Meet the makers part two: your local Indie Store heroes
As we step back into the real world, it’s more important than ever to support local. In the second 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 second part of Muddy Meets the Maker two-parter, Muddy speaks to the men and women behind eight fantastic Kent indie businesses.
Macknade Food Hall, Faversham
Macknade is the beating heart of the foodie scene in Kent. Our family business has been around for 170 years and today showcases the very best food and drink available to buy with influences from Italy, Kent and all over the world. Follow your nose through our famous Faversham food hall or explore Elwick Place, in Ashford, selling everything from craft beers to exotic fruit, fresh bread and local wines.
Experience the café, visit the butchery or choose from over 150 different cheeses on our delicatessen. Or bring Macknade to your own doorstep by exploring our online shop packed full of gift boxes, grocery boxes and Christmas hampers for nationwide delivery.
Jacqui Larsson Fine Jewellery, Kent and London
As an award-winning diamond specialist and gemologist, I’ve produced fine bespoke jewellery since 2006, and find collaborating with clients to produce uniquely personal jewellery thrilling. For me, it’s all about choosing stones, exploring designs, and ensuring that pieces exceed expectations. I don’t subscribe to the notion that there should be ‘special jewellery’ kept stored for special occasions – it should be worn, loved and appreciated daily.
A fabulous cocktail ring can be worn just as effortlessly with a pair of jeans as it can with a couture gown. My hand-crafted pieces are often playful and irreverent, sometimes edgy and always stylish – I hope you like them.
Sleepy Wilson, Tunbridge Wells
As someone who’s always battled with sleep issues, I’m passionate about the transformative power of sleep. Our eldest son really struggled with eczema so we started to investigate fibres that might be gentler on his skin and to make him more comfortable in bed. With a background in textiles and fashion I was drawn to the inherent natural properties of silk, and setting up an ethical sleepwear company with my husband Tom, was the natural next step.
Our silk pyjamas are designed for both children and women, using only natural fibres, such as the highest grade 19mm silk – a renewable, biodegradable source that is also naturally temperature regulating, breathable, hypo allergenic and antibacterial. The pieces are made with 6% stretch, making them supremely comfortable for sleeping – or socialising!
Squerryes Winery and Vineyard is situated on the beautiful North Downs of Kent, in Westerham near Sevenoaks. It’s also our busy family home that sits within a productive 2,500 acre estate where we produce vintage English sparkling wine. It’s the perfect place for wine-enthusiasts and foodies, offering lots of wine-related experiences as well as exceptional dining, be it at our Bottle Store restaurant or al fresco Terrace restaurant, both in a stunning setting.
My family is the 8th generation of Wardes to live here, with many colourful characters preceding us, all with their own story to tell. These stories, our history I suppose, are one of the things that makes Squerryes so special. Equally so is the glue, our family motto, that has bound all these chapters and all these people together over the centuries: ‘Licet Esse Beatis’: it is permitted to be joyful.
Kitch Clothing, Tunbridge Wells
We’re a much-loved fashion boutique, in the heart of Tunbridge Wells and the go-to store for anyone that wants gorgeous, vibrant pieces – whether discovered in our High Street store or via our online shop. The eclectic selection of brands we choose will give you both wardrobe staples alongside touches of something special.
As a team we’re constantly looking for the next best thing and spotting trends early. From cool and comfy loungewear to the look that will nail your going out drinks, we can help you find your personal fashion style. Want advice? Just get in touch in store, on the phone, on social or via the website.
Timeout Bags, Kent
As a busy mum I was always putting together little bags of activities for my children to use when out and about. Friends started asking me to put together my ‘Mary Poppins’ bags for their own kids, and Timeout Bags was born!
There’s a huge and ever growing selection of packs – from holiday activity packs to gifts to give special guests when they arrive at your house. During lockdown we set ourselves a mission to help parents give their kids a break from screens, by providing entertainment packs for them to enjoy at home instead. A portion of bag profits goes to UK based charity ‘Changing Faces’.
Olive & Oak, Sevenoaks
We’re friends from Sevenoaks on a three-women mission – to make it easy for local people to gift lovely products produced by artisans and creative folk in the local area. In just a few clicks you can buy one of our stylish readymade gift boxes – or mix and match to create your own unique gift to show someone special just how much you care.
By supporting our small business, you’re also supporting many other local businesses – actual people do a little happy dance! Also, each purchase on the website means a percentage of profits goes to a fabulous charity, Friends for Families, that helps local families facing hardship.
Scruffy Little Terrier, Kent
Our lifestyle dog gift shop cares about the environment and the world we live in; that’s why all of our ethical clothing for our four-legged friends is made from organic or recycled materials. I hope it goes without saying that we love animals, and we care deeply about how the choices we make affect others.
We make sure our products are eco-conscious and kind to the planet. We can’t do it all, but as a small business, we work hard to make sustainable choices to do our little bit to make a difference – and have a bit of fun along the way too!