Urban gnomes, 50s housewives decorative plates and honey lampshades – just some of the treats in store at Brighton POD. We spoke to creative director, Robin Rothwell:
Brighton POD's tagline is 'Promoting Original Design'. Can you expand a little on that please?
In an age of mass consumption the future is in our hands – we the consumers. But in the quest for faster and more convenient products, many of the values that helped create and nurture Britain's rich tradition of independent craftsmanship are being forgotten. Our mission is to connect the country's diverse community of small craftspeople and designers with discerning and ethically-minded consumers. Original craftsman-made products bring joy and beauty into our lives. We keep them for longer and we attach more value to them. The alternative is to submit to the consumer-centric approach of the faceless multi-nationals, where built-in obsolescence and transient 'needs' based on manufactured stereotypes take priority over quality and originality.
What three words would you use to describe Brighton POD's style?
Ethical; fun; original.
Which are your current favourite pieces in the store?
I have a furniture design background so I really appreciate the beauty and workmanship of Tom Raffield's chaise longue no 4. Tom has acquired critical acclaim for his good design and sustainable work ethics. Specialising in the making of pioneering, ecologically sound furniture and lighting, he pushes the boundaries of traditional woodwork to create new and exciting products out of sustainably sourced timber. All of the products are handmade at our workshop in the South-West of England by Tom and his team.
The work of whosglass really resonates with POD's ethos of supporting and promoting small independent designers. Whosglass are a small family run hot glass studio works with over 70 years experience. Their studio is based on the rugged Jurassic coastline of North Devon and their main priority is to create glass that's 100% recycled, energy efficient yet uncompromising on quality, hand craft and workmanship with a contemporary edge. This ethos captures what Brighton POD is about really well!
I love Kelly Swallow's patchwork chairs. Her chairs are individually sourced vintage pieces, each with its own unique charm. The personality of every piece is rediscovered by painstakingly and lovingly choosing an exciting collection of fabrics to create unique pieces with newfound splendour.
Brighton POD promotes sellers from all over the UK but it's always nice when a Brighton based designer signs up. One of my favourites is Sean Sims (see picture above). Influenced by everything from 1950s-1960s decoration & pattern to vintage children's book illustration and info-graphics his work is very popular in Brighton and beyond!
I have a budget of £50 for each - what would you recommend from the store for: i) a boyfriend's birthday; ii) a girlfriend's birthday; and iii) a wedding gift for friends?
i) this quirky desk lamp by Martin & Cameron Fry
ii) as it's my girlfriend I'd spend the full £50 on these fab cushions by Emma Silk
iii) Polly Westergaard's fun cuckoo clock
What are your all-time best sellers?
The Binary Box is one of the original manufacturers and innovators of modern and contemporary wall art in the UK, with an ever growing exclusive range of high quality, exciting and stylish designs. All their artwork is designed and manufactured in-house, creating original wall art and canvas art prints perfect to complement your interior design. The banksy balloon girl has sold very well from the moment it appeared on POD.
What's the quirkiest item you stock?
Perhaps Nick Fraser's pipework coat rack.
Why should our readers shop at Brighton POD?
To find that special gift or unique product which expresses their individuality, but they are unable to find it on the high street? By shopping with POD you are supporting Britain's most talented independent designers and craftspeople – Brighton POD is the fast, simple and ethical alternative to shopping in our franchise-choked high streets. www.brightonpod.com
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