Archive: January 2017

Here Are The Best Indie Shops Recommended by Which Glasses Are Which?

Hilly Beavan Founder of ‘Which Glasses Are Which?’ Shares Her Favourite Indie Finds.

For our latest ‘Indie Picks’ collection we asked Hilly Beavan, founder of Which Glasses Are Which? to share her favourite indie stores and websites.

A designer by profession and amateur viola player for fun, Hilly’s job and downtime relies on her wearing glasses. The result? Several pairs of specs and lots of confusion. A problem that Hilly soon solved with the idea of stylish glasses cases designed to identify “which glasses were which?”.

Starting with cases that solved her own glasses mix (reading, music and driving), Hilly has since expanded the range to include sewing & knitting, cinema & TV and gardeners’ glasses cases.

With unique, themed prints, the glasses cases are a handy and stylish gift that easily identifies specs for glasses wearers everywhere.

As the founder of her own indie business and an entrepreneur that successfully spotted (and filled) a gap in the market we think Hilly is the perfect person to recommend some indie shops.

So, without further ado let’s hand over to Hilly.

My picks are quite an eclectic mix! But I have been a repeat customer at all these companies. Each are exceptional for quality of product knowledge and customer-focused service.

Greenhouse Sensation

Despite the somewhat sensational name (which actually put me off as I assumed it was imported stuff) this is the most fantastic, customer focused company which designs and manufactures useful accessories to help you grow veg. I bought the Click & Drip watering system which took me less than an hour to set up and watered my tomatoes all summer, including while I was away. Very helpful staff. Made in Britain.

Beautiful Baker’s Twine

I love this twine for gift-wrapping – looks fab with a plain kraft or metallic wrap, and doesn’t get squashed in the post! James Lever have been making Baker’s Twine in Bolton, Lancs since 1856, and there’s a huge range of colours and weights to choose from.

The Tile Shop ~ 4/6 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3JD.

We’ve just completed a major renovation on a house, and are proud to say that nearly everything came from independents – windows, kitchen appliances, kitchen and bathroom fittings, fitted wardrobes, flooring. The Tile Shop was a great example of why! We’d visited a well known chain where the staff barely knew where anything was, but the man in the Tile Shop steered us through a potentially overwhelming selection, paring our choice down to meet our needs. As well as kitchen and bathroom tiles we bought a Victorian tiled path, confident that his expertise would point us in the right direction. Despite the website I think they are shop based only – but I encourage you to find a similar local company if you are not in London.

Cosmetics a la Carte ~ 19b Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8LB.

I’ve been buying CALC cosmetics for years – but not quite as long as they’ve been making them! Started in London in 1973 and still made there, the range is cruelty free, vegetarian and natural. Once colour matched you get your own foundation recipe which they keep for reorders. They have a shop in Motcomb Street SW1 where they also offer makeup lessons. Fantastic, personal service.

Wildebeest Cafe, Falmouth  ~ 13 Arwenack St, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 3JD.

Absolutely delicious fresh natural food that’s all vegan, but you wouldn’t specially know! They aim to appeal to everyone. It is clearly very popular and rightly so, and well worth a visit if you’re in Falmouth (which is well worth a visit anyway!).

Pedlars Place ~ West End Lane, Warfield, Berkshire RG42 5RH.

A complete treasure trove of vintage furniture and bits and pieces with ever-changing stock. It’s a big old barn down a country lane – not a posh showroom by any means, but always rewarding to rummage around. We’ve bought a classic farmhouse dresser, a postwar utility chest of drawers, small winged chair etc – I don’t think we’ve ever come away empty handed. Dangerous!

The String Zone ~ 192 High Street, Egham, TW20 9ED.

Once again it’s expertise and customer service that sets this music supplies shop apart. I first met Andrew Riley – the owner – when he repaired a viola for me, and since then I have bought everything from strings to cases and a carbon fibre bow, and he has valued and repaired various instruments for the family. I buy online or from his shop in Egham, Surrey.

Twelve Nunns

Run by Penny Dawson, the daughter of the original growers of Harvington Hellebores which include the beautiful Harvington Doubles. I have bought the Double Lilac Hellebore for myself and as a gift – had to wait til they had grown some, not off the shelf, but well worth it. Web sales only.

Chapmans Shoes ~ 20 Harris Arcade, Reading RG1 1DN.

Family run, tiny shop in an arcade opposite Reading Station, specialising in wide fitting shoes (and shoes which take orthotics) for people who don’t want to be doomed to trainers. Fab, funky little lace-ups which Mr King has sourced and imported were the perfect antidote to my gloom at having to chuck away all my normal shoes after being diagnosed with a tendon problem. He takes time to fit properly, and remembers what I like and which lasts (the foot-shaped block that the shoe is made on) fit me. I rarely leave without at least one pair, often two.

Wordplay Design

Witty and original range of cards and posters with a distinctive typographic style by designer Rebecca Wright. Something for every occasion. I particularly like “All you need is love…. and good wifi” and the autocorrect range “Dad, you’re simply the pest” and the Christmas greeting “ ‘tis the season to be jelly”!

Thank You Hilly!

& don’t forget to check out Hilly’s own fab indie. Visit the Which Glasses Are Which? website now.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 3/01/17
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