Luna and Curious was established in 2006 when a collective of seven designers joined creative forces and opened a shop along the infamously cobbled street, Brick Lane. The shop went from strength to strength and in 2010 Karou, Polly and Rheanna expanded to the historic Boundary Estate on Calvert Avenue, a charming red brick building which counts itself as Britain’s first social housing concept.
Taking a look inside Luna and Curious, the predominantly white interior provides a neutral canvas for the array of colourful goods in store. As the name suggests, there is an abundance of curiosities on offer. One of the most loved features by the boutique’s customers is an old-fashioned golden cash register which has been ringing out its “kerching” noise in store since the store’s beginnings. The store boasts a relaxed atmosphere, allowing their customers to feel at home while perusing the designs on offer.
The enchanting windows are a key characteristic of the Luna and Curious boutique, and make an excellent frame for the minimalist interior. Kaoru, Polly and Rheanna take enormous pride in their carefully curated window displays, ensuring that no-one passes by without taking note. Their opulent Christmas display is, in particular, a head turner, “people really appreciate the effort you go to.”
Luna and Curious focuses on British made products where possible. All jewellery and ceramics in store are made in the UK, with a focus on selecting quality pieces showing true craftsmanship. “Provenance is the utmost priority, we select brands that are producing high quality goods in a reasonable manner.” With a determination to get Britain making, the girls try to source from as many home grown designers as they can, and even make their own goods. The story behind the product is another factor close to the heart of the Luna and Curious team, “narratives are at the core of what we do.”
Products for Luna and Curious are sourced in a number of ways. Although the girls find them repetitive at times, they find trade shows to be good inspiration. “The more obscure the trade fair, sometimes the better the result.” Direct contact with designers and sometimes online stores are also another way the store sources products. However, the designers at Luna and Curious have recently began manufacturing their own products, resulting in their sights shifting. The are now finding themselves conversing with potential manufacturing routes over actual designers.
We never buy because it’s the latest trend, we buy from a designer because they are doing something original and producing it to a really high quality. We work very closely with many of our designers and get to know them really well.
With special thanks to Karou, Polly and Rheanna for their insightful words and artistic inspirations.
Find Luna and Curious at: 24-26 Calvert Ave, London E2 7JP
http://bettymagazine.co.uk/betty/out-about/shop-luna-and-curious/ [accessed September 2016]