Sitting sweetly on the more interesting stretch of Upper Street (away from Angel and its bumptious pubs and chain restaurants), Folklore is an understated gem of a shop, selling everything from super-chic screwdriver sets to elegant made-to-order cabinets. Exquisitely edited, its products seem truly created to last. We talk to owner Danielle Reid about trends, design directions and her favourite pieces.
Q. What did you do before you opened Folklore?
My background is in interior design. I’ve been an interior designer for years and always had the idea of opening my own store. My husband, Rob, and I are both passionate about sustainability and finding better ways of living, so when we had the idea for Folklore, it really made sense and we had to go for it.
Q. What do you look for when you’re buying the pieces?
We look for craftsmanship, quality, simplicity and durability in all of our products. Some are handmade, antique or made from recycled or found materials. Others are easily recyclable at the end of their life. Our range includes homewares, furniture, lighting, art and lifestyle goods.
Q. Do you have a design philosophy?
We started the company with the simple idea that better living is possible through design, and this reflects our philosophy when it comes to sourcing and the products we choose.
Q. Do you make anything yourself?
Yes, our Domino and Backgammon cushions, made in collaboration with David Shillinglaw – an artist who immediately stood out to us when we came across his work. They’re made from vintage linen, screenprinted using David’s designs, and made by Working Well Trust, an east London charity that provides skills and employment for mentally ill day care patients. Their work is fantastic; they supply Harrods, too.
Q. Which piece exemplifies what you are about?
That’s a tough question. The work of Naomi Paul is stunning; she uses recycled or upcycled organic industry waste and British luxury material to create unique and intelligent textiles. We stock her Gluck pendant lights, which are just beautiful. Also the papier-mâché Pulp lights – they look magical when lit. I also love the restored vintage Dip chairs. We only had a limited number of them; a lot of our initial stock was snapped up by Mexican restaurant Wahaca. Luckily, we managed to source a few more!
Q. Any favourite trends at the moment?
I’m noticing pared-back interiors that use honest, humble materials, and are minimalist and restrained. Also, again: craftsmanship, quality, simplicity and durability. This is reflected in the interior design of our store, where we went for a simple colour scheme, and raw, natural and reclaimed materials.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
We want to do lots of good stuff online – more collaborations. And we hope to launch our own product range next year, and plan to use the shop space for small gatherings and events.