One the verge of the beautiful and historic Boundary Estate in Shoreditch, Calvert Avenue plays host to one of the best selections of shops in London – think Leila’s Café, Ally Capellino, Boboye and Wonderound, not to mention the Cleve Workshops just round the corner.
However, one of my favourite shops on this now famed street is Luna & Curious, an independent boutique that showcases the best in British design.
The shop is described by its owners Polly George, Kaoru Parry and Rheanna Lingham, as a ‘miniature department store’ as it offers everything from womenswear, childrenswear, beauty, stationery, homeware, jewellery and accessories.
All items are thoughtfully selected and displayed by the three creatives, who each have a strong background in design and a knack for spotting unique creations. Since forming in 2006 the store has unsurprisingly developed a reputation for uncovering exciting new brands.
Being owned by a collective of designers means there’s no run-of-the-mill stock here, each and every object has been hand-picked for its craftsmanship and twist on the norm. The store also plays home to many exclusive products from the three’s own brands.
What I love most about the store is it’s passion for British design, showcasing a large number of new, little-heard-about British designers. A great example of this is The Soap Co, who I visited before Christmas, but originally discovered from Luna & Curious.
Their stunning jewellery offering features British designers Jake McCombe and Nagle and Sisters and their unique accessories come from the likes of Cambridge brand Ark and fellow East Ender, Kate Sheridan.
However, for me the highlight is undoubtedly their range of In-house designed knitwear in bright, bold colours, all made in Scotland.
These lambswool jumpers were flying off the shelves when I visited along with pastel-coloured bamboo cups, plates and bowls designed by Engel which are all dishwasher safe, perfect to replace those disposable party sets.
One of the most pleasurable parts of visiting Luna & Curious is actually paying. There is an old-fashioned golden cash register, which the shop assistant seems to get particular enjoyment from operating, and has been with the store since its beginning in Brick Lane. Just one of many curiosities.
Luna & Curious is one of those bright, cheerful stores that always stores a surprise. It’s the perfect place for a gift – prices are surprisingly reasonable – and you might just discover the latest design talent while you’re at it.