Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Frida Kahlo & Dia de Meurtos

Kahlo, one of the most innovative and influential painters of the 20th century, widely considered a style icon thanks to her eclectic taste and love for colour- she is the inspiration behind our Autumn 2017 ' Dia de Meurtos' collection.   With everything from artisan niches and furniture, secular candles, hand-made cushions to pin badges.  We have curated a collection of products which reflect her eclectic style.


Saturday, 30 September 2017

Kitsch, witty and often surreal - Alijoe Designs

Any Archway diehards may remember the days of our old shop/design studio (down Junction Road, currently La Belle Vie) and Map's first manufacturing manifestation. We hand-made decorated china and glass for prestigious stores around the world.  It was a business we progressed into what is now our renowned retail space, but it's a business we feel fondly nostalgic about!

I stumbled upon Alijoe Designs in the wonderful world of Instagram.  I felt like I had fallen back through time, down an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole!  Here is a lady whose influences are very obviously close to our own, her designs are quirky, witty and even surreal.  She has just launched a range called 'Desserts are on me'.  
In addition she creates vintage pieces, she resurrects old and dusty china plates by transforming them with quirky makeovers. Often surreal, sometimes kitsch and always witty, the original, whimsical designs give a sought after contemporary twist to the classic, decorative plate often working in pairs - see below 'wine on tap' and 'spider to catch a fly' these items are guaranteed to be a talking point and to raise a smile when displayed on a wall.
We're really thrilled to be one of Alijoe's first stockists.  We love supporting local Artists plus her designs are the centre piece of our new season 'Fornescetti inspired' collection including this brand new range from Chase and Wonder.
A touching post script to this story - we obviously waxed lyrical to Debbie about the old days and we described some of our signature designs that had made our name.....(way back in about 1995).  A few weeks later she emailed me - "I was clearing out a cupboard a few weeks ago and coincidentally came across these two plates - I knew they were familiar when you talked about them, so clearly we were destined to meet!"
Stylish and surreal -I think these plates still look good more than 22 years since they were made.


Friday, 28 July 2017

All Zenned Out

We all know Ian is a cool and chilled out guy but now he's gone all Zen on us!  That is the Zero Emissions Network, and we are Archway's latest member.

One of the downsides of living and working in a thriving area like Archway is that the air quality here is some of the worst in London (which, unsurprisingly, has some of the worst in the UK). Some of the causes are obvious, busy roads used by lorries, cars, buses and taxis, but some are surprising too - bet you didn't know that residential boilers are a major contributor to the problem. Before you dismiss this is merely a nuisance, extra dirt to clean away or unpleasant smells, think about this: the Royal College of Physicians calculates that poor air quality causes 10,000 early deaths a year in London. Poor air exacerbates cardio vascular and cardio pulmonary diseases and it is especially bad for children. If all this wasn't depressing enough, the cost of poor air health impacts across the UK are calculated at £15 - £20 billion. (£20 billion is over 15% of the current NHS budget.)

So what can we do? We have signed up to  Archway Zen.  We only employ local people who can walk to work or use public transport.  No one from Map Gift Shop drives to the area bringing in pollution.  We have carried out an energy efficiency audit of the shop, and implemented all the energy saving measures.  Finally we have installed some pollution eating plants and cycle locking planters.   Which not only are fragrant and look great but have a practical and we think aesthetic value too!

Helping to make Archway a healthier place to live and work. 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Teachers Pet - Chalk up your child as a Star Pupil with our great selection of gifts for Teachers.



Get personal with an Initial Pendant £20. Hand-out Beard Oil and Shampoo (£20.95) to the hirsute, present face masks (£3.50) and nail varnishes (£7.95) for those Teachers who love to be pampered.  Pencils  (£4.95) & Ovengloves (£11.95) with attitude for Teachers with a good sense of humour and plenty of other ideas from our HUGE range of candles, Jewellery, Stationery and Mugs.  

We'll find something just right!


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Flash Sale - Half Price Carnival Lights

Flash Sale

We are having a final clear out of the remaining stock of Carnival Letters - there are only a few letters left.  Come and grab yourselves a bargain, originally £49 - these fabulous decorative lights are now just £25.  You can order online, click and collect/reply to this email - or pop into the shop.  Please note we have only 1 of each letter so please be quick.
Carnival Light C - Rust Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light I - Rust Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light V - Silver Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light C - Silver Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light O - Rust Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light W - Silver Finish
£25.00


Carnival Light D - Silver Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light P - Silver Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light Peace Sign- Rust Finish
£25.00

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Funny Guy? The Cool Dude? The Travelling Man?



Which one is your Dad? Father's Day is next Sunday 18th June. 

We have a brand new range of socks from the hilarious Brand Blue Q guaranteed to suit all the men in your life from Mr Perfect to Video Gamer, there is a pair with your dad's name on. Take a look.




This great range of Toiletries from The Handmade Soap Co, made with 99% natural ingredients in Ireland has been designed especially for men.  With a great fragrance combination - Lime Basil and Sweet Orange, it will leave you smelling like a Real Man in a good way!

And for the Travellin' Man - 'Departure Lounge' will be right up his runway - a cool range of stylish accessories, gadgets and toiletries with retro packaging and great prices.


As always we have a great range of Father's Day cards in store and each purchase will be gift-wrapped, free of charge with our usual flare!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Jewellery - Summer Dreams


hmmm......come on sunshine.

After a promising start, our Summer sunshine disappeared last week! But it's back ish & so here's your chance to get ahead and pick up some summer accessories to add to your holiday wardrobe.  For bold colourful statement pieces, check out Vincenza Dato's fabric wrapped hoops and bangles.



The Jewellery range by Satsuki May provides a sophisticated subtle and unique detail for a Summer Evening Outfit.


Pop by or browse here our extensive range of silver jewellery to suit all budgets; from the beautifully crafted silver and cz Angel Wing Ring and Earring set by Azendi at £100 through the simple and yet personal Initial Pendants at £20.  We have elegant pieces just right for your Weddings too -  Infinity Pearl Pendant and Earrings at £96 and don't forget we box and gift-wrap all Jewellery free of charge.
Finally my favourite, the 'circles' range from Dansk Smykkekunst, this Season's on trend Circles, Cylinders, Spheres and Discs.  An easy to wear, day to night - affordable range that will style up any outfit this Summer.


DISCOUNT: Please note we have a £5 FIVER off voucher running through until May 31st, please check your loyalty email or type FIVER code at the checkout online.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Happy Easter

We love Easter, it's the first big holiday since Christmas! It's beginning to feel properly like spring, with flowers popping up everywhere, longer, warmer days (and boy have and we been spoiled this year?) oh and then there's the chocolate! Ahhh but each year we are tasked with finding gifts which aren't just about sugar, so here's an Easter edit of our sugar free goodies!  Ceramic Bunny and Guinea Pig Egg Cups and Money Boxes from Quail from £11.95, Bunny and Baby Bunny Night Lights from £4.95.  These delightful hand-painted glass trinket eggs are perfect for tiny gifts and mini eggs and if you are going on an Easter Egg Hunt these Retro Jelly Bags are perfect for egg-gathering £5.95.  Gorgeous Egg Cups in Pink & Blue by Pip Studio and these grrrreat Dinosaur Egg Cups in Orange & Turquoise at £8.95

With a full range of Easter Cards in store too, we have everything you may need (except of course the Chocolate) - Happy Easter.
Easter Opening Times 
Good Friday     11am-4pm
Saturday      10am-6pm
Easter Sunday    closed
Bank Holiday Monday  closed

Going the Extra Mile - A brand new range from The Handmade Soap Co.

We have a brand new Toiletry Range!  We really do like to go the extra mile and so when nothing caught our eye at the recent round of trade shows in London and Paris, Ian dropped in on Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna (which is the leading international platform for the cosmetics and wellness industry), to see if he could find anything special there.  He struck gold, and we are really delighted to launch this new range from The Handmade Soap Co. who are based nearer to home in Co. Meath Ireland.  We love their products and their ethos - meet founder Donagh Quigley (originally a Master Thatcher).

"We started out small, selling our lovely handmade soaps at farmers’ markets and to kind neighbours… and from there, things just grew and grew.

Pots got bigger, our range blossomed, and we added a few more hands on deck… but our mission remains the same:

To bring pure, heartfelt joy to your everyday, so even the small things feel precious.

Using thoughtful essential oil blends and nature’s pantry, we have lovingly created a range that will boost your mood and your skin in equal measure.

And oh, does it smell divine.


Put simply, it’s everything you need to grab life by the happy. So, go grab it with both hands."

We were particularly looking for a well priced range that would sit comfortably with the ever popular Burt's Bee's Range and appeal to both Men and Women - we think we have found our match.
Lemongrass and Cedarwood - Lose yourself in this sweet oriental fragrance.  Citrus top notes with a lemongrass zing, eucalyptus and lavender middle notes and earthy base notes of Patchouli and Vanilla.
A Musky, manly mix of Basil, Lime & Sweet Orange.

The products themselves have 99.7% Natural - no nasties, (the other .3% is the binding agent and preservative which makes the lotions behave so wonderfully).
They are made with coconut derivatives, vegetable emulsifiers and scented with essential oils.

There are no SLSs, parabens, petrochemicals.  No product is tested on animals, ever and even the card in their packaging is from sustainable sources and printed with vegetable-derived ink.



Thursday, 16 March 2017

Little Folk Nursery Rhymes CD

Meet Cat Bateman, I was lucky enough to meet her a few years back - our children were all taking swimming lessons at our local pool known as the "Spa", a definite misnomer it was a sweaty, stressful zone full of tetchy, tiger Mums, tantrums and toddlers..... but up rocked Cat, with her crazy trolley, eccentric pigtails and bright smile.  She has an infectious aura of cheerfulness and as such I was so pleased to learn that she was the creative force behind 'little folk nursery rhymes' (a toddler music group) which she set up to earn a few pennies around bringing up her boys.  The job suits her well and it shows - "I never get tired of seeing little people wigging out to a jolly old nursery rhyme.  No one is telling them to do that - it happens naturally because the music makes them happy.  It is so adorable".
Five years on she holds lots of weekly groups in SE London check details here.  Plus she has just released her first nursery rhymes CD.  She worked with brilliant musicians and talented designers to make it the best sounding, best looking, best quality nursery rhymes CD. It has been a labour of love, but she has been getting lovely feedback from parents who say it keeps their little ones completely entertained.  Equally importantly however, is that adults like it too....anyone who has suffered the saccharin sounds of most kids' CDs will totally understand what I mean.




Cat is delighted that 10% of each sale will go directly to JDRF, the amazing charity that funds research to cure, treat and prevent Type 1 Diabetes, along with providing support to people who live with it. She is very passionate about raising awareness of Type 1 Diabetes, as her eldest son was diagnosed with this serious auto-immune life-long condition at the age of 5.

So, if you’re looking for something for your own bundles (& toddlers of joy) to enjoy, or a unique present we're delighted to announce - you can buy it here!    

Cool Gift ideas for Kids Birthday Presents

On a budget but looking for something a bit different?  Something that will definitely be appreciated?  Something that will be a stand out gift?  Here is this weeks selection of brilliant gifts for kids, all under £15 - there's many more in store and online.
1.  Create your own Superhero Comic Book  (age 7-12) £11.95
2.  Charlie the Sausage Dog Pull Along Toy (age 12 months+) £11.95
3.  Toby Bento Box  (age 2 onwards) £10.95
4.  Rosie Bento Box (age 2 onwards) £10.95
5.  Popsicle Cherry Bunny (newborn onwards) £11.95
6.  Little Folk Nursery Rhyme CD (newborn onwards) £14.95
7.  Vehicles Reusable Sticker Book (age 3-5) £6.95
8.  Adventure Reusable Sticker Book (age 3-5) £6.95

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Revive & Rejuvenate - Archway

An article from March's Angel Resident magazine.  David Lyndon of Lyndon Goode Architects discusses the rich tapestry of Archway, and the regeneration scheme we were part of in 2013.  


Satsuki May

Q&A with Satsuki May who makes intricate and delicate jewellery using semi-precious stones and crystals.

What made you become interested in jewellery?
I was born in Tokyo into a craft loving family,  I have always loved making things, using my hands, and being creative,   About three years ago, I started jewellery making and discovered it is wonderful medium of creativity for me, I really enjoy experimenting with different styles and wearing my designs.

What inspires you?
London is such an amazing eclectic city, ideas can come from anywhere, from what I hear, taste, touch and smell, too. The smell of Indian curry gives me a colour palette of red, saffron yellow and green, and the sounds of train passing outside my flat reminds me of oxidised hammer textured metal.  I love exploring London and looking for the little details in architecture both modern and historic, spending time in art galleries and museums and wandering London's many green spaces - especially the changing nature found on Hampstead Heath.
The materials you use and why?
I mostly use wires and metal sheet, the reason being they are very versatile, I add glass, semi-precious gemstones and crystals for colour and sparkles. 

What makes your jewellery unique?
I like tiny twists in my jewellery here and there that make each piece a little weird and wonderful.  My work is very delicate and detailed and often very labour intensive. I will continue to experiment and develop new techniques along my artistic journey.

We are showcasing Satsuki May's full range of jewellery in store during March and April.  With a small selection on line too.  

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Spring to Life

We love Spring!  Such a season of renewal and optimism. We're feeling very inspired by new colours, refreshing designs and hints of warmer times ahead.  Our new Spring/Summer 2017 collection is shaping up nicely, with new product launches almost daily this month.  We have a fresh new design range from PiP Studio aptly titled 'Spring to Life'. Our bird loving theme continues with a brand new range from Magpie, featuring beautiful illustrations from John James Audubon’s Birds of America.  New writing sets, bags, umbrellas and home accessories with Watercolour Birds and Blossom by Caroline Carter for Portico.  A full range of stationery including, journals & sketchbooks in a variety of designs and prices to suit all budgets.  Oh, and of course our land of the Giants Spring Flowers are back by popular demand.

1.  Small Tea Pot in the aptly titled 'Spring to Life' range from PiP Studio £29.95
2.  Watercolour Bird Umbrella by Caroline Carter £17.95
3.  Watercolour Nesting Tins (set of 2) by Caroline Carter £11.95
4.  Flamingo Trinket Tray £12.50
5.  Flamingo Square Cushion £33.95
6   Heron Trinket Tray £12.50
7.  Set of 2 Abstract Design Notebooks £9.95
8.  Giant Daffodil £16.95
9.  Giant Tulip £16.95