In February I arrived back in London after a month of whirlwind travel in India. I had spent time visiting suppliers and learning the detailed ins and outs of my supply chain, an enlightening and sometimes overwhelming experience. Post travels, I felt the brand become something more tangible- as if that connection to the roots of the product had helped to make the business something more solid. At this point, the opportunity arose to take my favourite London shop on as a permanent space and it seemed the perfect time to give Henri a proper home.
Having done three pop-ups at 274 Hackney Road, I know the space like the back of my hand. It’s a joy to be back on a street that feels so familiar, surrounded by fellow shop-keepers that have welcomed me back with cups of tea and the occasional sandwich.
In preparation for full-time occupancy, I gave myself two full weeks to get everything done. And when I say everything, I mean everything. I learnt how to do each task on the job, having never so much as put a screw in before. With the help of some wonderful friends I tiled the inside counter, repainted walls, ceilings, skirting boards, put new flooring down, rescued the new flooring after a cold and rainy day left a lot to be desired, sanded the flooring, cleaned and sanded the exterior windows and signage, painted, re-painted, made rails and shelves, sanded, painted and treated the wood, sanded some more, put a new surface on the counter, painted SIX coats, fitted the more creative fixtures and then cleaned and laid out stock in a presentable way. Each part of the process involved trips to builders merchants who were all extremely helpful if a little bemused.
I shared the process of the shop fit on my Instagram stories to give a live feed on how things were coming along. It was so lovely to have messages of support along the way from those who were watching the journey. But best of all was opening the shop and meeting lots of lovely ladies who had come to visit after watching the process unfold online.
Whether you live in Hackney or further afield, it would be a joy to welcome you into our lovely little shop. We love to meet our customers so please do pop in for a browse of the collection and a good chat.