A Look Behind the Scenes of Stuff of Dreams

Behind the Scenes stuff of dreams

An ‘Inspiring Indies’ Interview with Stuff of Dreams.

For this week’s ‘Inspiring Independents‘ interview we got an exclusive look behind the scenes of Stuff of Dreams and their unique collection of contemporary gifts and homeware. With an amazing collection that beautifully unites form, function and colour we wanted to know more about how this indie began and what inspires their product picks. Read on to find out what we discovered from Co-Owner Di Humphreys.

What inspired you to start Stuff of Dreams? When did you begin?

We started up in earnest just over 2 years ago with the aim of discovering a different creative outlet to the one we’d been used to … really a change of direction.

What can you tell us about your indie business? What sets you apart from your corporate contemporaries?

Form and function, the bold, vibrant colours of Africa, the clean, simple lines of Scandinavian design. Fine, often ingenious craftsmanship are our inspirations. Hopefully, these preoccupations come together in some of our unique products to set us apart from our corporate contemporaries

What’s your role in the business? What’s your favourite things about your job / running an indie business?

We are partners making joint artistic decisions. Productive collaboration when it works is always exciting. Martin obsesses about wood, shape and line and me about textiles, colour and pattern…how to photograph it all is a continual question.

Are there other people in your business? What can you tell us about the rest of the team?

We are small and family orientated, drafting in extra help when we need it. Our son contributes with his own photography and helps with running the site when he’s not studying. He and our daughter never hold back from telling us what they think!

Here at Piccadilly Lane, we believe that independents offer an amazing combination of unique design and high quality. Do you agree? How do you ensure this happens at Stuff of Dreams?

We do agree. We achieve this by sourcing products that are carefully crafted and often made by hand. In this country, we have a small team of makers that allows us quality control and attention to detail. We believe this is the only way to compete with the large corporates to make something a little different.

Your site offers both own brand designs and items from fellow designers and makers. What are the common themes or qualities that unite the two?

Style, simplicity, pattern and colour.

You currently specialise in contemporary homeware and gifts? What inspires you about this area of design? Do you plan to continue in this area or do you have plans to extend your collection?

Martin’s father was an architect and I trained as a fashion designer so contemporary design, new processes, materials and fine craftsmanship have always inspired us. The exposure over the last decade or so to global crafts and their application in a modern context continually fascinate. We would like to be using our own fabrics in our products, developing some simple but beautifully made furniture and provide a platform for up and coming designers … but it all takes time!

Your products are sourced from designers and makers all over the world. What do you look for in new designers?

Simplicity, always harder than it looks; an inspired combination of function and form and an element of fun too – the design world is sometimes prone to taking itself a little too seriously.

Your collection includes a lot of handmade items. What can you tell us about the craftsmanship involved?

They are generally people who have perfected their craft over many years and are still passionate about it. Clever, patient people!

Why should people shop with you? What makes you different?

Shopping with us hopefully makes people feel they are getting a unique product, well-designed. They have had to search for us but have hopefully found something a little bit different at the end.

We LOVE independents and think more people should be supporting them. Why do you think people should shop with independent businesses like yours?

To encourage makers and designers and respect their individual talents rather than mass-producing products that often exploit the crafter and harm the planet in the process. To invest in design and sustainability rather than the throwaway attitude some distributors encourage. Martin’s family have Eames chairs that look as good today as when they were released. Good design should be timeless and last.

Last but not least, what’s your favourite independent business and why?

Folklore, Future and Found, Darkroom and Soukha in Amsterdam.

Thank You Di!

You’ve read the interview, now check out the indie! Visit the Stuff of Dreams website.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 22/06/15
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2 Comments »

  1. Absolutely love the products Stuff of Dreams have on their website. I regularly check their site to see what new and beautiful products they have. We all waste too much money buying disposable products and items that date. Stuff of Dreams products are simple, timeless, practical, contemporary and yet classic. Just loving this company everyone should check it out. There’s something on their site for everyone.

    Comment by Guy HUTCHINGS — 24 June, 2015 @ 8:58 am

  2. Thank you for your comment Guy! I’m glad you like the Stuff of Dreams collection and are helping support the indie shopping scene! You’re absolutely right, we should do more to focus on quality items over “here today, gone tomorrow” disposable bits and bobs. Thanks for sharing. Charlotte.

    Comment by Charlotte — 25 June, 2015 @ 3:46 pm

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