Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Shopkeeper of the Week - LeJu Sustainable Jewellery

Within the designs of LeJu jewellery is an intoxicating mix of colour, form and texture. It is clear the pieces are influenced by a distant, ancient culture, yet they are also contemporary and most importantly, incredibly wearable.

Founded in 2004 by designer Lenny Trines and business partner Juan Munoz. Lenny Trines became inspired to design jewellery whilst travelling through South America, during this time she spent eight weeks in the Amazonian rain forest, exploring and visiting different villages. It was here that Lenny discovered her true desire: to create jewellery using natural, sustainable materials in the colours, shapes and energy echoed in the rain forest.

LeJu pioneer the use of a very special seed known as Vegtable

Ivory. The seed is obtained from a palm tree called Hyphaene Phytelephas found in the Amazonian rain forest.

Vegetable Ivory is the only 100% sustainable alternative for elephant ivory given that its colour and hardness are extremely similar to ivory. Therefore, its use stimulates the economies in South America, provides an alternative to cutting down rain forest for farming, and prevents elephants from being killed for their tusks. Before it can be worked, the seeds must be allowed to dry naturally to gain the hardness required to be carved. Consequently, the older the seed the more valuable it becomes.

We take a few moments out with Lenny Trines, the head of design at LeJu.

How would you describe LeJu?

LeJu has always sought to combine the best in contemporary jewellery design with sustainable components taken from nature, as well as ideas and manufacturing techniques garnered from South America fusing them with European fashion to create designs that are unique and full of colour.

Who/what are your biggest influences?

Designing jewellery is an emotion for me. Elements may come to me like a splurge or a blur at any given time of the day or night and I then evolve that thought into a finished piece of jewellery. Each piece is very personal to me. I used simple forms and shapes for inspiration in each collection.

What is your favourite item from your current collection?

Oh that is a difficult one! If I'd have to pick one it'd be the Taniwah necklace. To me this is a very unique piece of work and when I wear this necklace it makes me feel very happy and proud. But also I absolutely love the Byzantine long earrings as they are just perfect for day and night wear, they style a simple outfit up in no time!
Where is your favourite place(s) to visit for inspiration?

Colombia. We have our own production there and I visit this country twice a year to work on my new collections and also to spend time with our production team.

Furthermore, the whole world is an inspiration to me, it is like a treasure box with lots of hidden gems and beautiful places, I get energised by spending time in nature. I am intrigued with textures, colours and smells within nature this could be in a nature reserve in Colombia but also in my own back garden.

Do you have any new items/collections about to be launched?

Yes I will be launching my new collection At PURE London in August! you can expect lots of new interesting colour combinations with neutral base tones and beautiful new shapes.

What do you enjoy most about being one of the shops in The Secret Arcade?

We love the concept of a selective selection of designers offering unique designs. We are very proud to be part of this concept.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Visit Molly Meg at 'Vintage' at The Southbank

Molly-Meg has a shop in The Secret Arcade's Children's passageway and is dedicated to bringing 20th Century Modern design icons to the world of children. By offering a carefully selected range of “Miniature classics” for children by leading designers, her aim is to show that good design is not just for adults. Visit her shop here.

When she isn't busy with her wonderful website Molly can be found at the most interesting events such as the amazing Vintage festival, the world’s biggest dressing up box and Vintage Marketplace held right on the Southbank Centre in London. Entry to the market is free!

Proceeding the success of Vintage Goodwood last year Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway bring their award winning concept to the Southbank Centre. Taking its lead from the Festival of Britain (1951). The festival will celebrate musical, fashion, film, art, design and cultural lineages, from the 1920s to the 1980s, and offer a glimpse of where we go from here. The 21 acre Southbank site will be transformed into a Vintage wonderland. All the wonderful clubs, bands, fashions, art, and design, film, shops, vintage retailers, dance lessons, makeovers, workshops that made Vintage 2010 so memorable will be there along with some cool new Thames boat party surprises.

Why not get down to the Southbank and say hello or if you cant quite manage to get there why not have a wander through the Secret Arcade and visit Molly-Meg at her shop in the Children's passage! She has some great new products - the vintage Rupert Bear rocker is our favourite!

Look out for Molly-Meg as our next Shopkeeper of the Week and take a peek into her world of “Miniature classics” !

Friday, 10 June 2011

Shop Keeper of The week - Simply Roses

What could be more perfect for a summer treat than to luxuriate in the scent of roses! As a professional florist, Carolyn Dunster (Owner) has worked with just about every variety of flower but given the choice she would opt to use roses every time:

"They are always the star performers in any mixed bouquet and they are the perfect flower to work with. Roses are amazingly versatile - beautiful as a single stem or bunched together en masse; they come in a breath-taking palette of colours and as a cultivated cut-flower they know no seasonal boundaries."

Simply Roses was born out of Carolyn's personal passion for the world's favourite flower. Her range of rose-inspired body, bath and home fragrance products is a luxurious hand-picked collection created to reflect the natural beauty of a Simply Roses bouquet.

Rose Argan Soaps

Widely acclaimed as a miracle oil, argan oil which is extracted from the kernels of the argan fruit contains high levels of vitamin E, natural anti-bacterial properties and essential fatty acids that all work wonders on the skin. Long-known as a beauty secret in Morocco, the fruit is harvested from the argan forests in the south west of the country and local Berber women consider the extracted oil to be an elixir of youth. Combined with rose oil, organically grown argania spinosa is the star ingredient of our wonderful new soap made exclusively for Simply Roses.

Simply Roses's signature scented candles

The signature scented candle is delicately fragranced with the perfume of early summer roses. The wax which is of the highest quality has been coloured a soft pale pink. It has then been hand poured into a black glass votive for a beautiful and distinctive look. The burning time of the candle is approximately 30 hours - fantastic value!

Not satisfied with providing us with gorgeous products to pamper our bodies and home , Carolyn has introduced a range of rose inspired edible treats! These range from a wonderfull rose tea infusion, Rose Tisane, a blend of pure verbena, mint and rose petals that will promote relaxation and well-being by the cup to the newly launched Rose Meringues ! These are made to order and require a minimum of 48 hours notice for delivery to all central London postcodes. Perfect for a special occasion, they are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and sensationally flavoured to replicate the taste of a rose in full bloom.

Rose Tisane

Rose Meringues

We take a few moments out with Carolyn to take quick peek into her rose filled world!

How would you describe your e-shop ?

Simply Roses is a rose-inspired lifestyle emporium.

Who/what are your biggest influences?

My biggest influence comes from the fresh roses that I buy weekly at Covent Garden Flower Market. The signature pink labels and organza ribbon that I use on my packaging were chosen to match the colour of the Milano Rose.

Where is your favourite spring/summer place to visit for inspiration?

My favourite place for sping/summer inspiration is the Chelsea Physic Garden - a walled garden oasis in the middle of London. It is a scented apothecary's garden that provides a blissful refuge from the hustle and bustle.

What is your favourite item from your current collection?

My favourite item from my current collection is my pure distilled rosewater - the scent is truly uplifting.

Do you have any new items/collections about to be launched?

I have just introduced rose-flavoured meringues to my range of rose goodies - I make them myself to my own recipe. They are chewy on the outside and marshmallow-like on the inside. When you bite into them you get an instantaneous hit of rose which is like inhaling the deep perfume of a rich garden bloom.

What do you enjoy most about being one of the shops in The Secret Arcade?

The shops in The Secret Arcade have been selected for their originality. The site is beautifully designed down to the last detail and if I were to have a real bricks and mortar shop I would want it to be the same vein.

To view all of Simply Roses wonderful products go to the Simply Roses shop in The Perfume and Beauty Passage in The Secret Arcade. Simply Roses has also been been invited by the Royal Horticultural Society to stage an exhibit in the Rose Marquee at the Hampton Court Flower Show which runs from 4-10 July 2011.

Rose of the Year 2012 - Moment in Time

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Anyone For Tennis?

Yes it is that time of year again - summer is officially here when we dust off our tennis rackets and get out the strawberries and cream. If you really want to get into the spirit why not grab a bargain at Turner Pockock Cazalet with 40% off their fab range of vintage tennis and cricket inspired wallpapers. We love, love, love these brilliantly sophisticated designs - they look great any time of the year!

Tennis - vintage Wallpaper from Turner Pocock Cazalet

Cricket - Teal
Wallpaper from Turner Pocock Cazalet

Turner Pocock shop in The Secret Arcade

To view or purchase Turner Pocock Cazalet wallpapers go to their shop at Shop 2, The Home Decoration Passage at The Secret Arcade - don't forget to look out for the 40% special offer on the 'Sporting' collection only.