With the festive period around the corner yet again, where else could you get Christmas treats that are boutique, chic, one-off and often fairtrade or organic, other than in East London? A kaleidoscope of miscellaneous crafts, handmade keepsakes and low-tech novelties by the artisans of Broadway Market provide just the thing this side of town - a sense of wonder and tradition that’ll lift spirits. Practice your Ho! Ho! Ho! and head down to the stalls on any given Saturday to bag yourself some rustic goodies, as well as the prized title of legendary gift-giver - Santa won’t know what hit him!
Woodcraft: Hampson Woods
This kitchen accessories company brings an autumnal feel to worktops with an elm spoon or a sycamore platter, or alternatively completes the look to a T with a completely bespoke interior. Hampson Woods somehow keeps the natural warmth of the raw material while highlighting its beauty through impeccably finished design; transforming responsibly sourced timber, mainly from a Cumbrian forest, into hand-made products for the home.
Origami: Well Well Good Good
Daa Huang is an extremely talented origami artist with an idiosyncratic sense of creativity (and marketing - while her business is the cutely named Well Well Good Good, her tagline is The, The, The…). It’s catchy and so are her products – colourful sculptured T-Rex ornaments on thin gold chains and hemp elephant trophy heads made of folded linen bring her Broadway Market stall to life in the most exotic way. Head down and unfold your curiosity!
German born Sabine Gerth brings leather to Broadway Market in refined fashion, with her line up of accessories including purses, make-up bags, pencil cases, key chains and card holders. Though originating from waste cuts from big factories, all of Sabine's products use the highest quality material she can get her mitts on and are handmade in London. Along with her economical and ecological sense of sourcing, she uses simple stitch lines and earthy colours so that the items are subtle yet striking, and wearers can blend them into any outfit with class and elegance
Cat and Dog Paraphanalia: The Kat and Monocle
The Kat and Monocle is best described as a brand for the animal-lover-cum-hoarder, selling creature-themed drawings screenprinted onto household bric-a-brac. Greeting cards, wrapping paper, t-shirts, mugs and dessert plates are racking up in display cabinets and store cupboards all over London thanks to the hand drawn ‘gentrified pet’ illustrations of artist and owner, Katrina. R. Wight. She spends up to 20 hours on each design, etching out domestic beasts full of character and bringing each to life with an individual sense of eccentricity, with every hand stroke betraying her upbringing as a vet’s daughter.
Nomadic Crafts: From Afar
Step into the realm of this stall and be transported to multicoloured world far beyond the grey skies of London. Stall chief Bee Friedmann invites her customers to vicariously join her on her journeys through her native South Africa, having curated an exotic collection that culminates from many years of living, travelling and shopping in the Zulu region. The artisanal creations that fill up the stall vary from vibrant wicker baskets and patchwork bunnies to colourfully beaded bangles; with every single piece hand-sourced in a way that is ethical for the people that weave and work them. Bee’s ambition to uplift crafters who have a rich tradition of handiworks from rural poverty into sustainable employment is realised at this stall, so please help spread her positive energy and come use consumer power for some good (aside from retail therapy of course!).