The talented locals behind the Indie Store
As we step back into the real world, it’s more important than ever to support local. In the first part of our Meet the Maker series, we talk to eight of our Indie Store businesses to find out what makes them special.
Wallets at the ready! The Spring edit of the Indie Store is live, a super scroll of fresh new fashion, gifts and ideas for your home where you track down the best of local talent across the Muddy counties and here in Kent.
But who are those local faces behind the brilliant brands? In the first of a Muddy Meets the Maker two-parter, Muddy speaks to the men and women behind eight fantastic Kent indie businesses.
Elvis & Kresse, Sittingbourne
Elvis & Kresse was born from a desire to turn waste into something beautiful and useful. After a chance meeting with the London Fire Brigade, we had a light bulb idea. There is no traditional way to recycle old hoses but we fell in love with the rich, lustrous coils of red and the potential we saw then has turned into the award-winning range of luxury bags and accessories, all made from rescued materials, that you see today. With every bag made we donate 50% of our profits to the Fire Fighters Charity and a scholarship fund for female solar engineers at Barefoot College.
Now we’ve expanded to use other reclaimed materials in our collections – we also use parachute silks and through a partnership with The Burberry Foundation, we rescue their incredible leather off-cuts. The end results are stunning, sustainable gorgeous goods – no two items are exactly the same and all are full of character with a story to tell.
Catherine de Crèvecoeur Jewellery, Tunbridge Wells
I spent 10 years working as a stylist, fashion and image consultant in Tunbridge Wells when I noticed a gap in the fashion market for bold, reasonably-priced statement jewellery. Sustainably sourced and hand-crafted – my pieces are made from the highest quality leather and hypoallergenic gold-plated metal – meaning they might make an impact but are so lightweight you’ll hardly know you’re wearing them.
Curating each new collection, balancing life as a busy mum of two, and seeing my creations on so many wonderful women out there is a dream come true for me.
Lilford Gallery, Canterbury
Our Contemporary Modern Art Gallery in the centre of Canterbury exhibits work by established artists as well as finding new and exciting talent. We showcase an eclectic range of works by both emerging artists from the Kent area and internationally known artists.
With new works arriving on a daily basis the gallery is always changing. There’s limited edition prints from the likes of Banksy to Lora Zombie – making cool art affordable. We also offer a framing service, established for 30 years, from the gallery at Castle Street.
Odyl Boutique, Cranbrook
As a TV presenter and fashion expert, I’ve long had an eye for style and a passion for giving women confidence and body positivity. Since the boutique opened in 2014, Odyl has gone from strength to strength and we stock some of Europe’s most iconic brands. Onjenu, Fabienne Chapot and Patrizia Pepe are some of the most popular brands stocked in the boutique along with Diva Clothing, Second Female and Rosemunde, all available to buy in Kent or from the online store.
Odyl offers free styling consultations online and in store to fit your body shape. I want everyone to feel special and welcome when they walk through the doors and walk out with the perfect outfit, feeling confident and happy.
The Cooking Apple, Sevenoaks
Following my career as a senior food buyer for Sainsbury’s and then formal cooking training at the Cordon Bleu School, London, I decided to launch my own company and really satisfy my passion for food. I’ve been lucky enough to live and work across three continents, giving me a breadth of experience in cooking styles. I’ve topped it up with courses at Leith’s, Divertimenti and Thai cookery schools in a broad range of cuisines, breads and patisserie.
My mission is simple – to get more people cooking. I like to think my calm and patient teaching style can help even the most culinary challenged amongst us! I run classes for everyone from students about to leave for uni, teens, individuals and couples – and whether face-to-face or virtual, they make a great gift for any family member.
Oast & Rye, Brenchley
I set up Oast & Rye as I have 3 holiday lets and wanted to supply them with luxury toiletries that I tried to source elsewhere but couldn’t quite find what I wanted. Before long I’d created a luxury brand of lifestyle products for the home based in the heart of the Kent countryside. I have a passion for candles and wanted a strong scent without the strong price tag.
All our products are paraben and palm oil free and vegan friendly. Diffusers, scented candles and shampoo and soap all come in beautiful Amber bottles and jars
When my first child was born I found myself constantly searching for good quality, well-designed baby clothes and accessories but they were eye-wateringly expensive. With a background in design and textiles I found myself in the perfect position to solve that conundrum – and Pickle was born! I’m now mama to four pickles of my own and we’ve become an award-winning brand.
In order to make our clothes, I’ve teamed up with some wonderful British manufacturers to ensure that everything is beautifully made here in the UK. The clothes are designed to be fun and easy to wear, so your child can run wild on a beach or climb up a tree.
lumière, Tunbridge Wells
Originally from South London, I’ve lived in Tunbridge Wells for over a decade, having moved here as we grew our young family – I now have four kids! I’ve always had a passion for lighting and flair for interiors. Over the years my husband and I renovated a number of properties and I saw a gap in the market there is for high-end lighting in our neck-of-the-woods. It became my dream to create a decorative lighting consultancy hub, offering a bespoke service for both retail and trade customers.
I collected the keys to lumière on Valentine’s Day 2020, only a few weeks before lockdown. lumière became a real lockdown labour of love for me and I’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible support I’ve received. One person described the store as embodying the magic and wonder of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Come see for yourself when you can – I hope you’ll agree!