STUFF! WONDERFUL STUFF! W
hen Beanos (R.I.P.) finally closed last year, thanks to the rise of downloads and decline in recordbuying, Croydon lost one of its finest independent institutions. For owner David Lashmar, however, it proved to be another opportunity in a staggeringly eclectic career stretching all the way back to a market stall by the sea many (not saying how many) years ago called, interestingly enough, Stuff. Always aware of the need for independent thought in a town overrun with soulless, homogenous chain-stores, David and his team of Tim, Jim and Conan set about creating and building an undercover market in the shell of the Beanos shop. Stuff! Croydon, after months of hard work, opened its doors at the end of January, and immediately set about blowing the minds of everyone who saw it. Divided into a ground floor of ‘shoplets’ (Terry Pratchett fans think
INDULGENCE Name: Tim Fisher, ‘Indulgence Confectionary’ (Ground floor) What is Indulgence? I make very high quality, fresh hand-made chocolates - a range of unique items that are very different from anything else available in Croydon. We sell truffles, filled chocolates, lollipops, chocolate bars and drinking chocolate plus seasonal specials. Any opening or special offers: No offers exactly but I will be running monthly specials and prize draws on item purchased. How did you come to be in STUFF? I am an award winning pastry chef and chocolatier who has run his own chocolate business for over 3 years. I’d
The Shades, everyone else think Harry Potter or The Shambles) a cobbled, weaving village of mad little shops and streets complete with a red telephone box and bus stop (the bus never comes, I know, I’ve waited), and two top floors of canopied market stalls, plus a cafe (free refreshments at the moment), the attention to detail is phenomenal, as is the vision. Now almost full, each shoplet / stall is occupied by a small, independent business either lured away from other markets (usually after just one look at the place) or a start-up venture. No two shops sell the same thing or offer the same service (a condition of being able to get one), and the atmosphere is wholly one of community. It’s a revelation, as evidenced by shoppers being stunned at the stallholders actually being FRIENDLY, and
TALKING. It’s just not cricket in a world of surly counter-staff and naked consumerism, is it? If you’ve yet to, we urge you to get down there, strike a blow for independence and lend them your support because for all the lazy negativity constantly spouted, there remains a small core of people in this town busily doing extraordinary things, and you’ll find a fair few of them in Stuff.
MEET THE COLLECTIVE. . . been thinking about an outlet for some time when I read about the Stuff project. As a teenager I used to buy Beatles records in Beanos so I got to know David Lashmar through being a customer. When Beanos closed I emailed David to discuss the possibility of an outlet there. We then met up for a chat and we both thought Indulgence Confectionery being in the Stuff market would be a great idea. I think David has great vision and with the backing of his wonderful team it’s very exciting to be part of what will become a great institution like Beanos was. It’s also been great to spend time talking to customers about 24
chocolate. Business-wise we have many new customers so it’s been excellent. I would encourage other small businesses to try and get into the market if an opportunity comes up.
PAW PRINTS in the country. The residents of Croydon are extremely lucky to have such a unique place to shop and they really should get down there and support this fantastic venture. It will only succeed if everyone gets behind it.
Name: Sarah Swales and Peter Butler, ‘Paw Prints’ (Ground floor). What is Paw Prints? Unique animal themed clothes and accessories for kids and adults. Our products can be seen at www.pawprintslondon.com Any opening or special offers: 10% discount to all Deep-London readers. How did you come to be in STUFF? I’ve been designing, printing and selling my unique range of animal products for nine years. It all started while I was studying graphic design at Camberwell College where I specialised in screen printing. I’ve always been a bit crazy about animals so it made perfect sense for me to marry my two passions. So, after graduating, I completed work on a range of animal designs which I printed onto t-shirts in a myriad of colours and sizes. I opened my first stall in Camden Lock Market and met so
many people who shared my love of animals that pretty soon I was making hoodies, bags, babygrows, hats and badges sporting my range of designs. They proved incredibly popular and I opened stalls in Covent Garden Apple Market and Old Spitalfields Market, where I first heard about STUFF. I wasn’t even planning on opening another outlet but as soon as I met Tim and David and saw the place they’d built, I new I had to be a part of it. It’s an incredible building and there’s a great energy and atmosphere here. I’ve never seen such an exciting and unique shopping environment. It’s a playground for both adults and children alike with some very original, independent shops and products to explore. It’s the complete antithesis of the formulaic high streets and shopping centres that blight every town and city
Name: Marie-Claire Ferrara, ‘MarieClaire Aromatherapy’ (Ground floor) What is Marie-Claire Aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy combining essential oils obtained from flowers, leaves, plants and trees with relaxing massage to promote and maintain health and restore a balanced state to body and mind. I do Aromatherapy back, neck and shoulder massage, facial massage, relaxing head, neck and shoulder massage and hand massage. Any opening or special offers? £5.00 off all treatment prices until 28 February 2010. How did you come to be in STUFF?
I trained as an Aromatherapist under Renee Tanner, a world leader in the fields of Aromatherapy and Reflexology and founder member of the British Complementary Medical Association (B.C.M.A.). I qualified in 1995 and was doing some massages from home along with a full time job. I was recently made redundant and as my sister is the bonsai editor of Deep Magazine, and a good friend of David Lashmar, she presented me with the idea and opportunity to be a part of the amazing STUFF! I'm very excited to be doing what I enjoy in beautiful surroundings with such lovely people. I'm convinced it
will be a great success and just what Croydon needs.
Name: Josh Mills, ‘Mills Sweets’ (1st Floor) What is Mills Sweets? It’s a traditional sweet shop / stall which we built ourselves. We’ll be selling a wide range of nostalgic and unusual sweets. I set up the stall/business with my girlfriend Kez and will now be working in it for the bulk of the time we’re open. How did you come to be in STUFF? I had known that the market place was opening for some time because my main interest is music so I had put myself on the Beanos mailing list when I heard it was closing down. Then after I graduated last June the
idea of opening my own stall was too appealing to resist - partly due to the recession there weren’t really many interesting and realistic alternatives. Once Kez and I had thought of the initial idea a traditional sweet stall seemed like it would be a fun thing to do and STUFF is a unique place where we thought we could make it work. I think the fate of Mills Sweets is probably tied to the fate of STUFF and I’m excited about both. The inside of the building looks great and if people come down to see it they won’t be disappointed. Hopefully they’ll tell their friends who’ll tell their friends and so
on. I think it’s exactly what Croydon needs and there’s nothing quite like it nearby, or perhaps, anywhere.
CAKES BY GEN Name: Genevieve Yeboah, ‘Cakes By Gen’ (Top floor) What is Cakes By Gen? I bake and sell a variety of homemade cakes Any opening or special offers? 10% discount on all orders during February How did you come to be in STUFF? Before STUFF I worked in HR but for the past 3 years I have been a stay at home mother. I decided to return to work last year but due to the recession, there were little or no opportunities. I then began baking at home for friends and family and I received a lot of good feedback so I decided to see if I could turn it into a business. I first started selling at car
boot sales, which is where I met Ailsa Garlick, and she told me about STUFF. STUFF is definitely one of the best markets I have seen in London. It’s very unique and each shoplet / stall offers something different. David, Tim and the whole STUFF team have been extremely helpful and supportive in helping me set up my stall and I would encourage anyone interested in starting a business to come and have a look. I’m very excited about my new stall and so far I have had a very good response. I hope things continue to go well for myself and the other tenants. I offer good quality cakes at reasonable prices and I also take orders
Name: Sally Hebden, ‘SH Creations’ (Ground floor) What is SH Creations? I make and sell fascinators and hair accessories. Any opening or special offers? Feather / ribbon headbands are £12 each or 2 for £22 How did you come to be in STUFF? I have been making fascinators for 4 years as a hobby, and was offered redundancy at my previous workplace at the same time as I enquired about STUFF. I took this as an opportunity to do what I love doing on a
permanent basis. It is an adventure into the unknown for me, becoming self employed, managing my own business, plus, STUFF being a new concept in Croydon and needing to support building this as a new business initiative. It is very exciting journey to be on, in a very exciting place. The people I have met are fantastic and we are starting to work as a team already, I am really looking forward to what the next few months will bring!
Name: Sally Murphy, ‘Dragon Dreads’ (middle floor) What is Dragon Dreads? I am an alternative hair stylist who makes colourful synthetic dreadlocks in a wide range of colours. I will be offering installs, hair falls and dread starter kits for customers who want to have a go at installing dreads themselves. I also sell steel boned corsets (all made with organic cotton), handmade retro kitsch jewellery, and handmade retro ‘Mary Jane’ shoes. There’s more information about my custom made dreads at www.dragondreads.webs.com and all my range will be for sale at www.dragondreads.co.uk Any opening or special offers: 10% off all installs and custom dreads throughout February. How did you come to be in STUFF? For the past few years I’d been working as a Librarian and only trading
at markets at the weekend. I started making dreads about 7 years ago for myself and my hobby just got out of hand until it became an obsession and finally a business. Since then my range has expanded to include jewellery, corsets and this year customising shoes. I love showing off my products and get real pleasure from people enjoying them. Recently I realised how much I love trading and crafting - it doesn’t feel like work and it’s very empowering to be your own boss. It was a very scary step to make but I’m so glad I’ve done it. Taking up the stall has also given me the confidence to bring out my own line of dread kits If I hadn’t taken up David’s offer of a stall I would always think ‘what if?’. Sometimes it’s worth taking risks and I hope this one will pay off! I’m excited about Stuff as I feel it incorporates the spirit of what Camden market and the like used to be. The
so please contact me for more details or come and visit me at STUFF. (n.b: we’ve tried the cakes, they’re lovely Ed)
building itself has such history and character that it’s great to see its rebirth. I wanted to be part of Stuff also because of the community David has built amongst the stall holders. The place has a great atmosphere and I’m looking forward to coming to work and having a laugh with all the new friends I’ve made.
DEMEC JEWELLERS Name: Maria and Antonio de Mendoza, ‘DeMEC Jewellers’ (Ground floor) What is DeMEC? Eco-friendly jewellery both in Vegetable Ivory and Pearls and exotic Sea Shells. Any opening or special offers: 10% discount over 2 or more pieces. How did you come to be in STUFF? We started our business 7 and a half years ago when we decided to move from our native Colombia to start a new life on this side of the planet. Having a great passion about design and creation, colours and forms
and being very environmentally aware, we discovered on our arrival that even though Vegetable Ivory had been found over 3 centuries ago in South American rainforests and had been very popular from the Victorian era up to the fifties, people were not aware of its existance. It is the only natural and 100% sustainable substitute for Ivory. We were referred to STUFF by a friend last November, fell in love with the project and the people running it and decided to be part of it. There's nothing like it anywhere else. It’s original, creative, loving and fun! Just
Name: Josie and Kelly, ‘Wags Ooh La La’ (Ground floor) What is Wags Ooh La La? We’re a dog boutique for dogs of all shapes and sizes. We offer coats & collars both for everyday use or those special ‘redcarpet’ occasions. Any opening or special offers: Lead and matching collar for £10 while stocks last. Also, spend £30 or more get a free carpet pet hair remover until 28th February 2010. How did you come to be in STUFF? Since 1994 Josie has been successfully breeding, and still shows, miniature Yorkshire Terriers, and after years of experience in the human beauty industry, she decided to concentrate her efforts on becoming a fully qualified and professional animal
groomer. She qualified at Guildford College. Josie’s daughter Kelly has joined forces with her Mum to create the Wags emporium. With their experience and passion for fashion in all things pink, sparkly and beautiful they felt they could bring glitz and glamour to the dog world at affordable prices. Wags only sell high quality fashionable attire guaranteed to turn heads. Kelly says, “If it wasn’t for our dogs trying and testing all of our products then I wouldn’t be happy selling them” “We had been looking for somewhere to showcase our business for ages before we found STUFF. We never thought we’d be as overwhelmed and excited as we were when we saw it, David and his team have created an
unique indoor village with a great atmosphere - everyone is so friendly and welcoming. “We knew instantly that STUFF represented our the type of business we have; unique, quirky and definitely different!” www.wagsoohlala.com
Name: Agnes Mannah, ‘Aggy’s Sauces Of Hope’ (top floor) What are Aggy’s Sauces Of Hope? The sauces are my own recipes, made by combining unique African herbs and spices. They have an exquisite taste and distinct aroma that appeals to both the African and Western palates. I started making them for my family some 20 years ago, but after years of constant demand I now produce them for sale, and to lend a new and exciting flavour to the sauce market. The sauces have gained a momentum of their own and by expanding the range from the initial chilli and chicken marinades, 'Aggy's Sauces' now have four different
flavours. They are sauces of hope because they fund a foundation to feed and care for orphaned African children whose parents have died from AIDs every bottle sold provides 1 meal a day for a child in Africa. The foundation will provide children with a stable home in a loving environment with parents, brothers and sisters, thus preventing the need for them to be moved back and forth between foster homes or even, in the worst cases, be left to fend for themselves, as is the case with the majority of AIDS orphans. (A marvellous reason to buy one of these authentic and original sauces, but if you
need another, we’ve tried them and they really are fantastic - Ed). More info and some tasty recipes are available from www.aggyssauces.com
like our Jewellery!
WAGS OOH LA LA
BRACKIT Name: Debbie Evershed, ‘Brackit’ (top floor), designer of Platinum award winning Frog BracKit - British Invention Show 2008. What is BracKit? The Frog BracKit is a multi hanging system, great for gardens, or indoors - the various bar attachments enable the user to hang a number of hanging baskets and birdfeeders in one place. The Frog attaches to a fence post or wall. Indoors it can also be used to hang fruit and veg up, keeping kitchen counters clear and the food away from mice. Other uses have included suspending a glass artist’s sculpture,
and above a baby’s bed with many mobiles hanging form it. The choices are yours to make, as to what you want to hang. How did you come to be in STUFF? BracKit moved to Stuff after a successful but freezing cold trading period before Xmas at Greenwich Market. STUFF has a great atmosphere, retro décor and good music playing all day, which makes for a friendly relaxed shopping experience. Forget the Croydon corporate fluff, and come to STUFF! (LIKE IT! - Ed)
Name: Romano Macauley and Simone Hutchinson, ‘Calabash’ (Ground floor) What is Calabash? We sell arts and sculpture, cultural literature, jewellery and homeware. How did you come to be in STUFF? We have been market trading casually for 2 years, and have done a few festivals and community events. We heard about Stuff through a friend and Romano, having been a Beanos customer for a number of years, was intrigued as were looking into trading more on a full time basis. When we saw the transformation of
Beanos we loved the idea and theme, and were eager to get on board as we felt it went well with what we do. We have been able to be creative with our decor and are pleased with the outcome. We hope we have created warm and comfortable surroundings that people will want to stop in, browse through the books and find that perfect item they don't want to leave without. We believe that what Stuff has created is something new and unique to Croydon and will be somewhere people want to shop.
Name: Ailsa Garlick, ‘Coucou Heart’ (first floor) What is Coucou Heart? Handmade jewellery, especially using vintage charms and unusual items like watch mechanisms; and gifts How did you come to be in STUFF? I have worked in Supply Chain for large consumer goods companies for several years, however, I have always made things and yearned to do something creative full time. So, I left
my job last October, in order to pursue this full time. I was so excited the first time I went to visit David at Stuff last year - the place was still being built but already looked amazing. I feel like this place really fits in with my style and interests so is a great place to launch my new business. It is brilliant to be able to unleash my creative side at last and hopefully be able to make a living from it!
More info from www.frogbrackit.com
MORE STUFF!: Baby Clothes, Slate Art, Hand-made Kaleidoscopes, Flowers, T-shirts, Pagan Supplies, Jewellery and much more!! 28
Issue 6, Feb 2010