At Decorex last week I heard a talk by Shaun Clarkson and Paul Brewster, the slick duo behind lifestyle shop/cafe Pitfield in Shoreditch. It was fascinating to hear how quickly they have established their brand despite only opening last December.
Pitfield sells a range of colourful and eclectic hipster-happy old things alongside new things with a cafe, deli and exhibition space to boot. You'll find sixties chairs in new fabrics, ceramics, candles, vintage lamp bases with new shades, displays of old brushes and feather dusters; in essence it's a very carefully considered (in order to look random) assortment of things you probably can't afford. And it could easily moonlight as a set on an episode of Portlandia.
To get something like this off the ground it certainly helps if you've spent twenty years in the trade. Clarkson is an established interior designer (with offices upstairs) and the man behind nineties style bars Pop and 10 Rooms, and gastro pub The Albion, who pretty much knows what we want before we want it, and Brewster is a textile designer.
But despite the duo's obvious ease in collating a kick-ass collection of designer ephemera it hasn't all gone as expected. The big hit has been the cafe - a late addition to the master plan - which took over to the point where they had to get someone else in to run it. Croissants are now baked on site from 5am and they took the Pitfield brand on the road by doing a pop-up cafe at Tent London and served 8,000 coffees in four days.
The future may lie in the cafe, but at least the iittala cups they use are on sale in the shop.