We already know that Brighton and Hove has some of the most unique and fabulous independent businesses around. But now, not one or two but three of the city’s businesses have been named in the 50 best independent shops in the UK.
At a time when businesses need a boost, The Sunday Times Style magazine decided to highlight some of the best independent shops and it included three from Brighton – Our Daily Edit, a shop selling a carefully curated selection of menswear, womenswear and lifestyle products in Ship Street; Wolf & Gypsy Vintage, which sells a carefully considered range if hand-picked vintage and new clothing and accessories in Sydney Street; and Unlimited, a design studio with shop and gallery on the Lower Promenade, Kings Road Arches.
Our Daily Edit, which was set up by Ella Wells and Marc Lewis in 2014, was described in the magazines as ‘a hotspot for under-the-radar brands’. Wolf & Gypsy Vintage was hailed a shop that ‘comes up trumps pretty much every time’ with founder Laura Pollard hitting on a ‘winning formula’.
Unlimited was described by TV presenter Michelle Ogundehin as ‘a beautifully curated design shop and gallery’ which is ‘located right on the seafront, it’s a veritable treasure trove of genuinely interesting up-and-coming to established artists and designers’. Michelle adds: “Super reasonably priced for such lovely work too, so great for self-gifting as well as unique treats for those you love.”
The Brighton Indy spoke to Unlimited owners Sara and Patrick Morrissey. The couple explained how Unlimited showcases other designers and makers to bring together the very best in creative talent. They offer a diverse and dynamic range of playful and experimental graphic-flavoured prints, jewellery, homewares, textiles, furniture and more.
Initially formed as Unlimited graphic design studio, the shop started as a pop-up in 2010 showcasing the couple’s own design work alongside a collective of like-minded illustrators, designers and makers. It quickly grew from there, and in 2013 Unlimited moved to larger premises in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine. For eight years they were open six days a week, holding a great many showcases and exhibitions in their space, plus creating a number of amazing murals.
In February 2020, Unlimited shop relocated to a new space on Brighton’s seafront in Kings Road Arches.
Sara said: “We opened our seafront shop and gallery a week before the first lockdown. Two years old next month, it’s been an interesting/challenging time to be in retail. Despite everything – the stops and starts of multiple lockdowns and having to try and cater to a more remote audience at times, plus ever changing restrictions etc – we’re hanging in. It’s obviously been tough for everyone, but we’re thankful for our supporters both old and new, and we’ll continue to do what we love and hope they love it too.”
Responding to being listed in the 50 best independent shops, Sara added: “It was a lovely boost. We’ve been very proud to have been featured in Elle Decoration a few times over the years we’ve been going, and it’s just great to know we’re still considered to be ‘up there with the best’! The positive support and feedback from Michelle Ogundehin and ST Style is obviously a real boost and affirms that we’re offering something special.”
Looking forward, Sara said the couple’s aim is to continue to forge new connections with other skilled creatives, and to source, provide and promote a great selection of concept-led, unique, affordable and innovative work.