Thursday, 19 September 2013

ArchWay with Words

We're really enjoying the prospect of the spotlight being on Archway next week as Archway's first literary festival hits loads of venues around Archway. For anyone who has failed to notice all the excitement - Archway has a new 8 day literary spectacular with superstar Authors & Wordsmiths which is to be hosted throughout Archway. ArchWay with words kicks off this Saturday 21st September "Super Saturday", with an all day event on Archway Close (Archway Island). Archway Methodist Hall is hosting an afternoon of fascinating talks and readings and is featuring local Author Caitlin Davies, her recent book 'Camden Lock and the Market' (did I mention it features a very young Ian Morris?) is on sale here together with her book Taking the Waters' '.

The Festival has an imaginative and eclectic line up and features events as diverse as an evening of performances by Jah Wobble to a quiz about books, film quotes and songs at our neighbours the Oak and Pastor, my particular favourite idea, is the flash mob singing Wuthering Heights outside the Post Office (I do so hope someone takes a good video!) See the ArchWay with words website for the full line up! Or pop into the shop for a copy of the Event Listings Programme! You can also buy tickets here!

We have entered into the spirit of all things literary and sourced some quirky products to help celebrate this event.

These fun board books for kids are a great gift at 5.99! Wuthering Heights is a first book about the weather and Pride and Predjudice a first counting book!

We have literary jewellery by Scribilicious

A journal and Diary

And many more products in store- come and have a look!

The festival was commissioned by the Archway Town Centre Group (ATCG) and funded by Islington Council and ‘Word 2013′. It has had some great press - have a click to read,

Archway gets a new literary festival - The Londonist
Archway with words - The Kentishtowner
Read all about it - Archway's first book festival - The Islington Tribune
Literary Festivals head to head - Timeout

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Ich Bin Kentishtowner: Ian Morris, co-owner, Map Gift Shop

Ich Bin Kentishtowner: Ian Morris, co-owner, Map Gift Shop

‘The worst thing anyone’s said to me? Are you retiring soon?’
Ian Morris: ‘What makes me unhappy? Retail in August.’
Having worked through the 80s as a textile designer producing hand-printed fabrics for the fashion industry, Ian Morris established Map in 1990 with Kathryn Phalp. Venturing into the world of decorated china and glass, Map developed an international reputation from their studio/shop on Junction Road. In 2000 they moved to new premises and began to concentrate on retail, with Kathryn producing one-off pieces of jewellery, and Ian continuing to make original pieces of artwork in sandblasted and handpainted glass. He’s currently putting the final touches on a quirky new Archway-inspired product range which will be in store soon.
When were you happiest? 
The first day we opened the shop in Junction Road: really stressful, but rewarding.
Where would you like to live?
In Archway Tower: best view in north London.
What is your favourite sound or smell?
The smell of a good Sunday lunch wafting into the shop from the St John’s Tavern across the road.
"The best view in north London?"
‘The best view in north London?’
What is your greatest life achievement?
That Kathryn and I have managed to run such a successful business for over 20 years.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Don’t judge a gift by its price.
What is your earliest K-Town memory?
Cycling through Kentish Town at 1am and ‘experiencing’ the nightlife of 80s London; it was quite a thing for a country boy.
What makes you unhappy?
Retail in August.
What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
More sunshine.
What is your most unappealing habit?
Talking about the weather… all the time!
What is your guilty pleasure?Asking customers to get me a hot chocolate from the Bread & Bean.
Who or what do you hate and why?
People with narrow minds.
The shop on Junction Road
The shop on Junction Road
Best and worst experiences in the neighbourhood?
Best: turning shop customers into friends. Worst: doing Camden market in the 80s when all it did was rain.
What’s the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
“Are you retiring soon?”
Tell us a secret.
I’m not naturally this tanned.
What has your career taught you?
Think about it overnight.
What is your favourite dish and why?
A cheese platter from Truffles in York Rise.
What did you do today? 
Wrapped gifts and talked about the weather.
Describe yourself as an animal.
I’ve never really thought about what I’m most like, but I was once described as a brown bear.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Have a listen to Ian talking about the Archway Shopfront Scheme

Ian Morris talking about Archway's Shopfront Scheme

Shops and business in Archway are being given a brand new look as part of a £2 million regeneration package from Islington Council. Work is underway to transform up to 18 old shopfronts, including a gift shop, cafĂ© and tailor to make Archway town centre more attractive for residents and visitors alike. Among the first shopfronts to be finished was Map Gift Shop in Junction Road, which is also celebrating its 20-year opening anniversary this year. Islington-based Lyndon Goode Architects worked closely with shopkeepers and the council to develop the shopfront designs.


Feeling a little Autumnal?

Wow what a summer that was!

Brrrr........It has turned Autumnal overnight - exciting times at map gift shop as we are hitting the shows to source the absolute best gifts and products for the season ahead - is it too early to mention Christmas? (yes I think it probably is!)

Forest Friends continues to be a big theme and with new products on their way soon.......

We love this adorable new range from Magpie designed by Nicky Sloane and it fits perfectly with our Autumn 2013 collection.

Textiles are also close to our hearts and this range designed by Textile Designer Carola Van Dyke also captured our imagination.  With an eclectic mix of vintage and modern fabrics her "paintings with fabrics" have been interpreted by magpie to produce this nostalgic range on ceramics. 

Back in store with new designs following soon - these handmade felted slippers and throws - our favourites are Finlay fox and Billy badger!

Cosy up with these fabulous cushions in ditsy vintage fabrics.

We are also looking forward to featuring this little chap..........
Hedgehog Cushion £29.95

recently voted as the "National Species for Britian"  We are on the look out for prickly products to form an "Array of Hedgehogs" (don't you just love those collective nouns) following on from our "Skulk of Foxes" and "Parliament of Owls" see these collections on Pinterest.

Update:  27/09/13

He's here.......Hedgehog cushions joins his woodland friends in our Autumnal Window....stop by this weekend for a look!