Though our visit section is usually dominated by shops formed of brick and mortar, we sometimes deviate from this in order to share secrets about some of the most coveted corners of the web. These days many of our favourite stores only exist online so we rarely get much of a chance to get to know the creatives behind each emporium; this is a crying shame because they’re nearly always awesome. Allow us to introduce you to Collett and Holder, a beauteous webstore filled with handpicked gifts, homewares and accessories, and its founders Glyn and Graham.
Both passionate about great design, whether interiors, fashion or products, Graham and Glyn have always been expert present-buyers with an eye for original bits and pieces. Setting up Collett and Holder in May of last year presented a way to share their unique finds with likeminded people searching for something special. Based in Gloucestershire, where the couple were both born and grew up, the store lives happily on the internet but occasionally finds its way to local markets where visitors can get a good whiff of the gorgeous candles, cop a feel of the soft blankets and delight in the glittering stationery that Glyn and Graham meticulously select for their shop. Curious about the name Collett and Holder, we asked the webstore’s founders to enlighten us and fell in love with the story they told.
‘The name Collett and Holder was inspired by our maternal grandmothers, both strong independent women born in the early 1900s. Olive Collett came from a family of generations of entrepreneurial men and supported her husband, helping to grow her father’s family business into a very successful one over many years. Mo Holder was a truly inspirational and determined woman who devoted her life to raise her four children independently, working hard and providing everything in a time when life was very different. Both women shared a fantastic sense of humour and had a lot of love to give. We both like to think we have the same sense of honesty and values. Collett and Holder was the perfect name for our new company as it reflects both our beliefs and values.’ – Glyn Andrews
A little browse of the many delightful categories on the site reveal that Graham and Glyn spend a great deal of time researching, sourcing and selecting perfectly designed high quality items that are good value for money. Their rule of thumb? If it’s not something they’d love to give as a gift (or receive for that matter) then it’s not right for the webstore. The creative pair are always on the lookout for new brands and designers to stock and look everywhere, from friend’s homes to day-trip destinations and good old Instagram, where they’ve discovered many of their favourite pieces.
We love that fact that Collett & Holder aims to source ethically-minded brands as well as undiscovered designers and original British-made items. Handpicking from each new collection to hawk the best pieces from varied designers and makers, the store is filled with seriously unique products. It’s worth mentioning a few of the great companies that Glyn and Graham have recently picked out to showcase and sell, such as Terrible Twins, a fantastic Swedish home fragrance, bath and body brand that uses natural ingredients and covetable packaging; The Rosehip stationery collection created by Bristol-based illustrator Silkie Lloyd, and lastly, And Mary jewellery, a small Scottish company comprised of a husband and wife duo who craft hand-painted and beautifully boxed porcelain pieces.
With a selection of key departments filled with everything from thank you cards to clocks and bath oils, the store is still growing. Graham and Glyn hope it will be a place where customers can enjoy a wonderfully quick and easy shopping experience and find the perfect gift or piece for their home from the comfort of their sofa, studio or desk. Then it’ll be on to more pop-up stalls, a Collett and Holder range of their own and perhaps a more permanent shop space for the lucky inhabitants of beautiful Gloucestershire.
Though all looks peachy from where we’re sitting and we can’t get enough of the sweet stationery, homewares and gifts on the Collett and Holder site, its founders had a few words of wisdom to share regarding the shop’s launch. ‘Setting up an online store is a time consuming business like any other new venture, you are offering a service 24 hours a day 7 days a week’ Glyn tells us. ‘I think the best advice is to start small and grow with your customers. We would love to fill our store with more independent start-up designers. It would be great to support new talent and it would be great to hear from anyone who would like to be stocked at Collett & Holder.’
These guys love their social media and regularly showcase their amazing products and chat to emerging brands on Twitter and share news on their blog. As an online store it’s pretty important to know your customers and we think Glyn and Graham do a wonderful job. They’re always seeking out young designers who use social media to promote themselves and to meet likeminded customers and creatives. We’re glad we stopped by to say hello. If you’re in need of a present, a personal pick-me-up, something for your home or workspace or even some crafting gear, swing by this shop and browse to your heart’s content. You won’t even have to leave the house.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth