds for unwanted clutter. But with a little bit of effort, you can create a welcoming and comfortable space where guests want to spend time. Here’s how…

 Photo: Abi Dare

Photo: Abi Dare

 Photo: Ruthie Matthews

Photo: Ruthie Matthews

Treat it like your own bedroom

Start by thinking about what would make you feel at home and go from there. Blogger Ruthie Matthews of Design Soda says: “I would always recommend treating a spare bedroom as you would your own and giving it the same care and attention. In my case this means a comfortable and welcoming space accented by natural textures.”

 Photo: Abi Dare

Photo: Abi Dare

Look for clever furniture solutions

Guest bedrooms often have to perform a dual purpose – ours, for example, doubles as my work space – so versatile furniture is a must. Ruthie recommends looking for streamlined, multi-purpose pieces that can be folded away when not in use, as does interior stylist Donna Howell: “Whether a spare room be a study, a dressing room or a studio, the first thing I always tell clients is to start by planning storage. The idea here is to be clever and have a place for everything so that the space easily converts.”

For example, if your guest bedroom also acts as a home office, then look for a desk with a pull-out computer shelf than can be pushed out of sight when not in use, and make sure files and paperwork are hidden away in drawers or cupboards. If you need to use the room for storage, invest in a divan bed with drawers in the base, or buy crates that you can slide underneath.

 Photo: Abi Dare

Photo: Abi Dare

Keep things neutral

When it comes to colour, both Ruthie and Donna advise creating a neutral base. “I favour light grey,” says Ruthie, “as it’s a calming and non-controversial shade.” But that doesn’t mean the décor has to lack character, as you can incorporate interest and texture through cushions, artworks and other accessories. “Your guests know you well,” Ruthie adds, “so little pieces that represent you or tell a story about your past will help to create a feeling of easy welcome.”

 Photo: Abi Dare

Photo: Abi Dare

Think about lighting

Lighting has a major impact on both the feel and functionality of a space, so make sure the bedroom incorporates task lighting for reading and dressing, as well as softer ambient lighting. Interior designer Mathilde Kubisiak of MK Design says: “Multiple, dimmable light sources will create a calming and nurturing atmosphere – an overhead pendant light and a few adjustable lamps are a great combination.”

If you don’t have enough space for nightstands with full bedside lamps, try fixing wall lights above the bed or look for clip-on reading lights that can be attached to the headboard.

 Photo: Abi Dare

Photo: Abi Dare

Invest in high-quality bedding

Good bedding can make the difference between a great night’s sleep or an awful one. Donna advises: “Whether you have a permanent bed, a daybed or a sofabed, choose the best-quality bedding you can afford. My personal favourite is linen, as it’s warm in the winter months yet cool during summer; alternatively, go with high-thread-count Egyptian cotton.”

Layering the bed with a top sheet, a duvet and an extra blanket or throw is also a good idea, as it means guests can adapt it to their ideal sleeping temperature. And think about providing a choice of pillows – I have some friends and family who prefer feather pillows and others who like synthetic ones, so I put a set of each on the bed and let them choose.

 Photo: Donna Howell

Photo: Donna Howell

Provide space to unpack

Give your guests somewhere to hang clothes so that they don’t have to live out of a suitcase. It doesn’t have to be a full wardrobe – Donna suggests installing a peg rail painted the same colour as the wall, but even a few hooks on the back of the door will help. It’s also worth adding a small rack or bench where people can store luggage, rather than tripping over things left on the floor. And if you have a chest of drawers or cupboard in the room, try to leave a bit of space free for guests to use.

 Photo: Abi Dare

Photo: Abi Dare

 Photo: Abi Dare

Photo: Abi Dare

Don’t forget the little things

Finally, make your guests feel pampered with little touches such as fresh flowers, a carafe of water and perhaps a few interesting books or magazines dotted here and there. You could even provide toiletries and other easily-forgotten essentials such as toothbrushes – perhaps build up a stock of hotel miniatures and leave them in a pretty basket so that guests can help themselves.

Other useful touches include a make-up mirror, a kettle for making tea and coffee, and a note with the WiFi password. Mathilde also likes to add comfy slippers and a relaxing scented candle, while Donna leaves out a linen spray that guests can take away as a gift. And, very importantly, make sure there’s easy access to a plug for phone chargers, hairdryers and the like – it’s very frustrating when the only sockets are hidden behind heavy furniture!

Thanks ladies for all of these great tips and ideas for making your spare room a sanctuary rather than a store room! For more interiors inspiration, head over to our Pinterest page

RECIPES: 3 Summer break-time ideas

For once, the UK has been enjoying a decent spell of warm weather, but of course, many of us are still working hard, keeping on top of those to-do lists and deadlines. It's so important to take a break though, so Sally Meier and Catherine Frawley have come up with three lovely snacks to treat yourself to either in the garden or in a park near your office. (2 out of 3 of these can be packed up and brought with you to work!) 

   Lagoas Jug by Da Terra , £45,  Elkins  /  Set of Two In-Out Stoneware Mugs in peat , £58,    Stoneware Biscuit Plate in peat , £10,    Stoneware Creamer Jug in peat , £24, all  Rowen & Wren  /    Other items , stylist and photographers own

Lagoas Jug by Da Terra, £45, Elkins / Set of Two In-Out Stoneware Mugs in peat, £58, Stoneware Biscuit Plate in peat, £10, Stoneware Creamer Jug in peat, £24, all Rowen & WrenOther items, stylist and photographers own

Lemon & Pistachio Biscuits {perfect mid-morning break-time}

Makes 30 biscuits approx.


  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour, extra for rolling
  • Zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon
  • 50g pistachios, finely chopped, keep 2 tbsp back to sprinkle on top
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-3 tbsp milk (if needed)


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 180C
  2. In an upright mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, then add all the other ingredients (remember to keep back some of the pistachios)
  3. This may mix into fine breadcrumbs so to create the dough, add a tablespoon of milk at a time and this will combine the breadcrumbs to form a lovely biscuit dough.
  4. Flour your surface, roll the dough to ½ cm and cut out your biscuits. Place on the baking tray, sprinkle with the remaining pistachios and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

NOTE: These will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

   Lenny Recycled Glass Jug , £32,    Lenny Recycled Glass Tumbler, Set of Four , £28, both  Rowen & Wren  /    Plate , stylists own

Lenny Recycled Glass Jug, £32, Lenny Recycled Glass Tumbler, Set of Four, £28, both Rowen & WrenPlate, stylists own

Sugar Free, Strawberry Milkshake Lollies & fresh lemonade {a refreshing afternoon treat}

LOLLIES: You will need lolly sticks and lolly moulds. Makes enough for 10 moulds.


  • 400g strawberries, hulled, keep a few back and cut into 10 slices
  • 600g Greek yoghurt (we used full fat)
  • 2 tbsp honey


  1. Blitz the strawberries in a food processor until smooth
  2. Add a tablespoon of blitzed strawberries to the bottom of each lolly mould.
  3. Add the yoghurt to the remaining strawberries and blitz until combined, it should turn a lovely pink colour.
  4. Fill your moulds, add a strawberry slice to each, insert your sticks (or however your moulds work)
  5. Freeze for at least 3 hours.

TIP: To loosen from the mould run briefly under hot water.



  • 6 lemons 
  • 150g golden caster sugar 
  • Mint leaves 


  1. Cut the lemons in half. Leave half a lemon aside for later and squeeze out all the juice from rest. Pour into a jug and add the sugar.  
  2. Pour 2 mugs of boiled water into the jug and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.  
  3. Add 600ml of cold water and mix together. Put it in the fridge and leave to cool.
  4. Slice the leftover lemon and add to jug with a few mint leaves and lots of ice.
   Rippled Wine Glass by Bloomingville , £10.50,  Stoneware Speckled Dinner Plate by Madame Stoltz ,  £14, both  Elkins  /  Other items , stylists and photographers own

Rippled Wine Glass by Bloomingville, £10.50, Stoneware Speckled Dinner Plate by Madame Stoltz,  £14, both Elkins / Other items, stylists and photographers own

G&T and melon salad {end of the day wind down snack}


  • Galia melon or similar
  • 1 lime
  • 2 mint leaves 


  1. Chop the melon into large bite size pieces.
  2. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice over melon.
  3. Chop the mint leaves finely and scatter over melon.
  4. Pour yourself a large gin and tonic and add a slice of lime. 
  5. Relax! 

Photography: Catherine Frawley / Styling: Sally Meier

indie shopping at The West Collective

Last weekend 91 took part in the first ever event hosted by The West Collective. The concept was created by three London girls, Kirsty, Alexia and Christine, who found they were constantly travelling across London to the east end of the city to enjoy the kind of creative, independent markets they loved attending, so they decided to launch their own - but in the west. 

The West Collective fair July 2018

Held at quirky venue Duke of London, usually a classic car showroom, the bright warehouse space was peppered with trendy neon signs, taxidermy, plants and striking artwork. The girls had gathered just under 30 independent makers and sellers with a wonderful mix of homewares, jewellery, skincare, stationery and art. There were a few brands that we already know and love, but there were also many new-to-us makers that we were thrilled to meet. 

91 Magazine at The West Collective fair London
91 Magazine workshop - Get your indie brand noticed: PR & Photography

After setting up our stall, 91 photographer Jemma Watts and I braved the sweltering heat in the upstairs space to host our workshop entitled 'Get your indie brand noticed: PR & photography'. We had a group of 16 lovely ladies and we talked solid for 1.5 hours about the importance of great imagery for your brand, approaching editors and bloggers, creating & sending press releases, as well as a mini masterclass in photography.

The West Collective fair, London

Following that, I spent some time browsing the stalls, snapping the wares and chatting to all of the lovely sellers. I think this is one of my favourite things about taking part in these kinds of events - everyone is so lovely, and it is great to meet so many kindred spirits in one place. It really was tempting to buy something from everyone, but I managed to restrain myself and bought just three items! Of course, lots of you will not be near enough to have attended the event, so as we don't want you to miss out on discovering all of these lovely independent makers, I wanted to share each and every one with you, so you can go check them out online....

 and 91, of course! you may spot that we were selling some back issues of the S/S 17 issue (middle one on the stand). These are seconds - so very slightly damaged or have a small printing defect. If you are interested in one of these please drop me a line. They are reduced to £5.50, but I have limited stock.    @91magazine

and 91, of course! you may spot that we were selling some back issues of the S/S 17 issue (middle one on the stand). These are seconds - so very slightly damaged or have a small printing defect. If you are interested in one of these please drop me a line. They are reduced to £5.50, but I have limited stock. 


Duke of London - venue for The West Collective fair

So, there you go, the full line up from the event! Plenty of internet browsing to keep you busy for a while! Do give your faves a follow, some of them are recent graduates and just starting out, so any support we can give these talented folk is going to encourage them that they've made the right choice to go it alone! And do follow The West Collective for future events too - we think these girls have a great eye for curating a lovely collection of makers, so we're sure the next one will be bigger and even better! 

91 visits.... Isle of Wight

If you follow us on Instagram, you may have spotted that I recently spent a weekend on the Isle of Wight - thank you so much for all the suggestions of places to visit, they came in very handy! More on that later...

The trip came about as the lovely folk of Tiny Home Holidays invited us to come and spend a couple of nights in one of their sustainable cabin-style homes set in lush countryside near Newport.

 Tiny Homes Holidays - sustainable cabins on the Isle of Wight

After a speedy crossing with Wightlink from Portsmouth, and a quick drive across the island, we were greeted by a serene meadow setting and these three compact structures, hidden away from the road.  

Tiny Homes Holidays - Isle of Wight
Tiny Homes Holidays - Isle of Wight
Tiny Homes Holidays - Isle of Wight

Stepping inside our cabin - Hygge - we discover how well thought out the space is. Clever storage solutions and spatial planning mean that while it is certainly compact it doesn't feel cramped. There is a living space with a sofa that converts into a comfy bed, as well as a desk area and a wood-burning stove. The kitchen has everything you need to cook a meal as well as a BBQ out the front of the cabin. A sliding door hides the bathroom with a shower, sink and composting toilet. Climb the ladder, and you'll find another sleeping area with a double bed as well as a storage area for hanging clothes and stowing bags.

Tiny Homes Holidays - Isle of Wight
Tiny Homes Holidays - Isle of Wight
Tiny Homes Holidays - Isle of Wight
Tiny Homes Holidays - Isle of Wight
Tiny Homes Holidays - Isle of Wight

The eco-credentials encourage mindfulness in terms of how you use the space and it's amenities. They are solar-powered and you must conserve water as much as possible. But it's clear that owners Helen and Frazer have not neglected making their tiny homes welcoming and homely too - they have put lots of thought into the decor also. The wood cladding made the space feel cosy and cabin-like, and lots of contemporary and vintage touches create a real home-from-home feel. We were also provided with a few essentials such as tea, coffee and milk and a lovely treat of homemade chocolate brownies - not something you'll receive in a faceless chain hotel that's for sure! 

Sustainable holiday cabins - Tiny Home holidays - Isle of wight
Sustainable holiday cabins - Tiny Home holidays - Isle of wight
Tiny Homes Holidays - Isle of Wight

Our evenings were spent out on the deck, chatting over a bottle of wine, listening to the sounds of nature and simply appreciating those precious moments spent with family. 

Harbour Kitchen, Cowes

With just two days to explore the island and a recommendation list as long as my arm, we wasted no time and headed first to Cowes for a spot of lunch at The Harbour Kitchen and a perusal of lifestyle store PHG Interiors. This store really stood out amongst the other coastal/island-inspired shops we came across, mixing contemporary, utilitarian and vintage looks as well as stocking a selection of clothing and skincare products. 

PHG Interiors, Cowes
PHG Interiors, Cowes
PHG Interiors, Cowes
PHG Interiors, Cowes
PHG Interiors, Cowes

Visiting the island during a heatwave inevitably means gravitating towards the coastline and it's many beautiful beaches and we managed to spend time on a few - The Needles (great for kids as there is also amusements and a sweet factory which offers demonstrations), Compton Bay (a vast sandy beach) and Steephill Cove (a small yet perfectly quaint spot). We also visited Ventnor briefly before heading home, where my daughter enjoyed the paddling pool and we all enjoyed an ice cream from Crave, who serve an ever-changing menu of intriguing flavours. My daughter devoured her Lego ice cream! 

 The Needles

The Needles

 Compton Bay

Compton Bay

SteepHill Cove Isle of Wight
 Steephill Cove

Steephill Cove

Crave Ice Cream, Ventnor

No trip to the Isle of Wight could be complete without a visit to stunning jewellery store, Rust. If you've got the latest issue of 91, then it's likely you have already been swooning over this gorgeous shop, and the home of owner Artemis Russell. I can report it is equally as lovely in person as it is in print, and Artemis and her husband Nao's talent for both jewellery making and product design is second to none. Save up your pennies and get over to the island and treat yourself to a lovely piece of jewellery - I, for one, didn't leave empty-handed!  

Rust Jewellery, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Rust Jewellery, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Rust Jewellery, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Rust Jewellery, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

Many thanks to Tiny Homes Holidays for our stay and to Wightlink for our complimentary ferry crossings. And thanks again to our Instagram followers for the fab recommendations! 

All photography: Caroline Rowland

An Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards

The seaside towns of Hastings and St Leonards on the south coast of the UK both have a thriving community of independent businesses, with certain streets such as George Street, Norman Road and Kings Road being particularly great spots to focus your shopping trip. When 91 visited we discovered that a number of stores are closed on a Monday, while others opt to take a Tuesday or Wednesday as their day off, so to take full advantage of the selection of great shops, aim to visit at the end of the week or a weekend.

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Reste
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Reste
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Reste


A long time friend of 91, (she took part in our West Elm pop up in 2016) Jacqui Martin opened her petite boutique on George Street in 2017, two years after launching her brand Reste online. Jacqui supports and celebrates indie makers and traditional craftsmanship, and puts a lot of time into finding new designers and makers to stock. The store itself is compact, but beautifully merchandised, with a mainly neutral colour palette and lots of greenery. Ceramics, baskets, textiles, candles, organic skincare and a carefully curated selection of books and magazines (including 91!) fill the shelves, and Jacqui will happily fill you in on the story behind each and every object on display.

IG: @reste

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Butler's Emporium
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Butler's Emporium
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Butler's Emporium

Butler’s Emporium

Directly opposite Reste you’ll find Butler’s Emporium. This charming lifestyle store was once a hardware shop, and dates back to 1832. What makes this store special is the fact that owner Rose has kept a large proportion of the original fixtures and fittings intact. The weathered timber, peeling paintwork and original cabinets seem to have layers and layers of life within them. Rose utilises these features in how she styles the shop and explains that her taste is eclectic, so there is a real mix of wares, but that all work together, offering shoppers goods for the home as well as skincare products, jewellery and accessories. You can now also purchase a selection of their range online via Trouva.

IG: @butlersemporium3

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - AG Hendy & Co
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - AG Hendy & Co

AG Hendy & Co Homestore

Before continuing along George Street, make sure to take a detour up High Street, as AG Hendy & Co Homestore is not to be missed. This Grade II listed Georgian town house is a sight to behold in itself, with an intriguing history which you can read about in detail on their website. Owner Alastair Hendy brought the building back to life when he took it over in 2008, completely restoring it to it’s former glory after many of it’s original features had been covered up in an attempt to modernise it in the late 20th century. As for what’s on sale, it is a mix of new and vintage homewares with a utilitarian theme tying them together. On the weekends they open their kitchen and dining rooms to serve a menu of mainly seafood, and they also run workshops in cookery, food styling and photography. A truly aspirational lifestyle brand that is accessible and welcoming.

IG: @a_g_hendy_co_homestore

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Warp & Weft
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Warp & Weft
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Warp & Weft

Warp and Weft

Back along George Street, and yet another beautifully styled store, this time with a focus on lovingly-crafted garments. Owner Leida Nassir-Pour has created a stunning space across two floors, again maintaining much of the building’s original features. Warp and Weft’s clothing, footwear and accessories are set against muted tones - whitewashed exposed brick downstairs and earthy, rustic wood upstairs. The emphasis on craftsmanship was brought into focus for us when we were given a peek inside the store’s workshop, where tailor Bret and his colleague Katie were busily constructing bespoke garments for customers via their made to measure service. Attention to detail and passion were clearly evident here, with vignettes of the small selection of home goods carefully styled and the rails of softly neutral garments complementing each other. A space not just for shopping, but for soaking up creativity and serenity.

IG: @warpandweft

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - The Clockwork Crow
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - The Clockwork Crow
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - The Clockwork Crow

The Clockwork Crow

Just next door is The Clockwork Crow – a jam-packed emporium of eclectic persuasion. Plants feature heavily, with a number of more unusual varieties creating mini jungle-like scenes around the store. The building was originally a grain mill, and if you weave your way to the back of the shop, you’ll find an intriguing ‘cave-like' space where you can rummage through a collection of architectural salvage finds, more plants and other unusual objects. Not everything here was my cup of tea, but with such an assortment to explore, there is certainly something for everyone and they cater particularly well for the current boho / global trend in home décor.

IG: @theclockworkcrowhastings

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - S Forrest
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - S Forrest

S. Forrest

There’s no mistaking that dried flowers can be equally as beautiful as their fresh incarnation, and of course longer lasting! The place to go to find an unusual and wide range of dried blooms in S Forrest, also conveniently located on George Street. From classic lavender and hydrangea through to delphiniums and phalaris, the store smells divine and also offers a selection of teas, herbs and spices and some kitchenware items.

IG: @sforrestuk

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Simply Garden
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Simply Garden

Simply Garden

There is certainly no chance of plant lovers missing out on their botanical fix when visiting George Street, as yet another shop along this stretch is overflowing with greenery! Rustic scaffold boards, crates and an old workbench hold a variety of houseplants, pots and other plant care necessities in Simply Garden whose aim is to make gardening simple for all. Treat your home to a teeny cactus or go bold with a statement palm.  

IG: @simply_garden

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Dyke and Dean
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Dyke and Dean

Dyke and Dean

You could easily fill a whole day wandering the streets of Hastings Old Town, but if you have more time, do head over to neighbouring St Leonards. An edgier vibe is felt here – a sort of Shoreditch by the sea – with many new businesses setting up shop here, and some empty units still vacant, which crying out for creative types to occupy them. Unfortunately for us, many places here are shut on Mondays, one such place being Dyke and Dean, where instead we gazed through the large windows of the former printworks at the stylish counter space, colourful homewares and clever display ideas. Run by Oliver Dean and Eddie Lloyd-Dyke, two product designers, who met while studying at Central St. Martins, the shop stocks a range of contemporary homewares, utilitarian items as well as their own lighting designs.

IG: @dykeanddean

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Cake Room
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Cake Room
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Cake Room

Cake Room

I’m gonna be honest with you here… we sadly didn’t have time to sample the goods in this Robertson Street café, as we’d spent far too long gabbing with the shopkeepers back in the Old Town and ran out of time! But if the interiors are anything to go by, Cake Room is a place that takes pride in its offering. The tiles, the wallpaper, the plants, the furniture - we loved it all, and it certainly seemed a popular spot with the locals. If anything, it’s worth a visit just to Instagram the interior!

IG: @cakeroomhastings

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - St Leonards Modern Goods
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - St Leonards Modern Goods

St Leonards Modern Goods

"K" Avery-Stallion opened her store, St Leonards Modern Goods, on Norman Road following a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2016. As well as stocking her own leather goods which she’s been producing for around 8 years, K also stocks a selection of British made clothing and homewares from other independent designers. She also hosts intimate workshops in leather craft on Mondays when the store is usually closed.

IG: @stleonardsmoderngoods

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Little Mashers
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Little Mashers
91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Little Mashers

Little Mashers

Little Mashers on Kings Road is sure to bring a smile to any little ones' faces who have patiently endured your lifestyle store shopping trip to this point! Filled with fun clothing, kitsch toys, beautiful picture books and colourful kids décor, the shop has been cleverly put together by husband and wife team, Clare and Andrew. Their own clothing range is screen-printed using unique inks including glow in the dark and chalkboard designs, that both kids and parents will love. They also host screen-printing workshops for kids in their studio at the back of the shop, and are part of a kids-focused festival happening in August called Fun House Festival.

IG: @littlemashers

91 Magazine - Instagrammer's Guide to Hastings & St Leonards - Fika@44


Again, we sadly didn’t get a chance to experience this coffee shop – it actually closes at 3pm on Mondays and doesn’t open on Tuesdays, but the rest of the week you can enjoy this light bright café which apparently has a courtyard at the back. Reviews online of this place are very complimentary, so it seems the coffee and food are just as delightful as the interior.

IG: @fika.coffee.44

All Photography by: Jemma Watts