Tag Archives: Stokes Croft

Local Love: The Little Shop on Stokes Croft

The Little Shop on Stokes Croft

One of the many things I love about Bristol is that it is truly a hub for creative people. Musicians, illustrators, designers… we’re lucky to have plenty to pick from in the West Country, and heck, even the US think Bristol is the new London. Six such creatives have set up home in The Little Shop this month to sell jewellery, greeting cards, prints and ceramics.

Situated just beyond Stokes Croft at the start of Cheltenham Road, this venue has worn many hats in its time, acting as a pop-up art space and charity shop in recent months, though thanks to The Little Shop it’s now currently covered in giant pineapples and adorable lop eared rabbits, see below.

The Little Shop graffiti on Stokes Croft

The Little Shop opened its doors earlier this month and sits in the perfect spot to catch commuters on their way home and shoppers heading to Gloucester Road. The reason it caught my attention, aside from the stunning frontage, is that it’s currently stocking my friend Amanda’s jewellery collection.

Asanda Jewellery is no shrinking violet, with studs, rope and bold patterned earrings, chunky bangles and necklaces. Throw in a little tribal print, glitter-filled resin and gems nestled in gold claw settings and you can begin to get an idea of creations that lie in wait for you on the shelves.

However jewellery isn’t the only treasure you’ll find in this quirky shop. The ceramic bowls and mugs by Bee Hayes are beautiful and come covered in strawberries or imprinted with lace doilies, while Amber Elise, who started the shop, has a mix of prints and greetings cards on sale. Other Bristol designers include Rolfe & Wills – one day one of their stunning reupholstered chairs WILL be mine – Alex Lucus and Katy Christianson.

Designers and makers will rotate every few months so there will always be plenty of new stock to enjoy. I’m not about to drop the ‘C’ bomb in September, but if you happen to be on the lookout for unique gifts or greeting cards then The Little Shop could be right up your street.

The Little Shop, 125 Cheltenham Road, Bristol, BS6 5RR. Open 11am – 7pm Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 5pm on Sundays.

Ceramic mugs by Bee Hayes at The Little Shop on Stokes CroftAsanda JewelleryPrint by Amber EliseYeti and bigfoot are lovers bag by Katy ChristiansonGloucester Road shopping bag by Rolfe and WillisAsanda necklaces by Amanda SaundersHandmade brooch by Katie Johnston

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Charity Treasures on Stokes Croft

Treasure, Stokes Croft

Treasure, Stokes Croft

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure – an excellent way to sum up charity shops, flea markets, and vintage boutiques – and those unwanted gems can now be found on Stokes Croft.  Treasure  has replaced Jacksons Autos (a shop that always baffled me a bit, as there were actual full size vans parked inside it’s tiny shop windows) on Stokes Croft. A charity shop set up by LoveBristol, Treasure actually opened last year, a stones throw away on Cheltenham Road.

Since mid-December the community charity shop has been calling this bigger, more prominent retail space home. I’ve been to both locations and while I loved the small, even pokey, feel of their last shop, I’m in no doubt that Jackson’s Autos is a great place for Treasure to grow within the community. As with any charity shop there are some great finds to be had, and this is set to increase as more and more locals donate their unwanted clothes, jewellery and accessories to the shop. Unfortunately I had to fall in love with a gilt mirror – part of the shop’s furnishings and therefore not for sale!

Money raised will be put into local community projects, so if you are a fan of the hidden gems charity shops have to offer, or have a load of clothes you need to get rid of, pay Treasure a visit and help give back to Stokes Croft.

Treasure, 100 Stokes Croft, Bristol. Visit their Facebook page here.

Something for the weekend…

Motel clearance shop

I have been so busy with my new freelance gig that I have had hardly anytime to blog about the fashions of Bristol of late, let alone go out and experience them for myself, so apologies for the sporadic posting of the last couple of weeks.

Anywho, there are plenty of exciting fashionable happenings taking place this weekend including the epic Bristol Harbour Festival. OK, while not exactly fashion related it will immerse the centre of Bristol with live music, local produce and plenty of warm cider. There are fireworks, sailor caps worn in a ironic way and lots and lots of boats, decked out in colourful flags and bunting. Celebrations kicked off last night and will continue across the weekend so grab your friends and a picnic blanket and head down.

Motel Park Street

Next up is Motel. Originally only a Bristol brand, you can now find the iconic prints and simple body-con dresses across the country in Topshop, Republic and House of Fraser to name but a few. Luckily for us Bristol-based girls their flagship store on Park Street is getting a makeover which has resulted in a pop-up shop opening up across the road next Cooshti! The shop opened its doors on Monday and will be selling stock at ridiculously cheap prices and till the old store re-opens in mid August. For more info check out the Facebook event, here.

goldmine flyer
Finally, if you have any energy left this weekend then you should hot-foot it down to Stokes Croft for the opening of a brand new vintage store, above. The brains behind Dutty Girl are launching Goldmine tomorrow night, and opening to the public on Monday. Running till mid October, you have but weeks to get your hands on cheap-as-chips bags, retro t-shirts and 80s jumpers. The location of choice is Central Reservation, once a motorcycle showroom, this huge space is now used for exhibitions and promotion of the visual arts. Goldmine will be open seven days a week so there is no excuse not to pop in and bag yourself a bargain.

All the fun of The Fair

Fashpack Fashion Bazaar

What a weekend – yesterday I not only scored some bargains at the Freakin’ Fashion Fair Yeah, but also found a wedding dress the same day (though not at the same event). More on the dress later but here are a few snaps taken from the fair.

Faspack fashion bazaar

Bunting makes everything better. Fact.

fashpack vintage bags

A beautiful selection of vintage beaded bags and a vanity set

Fashpack clothes swap

Raiding the rails - the clothes swap was a little slow to start with but picked up by the afternoon

Hamilton House

The sun was shining at Hamilton House, where the fashionable fair was held

My friend Amy B found a lovely cream dress, originally from Urban Outfitters, for £6 and an awesome vintage white bag for a fiver. A little rough a round the edges, the bag redeemed itself by having lots of little compartments and pockets, perfect for all the highly necessary items us girls carry around with us on a daily basis.

I found some fantastic pieces in the Clothes Swap upstairs, exchanging a vintage blouse, Primark dress and handkerchief skirt for a grey French Connection round neck jumper, a dusty green knit cardie from Topshop and a fantastic vintage polyester floral dress.

The floral pattern is a tiny cluster of purple and blue cornflowers repeated all over the dress. There are pleats running from an empire line. At present it is too long and in need of a wash but after I’ve taken some Persil and a pair of scissors to it I’ll post some pictures.

Knock-Off Fashion

fashion-magazines

Today I finally met The Magazine Man. I don’t want to get him in trouble, but for those that don’t know, Magazine Man loiterers around the Bear Pit at the bottom of Stokes Croft, selling magazines at suspiciously cheap prices to passers by.

Previously only a rumor and subject of speculation, I was skeptical as to whether or not such a man existed. M and some other friends have told me about this vendor, as they are well aware of how magazines, fashion magazines in particular, are like crack to me. At the moment I’m forced to buy various publications on rotation each month, but if I had my way I would hold subscriptions to just about every glossy going.

So, when I heard about this mythical creature selling discounted magazines I was curious to say the least. And sure enough, alongside the likes of More and Reveal, there they were; Marie Claire, Grazia, Look and Elle. But Magazine Man was not the man I had pictured in my fantasies – no top hat, no jolly expression, no shouting ‘roll up, roll up!’ or handing out balloons to small children. In his place was a scruffy, shifty eyed tramp, who was obviously not selling these magazines because he was morally outraged at their RRP.

My eyes lingered over the titles as he slid up to me to let me know his latest deals. I didn’t have any cash on me but decided to walk away anyway, unable to get my head around why I hadn’t pounced on those glossy fashion bibles. He wasn’t there when I came back after meeting S and when I mentioned my reluctance to purchase, she came out with a surprisingly truthful comment; “We buy knock-off fashion all the time” she said, “buying a cheap fashion magazine is no different from shopping for cheap fashion at Primark”.

Primark-fashion-pile

Like most girls I know my wardrobe is 50% cheap-as-chips fashion, 50% God-bless-the-credit-card fashion

This got me thinking about knock-off fashion and it’s place in society. Knowingly buying fake designer goods is different from a splurge in shops like Primark but while not exactly a taboo any more, cheap clothes still come with a hefty price tag. Mass production, dodgy labour and production, excessive spending and increased textile waste are all a result of our desire to have the latest catwalk imitation right now.

In recent years documentaries such as Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts have highlighted how little most British consumers know about where their cheap-as-chips fashion comes from. Thanks to the spotlight on climate change retailers are starting to introduce ethically friendly policies and the recession has almost certainly been a factor in the increase of attendance at sewing workshops and vintage fairs. But there is still an obsession with catwalk copies at knock-off prices and I don’t see this changing any time soon.

So how can you look achingly on trend without breaking the bank or contributing to child labour? Simple: do your research, make do and mend instead of throwing away perfectly good clothes, shop at vintage stores/jumble sales/charity shops and have a go at making your own clothes – you might be surprised at how satisfying it is once you get past managing to thread a needle without pricking yourself to death.

For more information about ethical fashion on the high street check out the Ethical Fashion Forum and for details of Primark’s ethical trading initiative click here.