At last, somewhere to go to learn how to get the best out of life…why didn’t we think of this idea? The delightful Sophie Howarth, who was previously a curator at the Tate Britain, has set up what she calls a ‘chemist for the mind’ store in tucked-away Marchmont Street in London. Sophie offers ‘Ideas to live by’ via courses and lectures in subjects such as Play, Family, Love and Work, as well as a few quirky gifts and some well curated books.
Her tiny store has a daily aphorism in the window (when we visited it was “Love is a grave mental disease” Plato) to give passers by something to think about on their way to work, “But we have to be careful what we put up” said Sophie “if it sounds vaguely religious they think we’re a cult and we get no one in for the day”.
We love the idea that Sophie is selling a product that really will make us brainier as well as being fun and is giving education a sexy new make-over. Since we’re all feeling nervously guilty about spending money on frivolous clothing during these credit crunch moments, it’s a relief that we can still buy stuff and feel smug about it making us better people. Who knows, we may even end up being able to figure out how a hedge fund works.
There are also excellent ideas for Christmas presents coming, including a First Class Travel gift box, which includes a selection of the best travel books, a big Do Not Disturb sign for the lounge door and a ‘reserved’ sign for the best sofa in the house.