For our first ever stockist interview we couldn't chat to anyone other than Shoreham's very special Neighbourhood Store, fittingly, just after their 1st birthday! Their birthday party was on an incredible houseboat made from salvaged craziness (including a bus!) and it was just mind blowing-ly creative and welcoming, just like Neighbourhood Store itself! Honestly, we have never seen a shop like this before and Emma and Gary are both kind, generous and wonderful souls...the shop is called Neighbourhood for good reason! We're so chuffed and honoured to be stocked by them. We caught up with Emma to learn a bit more about this magical store...
Tell us a bit about Neighbourhood Store and how it came in to existence!
I've always wanted to open a shop, it's always been in there, so many different ideas, but always around vintage finds initially. Then I met Gary, who is the greatest enabler. Together we totally make things happen, so one day, while visiting our folk in Somerset we stumbled across this little vintage shop, and by the end of that weekend we decided to just go for it. Initially we were going for a much bigger unit so we could offer a roof to start up businesses, small rental spaces, everything from a coffee shop, vintage, artists, designers to a barbers chair. Though when the space fell through, which absolutely broke our hearts we decided to leave it for now. Then over coffee we decided to dig around to find out about what is now NS. We had to change the concept and business plan but bloody hell, it was fate. The whole thing. A fabulous landlord and estate agent that believed in our concept and boom, the rest is history.
What’s your favourite thing about running a shop? And LEAST favourite?
Theres no single favourite thing, we love everything and everyday in there. But dressing the mannequins and doing a window display is up there.
Hmmm, least... Gary moving all Emma's displays around when he's in here and I'm not, then Emma moving it all back the next day... (just joking, kinda)
Tricky, I guess it's the rare occasion when people think we are an overpriced charity shop or say things like 'I can get a t shirt in Primark for less'. It happens less & less now especially as we feel we have educated so many people about buying local and supporting the artists. We try to put a positive spin on it and see it as a great opportunity to explain the concept of the shop. People quite often then buy something and leave knowing we are not a charity shop! Though sometimes we just want to say, thanks so much for your non constructive feedback, now please leave the building... Politely obvs.
You are constantly adding new artists to the shop, do you look for anything in particular when choosing who and what to stock?
Bright & colourful a must, brave and bold good! It's gotta grab your eyes and hold them. We love it when we discover an artist who has never sold any if their work, let alone in a shop before. That's the main concept, putting a new artist on the map. Theres a definite look and style in store so the key thing is that everything compliments everything else.
Top 3 current fave things in store?
Our shop dog, Bandit
The Artist Window takeover - every different one!
Back Ganjei's work - it makes us laugh everyday!
Best shop snack?
Crumpets, usually cold as too busy to deal with them fresh out the toaster
You’ve hosted some awesome events in and outside of the store, can you tell us a bit about those?
Clothes swap - close to our hearts, trying to get the message out there about how unsustainable the fast fashion world is. Helping people to see how they can make a difference. It's always a fab night, a room full of clothes, beer but mostly kindness. The last one of this year is on 11th Dec. Tickets available in our bio on Instagram.
Movie nights - we just got a little funding help from the council to show proper movies throughout the darker months, for free for our community.
Bands & DJs - in store, a big passion of ours, it's all art and we are going to be showing kits more in the New Year
You recently adopted Bandit, a street dog from Greece and utter BABE...how does she like being a shop dog?
Ahhhh, Bandit dog! She's settling in pretty well, she comes in most mornings then she goes off with Gary for the afternoon when she becomes a van dog. She loves a fuss from the customers and is a massive brilliant distraction someday from doing shop admin. She's the best shop dog ever!
Last question! Any big plans for Neighbourhood Store’s Future? Any secrets??
Neighbourhood Nights - a regular night with local bands & DJs
Neighbourhood Kids - a chance for the kids to get involved in selling their creations. To show them they can do anything they set their minds to!