Thursday, 23 May 2019 14:57


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Easter pop up shop, Grand Designs Live, open air market in Muswell Hill... there's a spring in our step (stools) here at Stool Central.

Of Special Interest
Of Special Interest… shopportunity in London N8

Spring is well and truly sprung at Giggy & Bab this year, with stools springing up all over the place like daffodils on a grassy bank. As people shake off the winter chill, thoughts turn to spring cleaning and all manner of reaching up activities, from dusting away cobwebs to pruning the roses. Enter a rather fetching and useful step stool.

Easter saw Giggy & Bab dipping its toe into retail, albeit for two days only. A selection of stools were beautifully displayed in the window of Crouch End homeware stalwart, Of Special Interest, run by the irrepressible Belinda. I've long been a fan, and so I was delighted when she offered a pop up shopportunity at her gorgeous shop on Park Road, and the chance to bring the stools before the discerning burghers of London N8.

In early May, Giggy & Bab headed to ExCeL in east London's Docklands for Grand Designs Live, as one of five lucky winners of a Design Discovered bursary. Warm thanks to interiors journalist Barbara Chandler and show organizers Media 10 for the amazing opportunity to appear at this prestigious show. It was a treasure trove of everything you could possibly need to know or buy for a new build or refurb, from advice and talks to state of the art kitchens, from artisans to architects to artworks... to mops.


Mike and Sophie
Interactive reaching wall at Grand Designs Live

Trade was brisk on Stand E25 in the Design Arcade. I was ably assisted by my chief saleswoman (honorary) and all-round fantastic sister Vanessa, whose enthusiasm, creativity and hard work made it a breeze. Not to mention her impeccable dress sense, with outfits chosen to match the merch (except on build-up day when she was forced to wear the obligatory hi-vis gilet). The stand looked great, and kids loved our interactive "reaching wall" - designed for them to climb up a stool and get down a tin from the highest shelf they could reach. Good game!

ExCeL's Docklands location brought the stools to a new audience, with visitors from east London and Essex adding to the usual mix. I met many lovely people, from Ikraam in the East End to Dawn and Kevin from Southend to Miriam and Pete in Crouch End.


Mike and Sophie
Like grandfather, like granddaughter - Mike and Sophie

Fellow standholders were charming, talented and hardworking, and it was a pleasure to spend time with them... and to lend a helping stool when needed. Marcus of The Future Mapping Company availed himself of a Birchwood in pale grey to hang a map on his stand, while Mike nipped up a mint green Blackheath to straighten Lovia's pelmet on Drapery Box. But the stools were not just pressed into service for utilitarian purposes - Mike's granddaughter Sophie is on one just for the pleasure of climbing up and standing on top.

My only regret? I narrowly missed meeting the legend that is Kevin McCloud (gnash, gnash). Ah well, at least I have the entire series of Grand Designs on DVD....


Muswell Hill Creatives summer market
Muswell Hill Creatives summer market… but still nippy

Next! Muswell Hill Creatives summer market was held a few days later, bringing together a clutch of local talent, with products ranging from leather wares to knitwear, from jewellery to ceramics and beyond.

This is the second time Giggy & Bab has had a guest stall there and I am proud to be associated with these talented artisans, whose products are appreciated by the receptive citizens of London N10. They are partial to a step stool and all!



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