I’ve always loved the idea of having a beautiful shop. In fact I did run an online shop for a while about 10 years ago, but there is something particularly alluring for me about an actual bricks and mortar shop. The curation of lovely objects, the display and styling, the textures, the smells… all the things that can only be experienced IRL. It’s a bit of a pipe dream really, I mean lets face it, I’ve got enough on my plate! But, in the last few weeks I’ve managed to make the next best thing a reality….
I have curated a collection of beautiful items from UK makers and designers which are for sale in Mad Lilies – a wonderful independent florists and homeware store in my own village of Banstead in Surrey. When I moved here a couple of years ago, I found myself often popping in here for a browse or to buy shoot flowers and soon got to know the lovely owner Alison and her team. Alison started stocking the magazine in the shop, and collaborating together became an obvious next step.
I’ve taken over a small section of the shop with a tightly curated range of items from some of my favourite indie makers and designers – some very local to us here in Surrey, some based further afield, but all within the UK.
There are ten brands included in this collection and many of the items I already have in my own home. We have ceramics by two local makers – Raquel of Glaze Me Pretty and Hilda Carr – plus the dreamiest of organic skincare products by LA EVA – whose studio space you may have spotted in our last issue. We have beautiful illustrated prints and stationery from designers The Lovely Drawer, Hattie Maud, Katrina Sophia, Traces of Magic and Maggie Magoo. The cutest little woven pots by La Basketry and candles (which have been personalised for us!) by Helm London.
I’m super passionate about supporting and promoting independent business, so it’s been such a joy to work with Mad Lilies and with all the designers involved to put this together. The plan is for the range to be on sale for an initial three month period, and then we will review it. Ideally, I’d love to continue and to add and rotate some of the work in the collection.
If you are ever in the North Surrey area (Banstead is near to Sutton & Epsom and not too far from Reigate and Dorking) do pop into Mad Lilies for a browse. There is a lovely cafe opposite called Fego, perfect for lunch or even a few cheeky cocktails, and while you’re here, drive 5 mins out of the village to Louisa Grace – three barns packed full of gorgeous vintage and industrial furniture – it’s amazing. The Lavender fields are right there too (although they don’t open until June) or you can nip over to Banstead Woods where there is a Narnia trail and an amazing bluebell walk which should be coming into bloom soon.
If you can’t make it for a visit in person, then Mad Lilies will soon launch their new Mad Lilies at Home website where you will be able to purchase items from the collection direct from your sofa. I will keep you posted on that via social media and our newsletter.
Thank you to Alison at Mad Lilies for giving me the space to promote the wonderful independent creative community right here in my local village!
Visit them at: 84 High Street, Banstead, Surrey, SM7 2NN
Photography: Jemma Watts