Down a quiet side street in London's Stoke Newington sits a small but perfectly formed shop called Of Cabbages & Kings
. It's the kind of place where you find yourself standing, trying desperately to think who has a birthday coming up so you can forward-load your present buying. Part-gallery, part-boutique, it's packed to the rafters with unusual (in the best possible sense) and affordable jewellery, ceramics, art and more.
We spoke to founder Jessica Widdows:
When and how was Of Cabbages & Kings born?
Of Cabbages & Kings
was established in May 2008, so we've just celebrated three years of opening. I wanted to set up a bricks and mortar shop that provided a permanent space for artists and designers to sell their work. The space is as much an arts and crafts gallery as it is a gift shop, but is easily accessible for both customers and sellers alike.
Tell us something about the artists/designers whose work you stock.
We have an excellent range of fine art prints by local illustrators, mostly in limited edition. As is often the case with artists who aren't producing for a mass-market, the work is all the more appealing for being so individual and undiluted in style. Unusual jewellery and ceramics are likewise often produced locally and in small numbers, making them exclusive without being expensive.
What You Leave I Eat Illustrated Plate by Jimbobart, £19.50. Pic: Of Cabbages & Kings
What do you think makes Of Cabbages & Kings a special place to shop?
A careful mix of art, craft and hand picked 1950s vintage furniture makes this shop bright, inviting and full of charm. With an incredible array of bags, books, cards, ceramics, jewellery, kitchenware, prints, tea towels and even knickers you're sure to find something that will tickle your fancy.
Which other lifestyle shops/sites do you most admire?
We work closely with CultureLabel, which has an incredible range of interesting designer products. They also have an Own Art scheme designed to make it easy to buy art by making art affordable. Through Own Art, you can purchase contemporary art and craft including paintings, photography, sculpture, glassware, artist-made jewellery and furniture.
I have a budget of £50 for each and want to buy great gifts for: i) myself – for my house; ii) my best friend's birthday; and iii) my dad's birthday. What would you recommend from the site?