I confess, I don't really like shopping, mainly because I'm quite picky and a lot of shops just don't float my boat.
I do love gorgeous patterns and products though, and what I love best of all is finding shops that have a design style I can get on board with.
In these shops the buyers seem like they are picking products with me in mind, even though we've never met. These are usually shops that enjoy finding unusual design led products, or building relationships with makers, and although shops like this definitely make me spend more money, I do love them for it!
To celebrate the shops that are fighting mediocrity and promoting brilliant work, I've decided to run a new series. Over the coming months I'll be featuring shops I've come across that tick the boxes and fly the flag for great design.
If there's a shop in your town that fits the bill, get in touch!
Can you describe your shop.
Howkapow is bright, colourful and fun. We sell products that make you smile :)
What makes your shop special?
I think it's the combination of colour, humour and clean design and that most of our products are sourced directly from designer-makers themselves. We only stock things that are functional and that we would have in our own home… Hopefully the simplicity of the concept shines through and remains true to our taste.
How / where do you seek out new products to stock?
Everywhere and anywhere! We visit a lot of graduate shows, design fairs, artist markets and galleries to find fresh talent but I also find a lot of work on Pinterest, Tumblr and various design blogs. We also work and collaborate with a lot of friends of ours - either from art school in London or from University here in Bristol - and that is something that continually perpetuates itself.
What is the best thing about running your own shop?
Definitely the fact that we are able to work together, and make a living out of creativity. We love coming into contact with new and exciting designs and artwork every day. It keeps things fresh as every day is different!
What is the hardest thing?
You never feel like you ever have enough time to do everything you want to do! Our 'To Do' lists are never-ending as we're always coming up with new ideas for things to do. It can be frustrating sometimes to feel like there aren't enough hours in the day...
What is your dream?
To have a range of Howkapow Shops as well as Howkapow Cafes & Delis across England. And perhaps one in Amsterdam. And maybe one in Berlin. And New York. We'd also love to set up artist studios. That's the 10 year plan!
You might have noticed that I've revamped the site this week. Next week I'm going to be trying some layout changes here on the blog, so stay tuned and do let me know what you think...