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To celebrate Independent Retailer Month, Metro scours the UK for inspirational indie traders

‘Make do and mend’: Alastair Hendy established his Hastings store in 2011

AG Hendy & Co


Vintage 1950s archive boxes, from £13; stainless steel kitchen scissors, £28

Photographer, food and travel writer, author and stylist Alastair Hendy started his career at Habitat and established his hardware and general store specialising in eco-friendly, handmade and non-plastic new and vintage products in 2011. ‘Hardware stores have always thrilled me,’ he says. ‘My mum was a collector and my grandfather’s life was held up by string: bailer’s twine held his coat together. That make do and mend philosophy is in my blood. Nothing should be disposable — good quality products should last a lifetime.’

Hoxton Store

Deal, Kent

Foundry candles, £29

HAVING established trendsetting Hoxton Boutique before east London’s regeneration 20 years ago, Alison Whalley swapped fashion for interiors and relocated to the Kentish coast. She opened Hoxton Store after two years spent researching suppliers from Denmark to India, and her eclectic collection of hand-picked textiles, cushions, lighting and pottery has a devoted following among the locals and DFLs (down from Londons). ‘I loved the cosmopolitan and friendly vibe Deal has and it felt like the right place for my new venture,’ she says. ‘I travel to India regularly to buy plate racks, which have become enormously popular, and stock a varied selection of pottery for both indoors and outdoors as well as super-realistic faux plants.’



Niki Jones velvet linen throw, £220

Former charity worker Karen Harvey (pictured above) spent six months sourcing items from funky young designers in Denmark, London and Madrid before opening Hoos — the word Scots use for home — in the Glasgow’s lively West End quarter. She has just launched an interior design and wedding list service. ‘You don’t have to spend a huge amount on good design. Choose a few well-made pieces to work with vintage finds and add plants and textiles to really finish off your home.’

Room 356


Tone Von Krogh grey beaker, £17.50; rectangular black rubber tray, £18

Cassie Davis and her mum Bev Butterworth (pictured above) turned obsession with home décor into a family business in 2014 with this Scandi-Japanese-influenced treasure trove, which is named after the shop’s street number. Their range of vases, planters, trays, kitchenware, tableware and lighting champions artisans in the north and is popular with first-time buyers. ‘Our passion is to work with makers, designers and small, independent businesses, many of whom live locally in the north and make exclusive ranges for us,’ says Cassie.

Mon Pote


Ceramic hanging planters, £11.50; HK Living 70s Inspired mugs, £8.50 each​

A mantra of ‘simple but affordable design’ guided solicitor Anna Clements to establish her business online during maternity leave before expanding it to a physical store in Bristol’s vibrant North Street. Mon Pote — meaning my friend in French — specialises in lighting, rugs, cushions, items for children’s rooms, wall hangings, kitchen ceramics, Danish designed planters and lots of greenery. ‘I used the time off to try something I felt more passionate about,’ says Anna. ‘When a Victorian shop came up for rent, I couldn’t resist. I’m a believer in the tiny details of hardware — like sleek hooks and drawer knobs in gold and brass — as I found these items elusive at a reasonable price when I was doing my own bathroom and kitchen.’



Marni light, £155; Alex jug, £9 and Ula espresso cup, £6

Opened by stylist Hazel Marchant (pictured above) in 2006, this elegant interiors and lifestyle concept store in West Didsbury specialises in beautiful, pared-back objects for everyday living. ‘I wanted to create a store that was as much about the calm and warmth of the space as it was about the products,’ says Hazel. ‘Attention to detail is crucial — the products, curation, personal service and packaging all matter to me. When a family of three generations come in and each make a Moth purchase, I feel we’ve achieved our vision.’

Cowshed Interiors


Icelandic sheepskin, £94; wooden orb chandelier, £449; nesting gold tables, £225

Lisa Wood quit a lucrative banking career to indulge her passion for homeware, setting up Cowshed Interiors seven years ago. Her range of furnishings, seating and small home accessories, which she describes as ‘country rustic with a cheeky twist’, is sourced worldwide and now occupies an 8,000sq ft warehouse in Warwickshire. ‘We cater for all budgets, from first-time homeowners looking to buy something a bit different to mature buyers and interior designers looking for higher-end furniture,’ says Lisa.

Baileys Home

Ross on Wye

Made of Wood book, £19.99

Mark and Sally Bailey adopted the pared-back, modern rustic vibe almost four decades ago while the rest of us were still celebrating the arrival of Ikea. Sharing a background in interior and furniture design, their collection of useful, natural and utilitarian homewares are displayed in restored, listed farm buildings purchased from the Duchy of Cornwall estate. ‘When we bought our first home in the 1980s, we couldn’t find original fixtures and fittings and realised there were a lot of like-minded people out there,’ says Sally. ‘Much of what we sell isn’t available on the high street’



Hi Print, £42; DLM side table, £118.15

Former Heals and Paperchase buyer Andrea Bates took over a converted factory in Tufnell Park eight years ago to sell her carefully curated collection of design-led homeware, furniture, lighting and accessories. ‘Much of our furniture and lighting comes from Scandinavia, while our accessories are sourced from well-known but small independent brands in Europe and the UK. I look for easy-to-live-with pieces which mix well with vintage as well as Ikea, allowing people to buy into great design without having to remortgage!’