Saturday, 24 March 2012

Home Store Hastings - A Marvellous Store

A marvellous and intriguing new store has opened in the old town district of Hastings.

As I'm currently living in the area I was delighted to have a look around and chat to the owner Alastair Hendy, who obligingly let me take some interior shots.

He is well known in the area, and has always had connections to Hastings as his Grand Parents used to live here. He explained that this area has always felt like home to him.
Alastair is a well established photographer, food writer and stylist and regularly contributes to journals such as Marie claire, Olive, Saturday Telegraph and the mail on Sunday. He is also a style and food consultant for M&S and Sainsburys.

I felt quite privileged to have this opportunity to write about this latest project of his which he has been planning and collecting for, for about six years.

The concept is essentially a hardware store delivered with style, and attention to detail. Like a bygone department store on a small scale; selling beautifully crafted brushes, kitchen ware, sanitary ware, textiles and vintage pieces. Alastair explains that it reflects a conscious return to old values; values that he's always had.

The products have a utilitarian feel, and simplistic beauty. Alastair feels that in times of austerity people are wanting to choose their purchases more carefully; something useful and decorative, that has quality and will last.

I was very pleased that the majority of Alastair's suppliers are in the UK, with a small amount from Germany. They are sourced with ecology in mind and are well made from natural resources such as boar hair and sustainable woods. I particularly like the mushroom brush, surely everyone needs one of those.

If you are an avid collector of well known vintage crockery such as green Beryl Ware or need to replace some broken pieces, this is the place to come as Alastair has a huge range of pieces in excellent condition.

He is still on the look out for a good string supplier and would like to stock an even greater selection of quality scissors than he already has. The current range made from Sheffield steel, includes even candlewick snippers and Tailors shears, amongst others.

The bones of the building are quite beautiful, from panelling to peeling walls and woodwork, all of which give the impression that they have always been there. However, I was astonished to hear that this was not so. Alastair had to source some of the backdrop from London and salvage places elsewhere. The building did have some of the desired 'look' but the enhancement of this is down to Alastair's creative abilities and meticulous attention to detail, all of which are testament to his vision and passion for his concept.

There is something here for everyone ; Alastair confirms that he has a broad customer base from London professionals to Local pensioners and his fan base is likely to get bigger, with plans in place for an on-line shop and the addition of a cafe serving sea food and local produce. The visit for me was a real experience.
I asked if he intended to role out this concept in other towns and he confirmed that he would like a Home Store this space.