At House of Coco magazine, we take great pride in showcasing everything the north has to offer. As a company founded in Leeds and with a founder who has a passion for all things Yorkshire, we are committed to highlighting the best of the region. Luckily, we are not alone...
Curated by Kate Baxter, founder of editorial website Fabric of the North, the 10-day event will shine a light on 24 independent Northern brands who represent the best in contemporary design in the North today.
With representative brands from across Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the product selection spans a diverse range of sectors from fashion, skincare and jewellery to homeware, stationery and publishing, highlighting the incredible wealth of creative talent operating in the North of England today.
As a collaborative venture between Yvonne Aboagye-Hobson, founder of TYRO (studios), and Baxter, North is Now will ultimately become a new community space for contemporary Northern brands to connect and gain access to small business support, advice and mentorship.
For the inaugural North is Now event, Aboagye-Hobson and Baxter wanted to provide small independent businesses the opportunity to showcase their goods in a unique retail setting, bringing a curated edit of mindful, aesthetic and sustainable items from handpicked businesses from across the North to a brand new audience, offering a platform to reach new customers and forge valuable relationships with fellow local brands and business.
The disparity between opportunities for small creative brands based in the South versus the North lies at the heart of the venture’s formation. In advance of the pop-up shop launch Aboagye-Hobson and Baxter hosted founders from four of the participating brands for a roundtable discussion about the challenges facing small businesses operating in the North today, with key soundbites from the discussion to be presented online and instore throughout the 10 day pop-up. Participating in the discussion were Chris Holden, founder of Manchester-based AJOTO; Emma Atherton, founder of Wirral-based luxury fashion brand EROSA; Habiba Desai and Sara Razzaq, founders of Bradford-based Fox & Windmill, the UK’s first independent book publishing company for British South Asian writers; and Charlotte Meek, Creative Director of The Stitch Society, based in Salts Mill, Saltaire.
The 24 Northern brands participating in the 10-day pop-up shop are:
Irene & Edith - founder Nichola Naylon creates hand built statement ceramics for the home combining textured clays, luxurious glazes and glimmers of gold and copper lustre.
Routes Interiors - timeless artisan textiles created by skilled workers and communities around the globe. Routes bring the natural world into the home, preserving traditional craftsmanship in products which are designed to last forever.
Utology - handcrafted shelving, storage and furniture which are simple in form, yet practical in function. Through clean lines, pared-back aesthetic and understated elegance, Utology offer timeless, high quality products which are designed to be valued and cherished forever.
Woodspring - hand poured soy wax candles, using essential and fragrance oils, presented in apothecary style amber glass jars.
AJOTO - combine the precision of advanced manufacture with the soul of craft, to offer sleek stylish pen designs for design lovers and modern travellers.
Ara the altar - With a circular economy in mind, founder Lauren King designs jewellery for longevity not trend, with minimal waste in mind, using only 100% recycled solid gold and silver
Cedar - an independent home fragrance and aromatherapy brand offering a range of hand-poured essential oils candles, essential oils blends for baths and diffusers, as well as ceramic air diffuser mood lamps.
EROSA - designed to celebrate the beauty of the human body and empower, Erosa is a luxury womenswear brand focusing on craftsmanship, innovation and fabric to deliver a modern feminine wardrobe with an edge.
Table Chocolate - Liverpool's first bean-to-bar chocolate brand, working in micro-batches to develop deep flavours and a rich smooth texture.
Pamoja - an award-winning skincare range created by Sarah Taylor, a trained skincare formulator, designed to bring a dose of kindness into your daily routine with skincare rituals that nourish your skin and nurture you.
Ran by Nature - ethical athleisure you can actually work out in, designed for people who want to move mindfully and live sustainably. The collections are seasonless, inclusive and sustainable as standard.
Collette Haigh - Lightweight, hand-crafted polymer clay jewellery.
Emily Georgina Jones - jewellery designs crafted using traditional silversmithing techniques. Each piece is a stand alone design, sometimes retaining unique and varied imperfections made during the crafting process – a visible trace of the gestures and hand movements made while forging each piece.
Lot : e - Lottie Edgar handcrafts clothing and accessories that combine simplicity with comfort, curating small timeless collections from a mixture of organic, bio-washed and dead-stock materials.
Pith - a refined selection of sketchbooks, notebooks, planners and pads, designed in collaboration with artists, illustrators and designers spanning multiple fields of expertise.
Amy Thomas Ceramics - small-batch wheel-thrown and handmade pottery made in Amy's small home ceramic studio in Haworth.
Anna Lisa Smith - simple, striking contemporary textiles for the home. All pieces are woven in local mills using the finest quality Lambswool and are hand finished in the studio.
Becca Macdonald - conceptual jewellery designs influenced by material experimentation. A common theme is documenting the 'evidence of presence' and human gesture.
Boniface - contemporary womenswear designed and made by Georgia Boniface prioritising high quality fabrics and structural simplicity to create elegant contemporary garments.
Fox & Windmill - the UK’s first independent book publishing company for British South Asian writers, dedicated to bridging the gap in the industry for writers from underrepresented backgrounds and sharing their unique stories and perspectives.
Klara Ceramics - small batch, handmade ceramics made in a small home studio in Shipley.
Modern Alchemy Jewellery - minimal handmade jewellery in sterling silver, designed for modern day wear.
NETT Exfoliator - originally from Ghana - where it is known as a ‘sapɔ’ - the NETT exfoliator's unique texture is perfect for maintaining smooth, soft skin and the length and shape is great for getting to those hard-to-reach places.
The Stitch Society - comfortable and durable workwear made from locally sourced and manufactured fabrics with minimal environmental impact.
We can't wait to see you there!