Hello Thursday, hello Luna & Curious.
Luna & Curious comprises of seven individuals who have joined forces in the name of creativity, and run a boutique store in East London. We are; Polly George, Rheanna Lingham, Susie Coulthard, Natasha Lawes, Clinton Lotter, Grace Wilson and ‘welovekaoru‘. We sell a mixture of beautiful objects and exquisitely finished clothing, all of which are designed and made by both ourselves and other artists in the UK.
As a collective we have complete control of the running of the business, and everyone brings something different to the mix. When we’re each not in manning the shop everyone is busy beavering away on their thing, either at studios, working at home, visiting factories, at sewing machines, or on shoots. We currently open 7 days a week, 12 – 6pm, in the Christmas run up but the rest of the year it’s usually Wednesday to Sunday. Each of us works in the shop one or two at a time.
I’m going to take you through my Friday at the shop…
Get up not too early, dig out clothes, have leisurely breakfast with my array of flatmates, then prepare to leave the house. As usual, just remembering shop keys in time as I’ve stepped foot outside the door, phewf. Usually for me a leisurely cycle to work, from Homerton down through lovely London Fields to Shoreditch. This morning, due to boxes that need carrying, the bus it is. Arrive 20 odd minutes later, get essential cup of tea and open shop up at 12.
Oh hello there remnants of last night’s shop meeting! Hastily clear wine glasses away and open shutters to greet the public. A quick rifle through the cds, choosing Smokey Robinson and friends to start the day off. The Rezillos, The ‘Boss’, and a smattering of Pulp to follow later. A few shop keeping essential chores to do next; neaten stock up and put extra items out, stock take some lines, make up boxes, re fill ribbon, dust, and window-wash. (Inevitably this would be the day the actual window cleaner appears half an hour after I’ve finished.)
Polly and Kaoru arrive together…with more tea, and a muffin! (It is something of a rule that when visiting, you must come bearing edible gifts.) Go over November’s shop rota checking can and can’t do dates. Kaoru is rota maker-in-chief distributing days to each of the seven of us in the collective. Polly drops off some new ceramic white and gold bug brooches. She is decked out in her trademark nautical stripes and Kaoru sports her new golden chicken foot badge. They pick up some ceramic samples from the shop and trot off into town for meetings. It’s at this point a customer tries on a basque by our Clinton that, as yet I haven’t witnessed a girl squeeze into, but hurrah, she is the first!
Then for the next while a flurry of pre lunch customers piling in and out then a little bit of quiet and cd change. Sing to me Bruce.
Jude who runs another small shop nearby swings past waving through the door and promises to tell me a follow up story to last week’s, which involves a man and a trolley…
Stomach calls for lunch so shut up for two minutes and nip across the road to the Beigal shop for beigals and tea. I am quite certain that sometime in the coming year I shall turn into a beigal. They’re just so tasty. Manage to avoid buying all the pastries and tarts in the place and restrain myself to a single slice of apple crumble. Back to the shop.
Sit sketching some new ideas for illustrations, figurines and Christmas window displays while customers float in and out. Arrange over the phone some silk screening for sweatshirts through a printer friend of Rheanna’s. Call some customers about reserved and ordered items.
At 5 Kaoru comes back with wine and twine, and at 6 we shut up shop and spend the next few hours changing to window to something more suitably Halloween-like, with Clinton popping in to help. Finish up around 9, swift pint then home. Natasha and Susie in tomorrow to tackle Saturday busyness.
Luna & Curious