latest update: march 2019
i know i have a few other shop local blog posts up, but thought it would be great to compile my definitive – and ever-growing – list in one central space, to serve as a directory of my favourite independent artisans, curators, makers (and shakers) in the city.
this list comprises all the physical bricks-and-mortar stores that i love, with a list of further local designer/makers you can shop from online coming soon.
if there were ever an interiors store i’d happily just move straight in to, then moth on burton road in west didsbury is most definitely the one! owned by stylist and interior designer hazel marchant, moth has a beautifully curated edit of scandi boho design pieces that remind me of many of the dreamy australian design brands i’ve long coveted from afar on instagram. the whole store has the most wonderfully serene atmosphere with an organic eclectic twist that makes you want to pause awhile and just breathe in the beauty of it all. it’s even better if toy poodle monty is around to greet you with endless cuddles and excitable joy!
154 burton road, manchester m20
form lifestyle store
tucked away down a side alley between oldham and lever streets in the northern quarter, form lifestyle store may not be the easiest to stumble upon, but is definitely one worth going out of your way to hunt down. the form ethos is to champion slow-living, and this is reflected in store owners elly and harry’s thoughtful approach to buying; choosing to buy fewer, well-considered products that have been built to last and will take pride of place in your home. housed in an architecturally striking listed building, the store also plays host to regular intimate workshops led by many of their makers and other local creatives, including screenprinting, calligraphy and dumpling making! you can read my secret city interview with elly & harry here.
6 bradley street, manchester m1
neighbourhood design store object had been on my radar as one to watch long before i moved to manchester. founded by husband and wife team rachael and alex otterwell, this small but dynamic store has a charm that extends far beyond its fantastic edit of menswear, womenswear and objects for the home. supporting small independent business is at the heart of object’s ethos, and all of their pieces are sourced directly from designer makers who have often been discovered via instagram and pinterest, to ensure an edit that feels fresh and unique. whilst the shop space is fairly small, it packs in a lot of beautiful scandi and californian inspired design pieces, and plans are afoot for a new expanded premises later in 2019!
519 barlow moor road, chorlton m21
fred aldous is a veritable aladdin’s cave full to the brim with just about every kind of arts and craft product you can imagine. far from feeling stuffy though, the space is large, bright and cavernous, although every aisle is full to bursting with its wares. catering to all kinds of artistic pursuit, from traditional hobbies such as painting, model-making and knitting, to more obscure, niche pursuits such as laser-cutting, lampshade making and basketry. founded in 1886 as a basket-selling business during the height of the cotton mill era, the store has been handed down through five generations yet still feels fresh and contemporary, remaining a hub for the artistic community of the city.
37 lever street, manchester m1
nordic muse moved into their new home at hatch on oxford road in mid-2018, allowing founder jenny maxwell the chance to expand her product selection from her own-brand jewellery collection into a streamlined edit of contemporary and unpretentious nordic design brands. the space may be small, but its packed with hugely giftable items that are all so reasonably priced you won’t feel the pinch if you decide to duplicate your purchases and treat yourself at the same time! you can read my secret city interview with jenny here.
hatch, 103 oxford road, manchester m1
stepping into beaumont organic is like stepping into a little oasis of calm among the hubbub of manchester’s northern quarter. specialising in luxury casual garments made from natural, organic materials, beaumont organic’s first bricks-and-mortar store is full to the brim with gift ideas for the ethical shopper, that extend beyond the brand’s own-label contemporary easy-to-wear fashion pieces, to include locally produced ceramics, naturally scented candles and handmade one-of-a-kind artisan homewares.
49 hilton street, manchester m1
rose & grey
having started as an online-only business, rose & grey opened their bricks-and-mortar showroom on an industrial estate in altrincham a couple of years ago, offering an eclectic mix of furniture, lighting, kitchenware and decorative accessories, including an extensive selection of wonderfully lifelike faux plants. there’s a definite vintage flair mixed with contemporary elements in store, marrying the natural wood and exposed brick of their warehouse location with splashes of vibrant colour, industrial accents, and scandinavian charm. there’s also a dedicated corner of the showroom for you to enjoy a cup of coffee, pore over swatches, chat with the team and get inspired.
31 atlantic street, altrincham, wa14
a super stylish lifestyle store meets coffee and wine bar, porter+cole is a great place to stock up on christmas gifts whilst also enjoying a masterfully crafted coffee or a large glass of vino after a hard day’s work. located on the edge of the northern quarter, right next to popular food hall mackie mayor, this is the place to dash in to for a last minute gift that looks considered and beautifully thought out. there’s a refined edit of table and glass ware from many of my favourite scandinavian design brands (think broste copenhagen and house doctor), presented alongside an array of stylish stationery, luxury chocolate and sleek beauty brands.
124 high street, manchester m4
new to the northern quarter in summer 2018, nola is the second outpost for the brighton-based boutique, offering stylish clothing, footwear, jewellery and accessories with a focus on considered modern design. they’ve recently opened up the second floor of their port street store, showcasing select homeware pieces from nordic brands such as skandinavisk, hk living and claystreet, to complement their stylish edit of fashion pieces downstairs, from the likes of selected femme, marimekko and kings of indigo. there’s also beautifully illustrated chocolate bars from edinburgh-based coco chocolatier, and perfectly scented candles from boy smells.
54 port street, manchester m1
located directly opposite the market hall in altrincham’s stamford quarter is quirky interiors and gift store idaho, which takes its name from the american state origins of the western cedar wood that gives the shop a warm, welcoming feel and lovely heady scent. founded by interior stylist amy bartlett, idaho stocks a colourful array of decorative homewares, ceramics, stationery, gift wrap and cards that make this the perfect place for finding an unusual gift for that difficult-to-buy-for person. there’s an emphasis on work from small designers and brands from europe and the states, with natural skincare from meraki sitting alongside organic linen aprons and woven basketware, plus unique jewellery designs from the likes of datter industries and marta pia.
56 greenwood street, altrincham
all photography © kate baxter, aka fabricofmylife