Saturday, 30 September 2017

Kitsch, witty and often surreal - Alijoe Designs

Any Archway diehards may remember the days of our old shop/design studio (down Junction Road, currently La Belle Vie) and Map's first manufacturing manifestation. We hand-made decorated china and glass for prestigious stores around the world.  It was a business we progressed into what is now our renowned retail space, but it's a business we feel fondly nostalgic about!

I stumbled upon Alijoe Designs in the wonderful world of Instagram.  I felt like I had fallen back through time, down an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole!  Here is a lady whose influences are very obviously close to our own, her designs are quirky, witty and even surreal.  She has just launched a range called 'Desserts are on me'.  
In addition she creates vintage pieces, she resurrects old and dusty china plates by transforming them with quirky makeovers. Often surreal, sometimes kitsch and always witty, the original, whimsical designs give a sought after contemporary twist to the classic, decorative plate often working in pairs - see below 'wine on tap' and 'spider to catch a fly' these items are guaranteed to be a talking point and to raise a smile when displayed on a wall.
We're really thrilled to be one of Alijoe's first stockists.  We love supporting local Artists plus her designs are the centre piece of our new season 'Fornescetti inspired' collection including this brand new range from Chase and Wonder.
A touching post script to this story - we obviously waxed lyrical to Debbie about the old days and we described some of our signature designs that had made our name.....(way back in about 1995).  A few weeks later she emailed me - "I was clearing out a cupboard a few weeks ago and coincidentally came across these two plates - I knew they were familiar when you talked about them, so clearly we were destined to meet!"
Stylish and surreal -I think these plates still look good more than 22 years since they were made.


Friday, 28 July 2017

All Zenned Out

We all know Ian is a cool and chilled out guy but now he's gone all Zen on us!  That is the Zero Emissions Network, and we are Archway's latest member.

One of the downsides of living and working in a thriving area like Archway is that the air quality here is some of the worst in London (which, unsurprisingly, has some of the worst in the UK). Some of the causes are obvious, busy roads used by lorries, cars, buses and taxis, but some are surprising too - bet you didn't know that residential boilers are a major contributor to the problem. Before you dismiss this is merely a nuisance, extra dirt to clean away or unpleasant smells, think about this: the Royal College of Physicians calculates that poor air quality causes 10,000 early deaths a year in London. Poor air exacerbates cardio vascular and cardio pulmonary diseases and it is especially bad for children. If all this wasn't depressing enough, the cost of poor air health impacts across the UK are calculated at £15 - £20 billion. (£20 billion is over 15% of the current NHS budget.)

So what can we do? We have signed up to  Archway Zen.  We only employ local people who can walk to work or use public transport.  No one from Map Gift Shop drives to the area bringing in pollution.  We have carried out an energy efficiency audit of the shop, and implemented all the energy saving measures.  Finally we have installed some pollution eating plants and cycle locking planters.   Which not only are fragrant and look great but have a practical and we think aesthetic value too!

Helping to make Archway a healthier place to live and work. 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Teachers Pet - Chalk up your child as a Star Pupil with our great selection of gifts for Teachers.



Get personal with an Initial Pendant £20. Hand-out Beard Oil and Shampoo (£20.95) to the hirsute, present face masks (£3.50) and nail varnishes (£7.95) for those Teachers who love to be pampered.  Pencils  (£4.95) & Ovengloves (£11.95) with attitude for Teachers with a good sense of humour and plenty of other ideas from our HUGE range of candles, Jewellery, Stationery and Mugs.  

We'll find something just right!


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Flash Sale - Half Price Carnival Lights

Flash Sale

We are having a final clear out of the remaining stock of Carnival Letters - there are only a few letters left.  Come and grab yourselves a bargain, originally £49 - these fabulous decorative lights are now just £25.  You can order online, click and collect/reply to this email - or pop into the shop.  Please note we have only 1 of each letter so please be quick.
Carnival Light C - Rust Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light I - Rust Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light V - Silver Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light C - Silver Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light O - Rust Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light W - Silver Finish
£25.00


Carnival Light D - Silver Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light P - Silver Finish
£25.00

Carnival Light Peace Sign- Rust Finish
£25.00

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Funny Guy? The Cool Dude? The Travelling Man?



Which one is your Dad? Father's Day is next Sunday 18th June. 

We have a brand new range of socks from the hilarious Brand Blue Q guaranteed to suit all the men in your life from Mr Perfect to Video Gamer, there is a pair with your dad's name on. Take a look.




This great range of Toiletries from The Handmade Soap Co, made with 99% natural ingredients in Ireland has been designed especially for men.  With a great fragrance combination - Lime Basil and Sweet Orange, it will leave you smelling like a Real Man in a good way!

And for the Travellin' Man - 'Departure Lounge' will be right up his runway - a cool range of stylish accessories, gadgets and toiletries with retro packaging and great prices.


As always we have a great range of Father's Day cards in store and each purchase will be gift-wrapped, free of charge with our usual flare!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Jewellery - Summer Dreams


hmmm......come on sunshine.

After a promising start, our Summer sunshine disappeared last week! But it's back ish & so here's your chance to get ahead and pick up some summer accessories to add to your holiday wardrobe.  For bold colourful statement pieces, check out Vincenza Dato's fabric wrapped hoops and bangles.



The Jewellery range by Satsuki May provides a sophisticated subtle and unique detail for a Summer Evening Outfit.


Pop by or browse here our extensive range of silver jewellery to suit all budgets; from the beautifully crafted silver and cz Angel Wing Ring and Earring set by Azendi at £100 through the simple and yet personal Initial Pendants at £20.  We have elegant pieces just right for your Weddings too -  Infinity Pearl Pendant and Earrings at £96 and don't forget we box and gift-wrap all Jewellery free of charge.
Finally my favourite, the 'circles' range from Dansk Smykkekunst, this Season's on trend Circles, Cylinders, Spheres and Discs.  An easy to wear, day to night - affordable range that will style up any outfit this Summer.


DISCOUNT: Please note we have a £5 FIVER off voucher running through until May 31st, please check your loyalty email or type FIVER code at the checkout online.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Happy Easter

We love Easter, it's the first big holiday since Christmas! It's beginning to feel properly like spring, with flowers popping up everywhere, longer, warmer days (and boy have and we been spoiled this year?) oh and then there's the chocolate! Ahhh but each year we are tasked with finding gifts which aren't just about sugar, so here's an Easter edit of our sugar free goodies!  Ceramic Bunny and Guinea Pig Egg Cups and Money Boxes from Quail from £11.95, Bunny and Baby Bunny Night Lights from £4.95.  These delightful hand-painted glass trinket eggs are perfect for tiny gifts and mini eggs and if you are going on an Easter Egg Hunt these Retro Jelly Bags are perfect for egg-gathering £5.95.  Gorgeous Egg Cups in Pink & Blue by Pip Studio and these grrrreat Dinosaur Egg Cups in Orange & Turquoise at £8.95

With a full range of Easter Cards in store too, we have everything you may need (except of course the Chocolate) - Happy Easter.
Easter Opening Times 
Good Friday     11am-4pm
Saturday      10am-6pm
Easter Sunday    closed
Bank Holiday Monday  closed