Community is a word we are seeing and hearing a lot of at the moment; communities standing together to fight for what they believe in, brands building, nourishing and responding to the values of their online communities and physical communities pulling together to elevate each other through what has been an ongoing uphill battle for small, independent businesses.
We're currently thinking of our local borough of Hackney, an area of London that has undergone a vast amount of change in a relatively short timescale, yet one where a strong sense of community still prevails.
It's refreshing to see businesses in Hackney show continuous support for one another in caring for their neighbours, a notion which has played a key role in our cultural history during times of economic, social and political adversity. When did we forget to keep the people around us close?
As Adam Hardiman of E8's neighbourhood restaurant Madame Pigg puts it:
'Without the locals, we would be nothing. We train our staff to know there's only one way to run this restaurant; knowing the names of our customers and what tables they like to sit on. We have people travelling from all over to visit us, but without the loyalty of the community I wouldn't have a restaurant.'
Which brings us nicely to a round-up of some of our beloved Hackney brands, who have spoken to us on the significance of the community to their biz.
Palm Vaults @palmvaults
If your sweet tooth was craving an indulgent pastry or a velvet rose latte served in a vintage cup with a side of sass, this is where you’d be. Palm Vaults is East London’s once-seen-never-forgotten cafe that rocks the 1950’s pastel pink interior, wooden floors and potted greenery for days. Whilst we daydream in matcha-heaven about their homemade cakes and banana bread, keeping up with the naughty merch launches on their feed has given us some life.
Fruity Booty @fruitybootyunderwear
Our all-female team will tell you just how much we appreciate this approachable lingerie brand for bunning off the outdated and generic advertising approach to women’s underwear. No one wants that false flawless bulls*t anymore. But seeing Fruity Booty’s models portrayed in an unedited, natural light makes us feel good about our own bodies. On lockdown, co-founder Minna explains how ‘the cultivation of local friendships definitely feels more important than ever’.
House of Lady Muck @houseofladymuck
This pampersome made-in-Hackney beauty studio sees to your manis and pedis with the sickest nail art that accommodates to the minimalistic designs as well as the outrageous ones. Having collaborated with the likes of Nike, Monki, Selfridges and Dazed, HOLM have taken luxurious self-care further with their delicious fragrances, candles and beauty gems. Lady Muck herself, Laura Southern, explained to us how ‘there is such an appetite to support independents in Hackney which I’d never take for granted, I can’t wait to grow the HOLM community in our fave location’.
The Pickle House @thepicklehouse
It all began with their staple original pickle juice and now these guys have brought us an array of mixes sure to tickle your pickle - including a divine Spiced Tomato Mix that has upped Truffle’s Bloody Mary game to new levels. Their book Pickle Juice is filled with quick, clever recipes for cocktails and juices too, so there’s zero excuse not to spice up your weekend brunch.
Meringue girls @meringuegirls
In 2012, two chefs met whilst working together in an East London restaurant. Since then, we’ve seen their supa-cute GRL PWR bakery flourish through its socials to become a mesmerizing, sweet AF collaborator across the fashion and food industry. These to-die-for deserts mean bizniz with cakes, cookies, tarts and obviously meringues for every possible occasion. We can’t wait to hit up Broadway Market and their wicked masterclasses, but in the meantime will be getting our galentines orders in ASAP.
My Lady Garden @myladygarden
Kai’s flower studio in Dalston brings with it a unique kind of botanical pleasure, with bold custom made bouquets that can only rightfully be described as flower porn. The imagination of these devilish florists is reflected in their curaaazy palettes and freaky combinations which have been recignised alongside campaigns with Lily Allen. Speaking with founder Kai, she said ‘I can’t thank our customers in Hackney enough. Their loyalty and constant cheerleading have been the source of all our business growth during the pandemic’.
Gaia Guru @gaia_guru
If you’ve read The 4 CBD Products You Should Get To Know then you’ll be familiar with Gaia Guru; the East London edition boy band within the CBD space. They offer an impressive range of CBD based products for those wishing to embrace a healthier, optimised lifestyle. Whilst they're currently cooking up some mean CBD infused recipes and hosting online sound healing sessions, you’ll usually catch them at Chatsworth Road Market on Sundays, serving up all the CBD coffee goodness.
We hope you'll join us in staying up to date with all of the news, collections and launches from our local faves and consider them in your February purchases... including any Valentine's, Galentine's and Palentine's gift choices 😉