There are not many businesses out there that spend as much time and care sourcing unique and ethical design as these guys.
Such & Such was founded by a brother and sister originally from the Peak District. Meet Ali, who in a previous life was a lawyer and Nikki who was a creative professional. In 2011 they both began to get itchy feet, feeling the need for a serious career and life change.
Ali and Nikki with her daughter, Bessie
After almost too many ideas, lots of research and a serious period of reflection, Such & Such was born in 2013. Nikki and Ali are clearly passionate about design, quality and craftsmanship. They offer a meticulously curated selection of homeware and lifestyle goods, whilst telling the stories of the designers and makers behind them. This is not a shop selling you “stuff” or a place providing a quick design hit. It’s a place to find those “cherished belongings that you will keep for a lifetime.” The collectables of the future.
“Such & Such goals are to search for well-designed, cool and original products, focus on handmade items people hold on to for a lifestyle and tell the stores of makers behind these products.”
And in this sense, Such & Such are rather unique in an extremely crowded and competitive retail sector. Interiors, decor and home-ware is readily available. Everywhere. Even at your local Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda you can pick up your new cushions, candles and tableware along with your loaf and lasagne. But we certainly don’t engage emotionally with the purchases we make at places like this. Such & Such are selling limited, hand made and carefully crafted design. Pieces with a story, a meaning, a history, something that Nikki and Ali are keen to pass on to you. And they hope you continue on narrating the story of those purchases.
“Whilst searching for these items we have met and continue to meet some great people and we want to share their stories with you. These designers and makers have inspired us and we really hope they act as inspiration for you and your home. We believe that knowing the background of the designers and products makes each item more personal and that bit more special.”
So let’s see some of these unique finds. They really are beautiful, you can see the level of detail gone into the design and craftsmanship of each piece. The exact reason Such and Such are keen to showcase the designers and their work through their online store and growing number of pop up shops.
Wooden Toy Crocodile by Orskov
There’s something about wooden toys that brings back a memory of simpler times and a real sense of nostalgia. This is something that would easily transfer from the child’s nursery to a grown up’s bookshelf. Ready to be passed onto the next generation in years to come.
“Due to the fact these toys are handmade and not mass produced, small imperfections might occur in the toys but as with all things handmade, this is what makes them so beautiful.”
Wooden Wall Planter by Factory Twenty One
Such simple yet effective design. Another way of adding some #urbanjungle to your home.
“Designed and made right here in the UK by Christopher Berry of Factory Twenty One, Christopher’s aim is to create affordable, eco-friendly house-hold products of original design.”
Grey and White Striped Merino Cushion by Fuss
The texture and Scandi simplicity makes this an excellent investment piece, working in many home environments.
“The Danish company was founded by designer Karen Mimi, who focuses on her love of graphic minimalism and combines this with what she describes as “calmness inspired by the traditional Nordic design heritage”.
The Boat by Reiko Kaneko
A personal favourite of mine, Reiko Kaneko lives and works in The Potteries, my birthplace. A place that was named after its industry. The home of Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and so many other ceramic and pottery companies, it is heartwarming to see high end bone china still coming from Stoke-On-Trent.
“Designed by British-Japanese designer, Reiko Kaneko, who set-up her studio in 2007 and creates beautiful pieces combining Japanese aesthetics with the craftsmanship and quality of bone china made in England.”
Ayasa Brass and Copper Storage Containers by Tiipoi
“The brand has an ethos similar to Such & Such, their material approach to design looks to inspire considered living in a world where product lifespans are growing shorter and disposable materials are abundant. Every Tiipoi product is made with the intent that they will one day be passed on.”
Like I wasn’t going to swoon over something copper! On a scale of 1-10 of how much I want these in my life right now, i’d give these a big fat 10. So simple, so useful and so beautiful, they should indeed be passed on one day.
Concrete and Bamboo Pendant by Bentu Design
“The coldness of the hard cement is off-set by the warmth of the bamboo creating a light that will look great in your home.”
You don’t have to convince me of the beauty within raw materials such as concrete. Each piece has its individual finish due to the very nature of the material and making process.
Single Hook by Pedersen Lennard
“Working from their Cape Town workshop, Pedersen Lennard believe design should be accessible, functional and beautiful, which is why they focus on quality products, innovative design and a simple aesthetic. Their tag line is “Simple lines. Functional design. Timeless aesthetic.”
I adore these. Really. They are beautiful and would work in any room. In a hallway for the obvious, in the bathroom for your towel or dressing gown, or next to a bed for looping a beside lamp cable around. The materials are timeless and will last you a lifetime.
Bongo Bluetooth Speaker by Otis and Eleanor
“Produced from sustainably sourced natural bamboo and recycled plastic, the speakers are hand finished and furnished with hemp speaker grills. Made by Otis & Eleanor in collaboration with designer Meghan Sebold, who along with the Otis & Eleanor team selected and styled the beautiful 100% hemp speaker cloths, colored rings and bamboo grain.”
What a great Christmas present this would make. Technology has come on so much over the last 20 years, but aesthetically, design has not really caught up. I love how this would fit straight into your home or work space without appearing like a big black plastic box. Both function and form are available in this piece, one that will undoubtably get better with age.
Such & Such ran the #Such50 campaign on Twitter earlier this year, to discover and highlight 50 independent UK designers and makers as voted by us. A fantastic opportunity to share their passion and support for design right here in the UK. And this ethos of developing and building relationships with designers is most definitely their USP.
“While we showcase the work of Designers from all over the world we are especially fond of the work of UK designers and we love to promote their work and so this campaign was all about them.”
I’m going to end with a short video by Bread Collective made with Such & Such, exploring the work of Reiko Kenako. It’s exciting to see “The Potteries” in full flow, looking beautifully creative, something i’ve not said many times before about my birthplace.