If you are in or around Camden -perhaps off to see the Ron Arad Curtain Call we talked about last week- make time to pop into the delightful new craft store Slanchogled, which is a little piece of heaven if you are keen on craft. Most independent craft stores I get to see are a bit on the twee side and aimed at kids or nans, with nothing much in-between. Slancogled is a well known craft chain in its home country of Bulgaria (Slanchogled means sunflowers) where it has branches in Sofia and Varna. The Camden store, which opened in June, is its first shop outside of its home country and a few of the expert Bulgarian team have come over to help set up the store and what a lovely bunch they are.
Jiuka, the manager explained to me that in the spacious two level store they hope not only to stock the best quality, cutting edge craft materials but also to run classes on many craft techniques starting from late September. The store is light, airy and beautifully set out, with lots of artful display to demonstrate what you can achieve. Best of all is the great assortment of product, from well priced ribbons (sold on the roll as well as by the metre), fabric paints, stylish beading threads to decoupage paper in gorgeous designs and banks of sketch books and art paper. It’s still a hobby art and craft store, but with style.
I bought large pieces of tree bark (sustainably sourced) to do something with (no idea what but I loved it, you spray water on it to soften and mould it) and some unusual transparent wrapping paper, which was packed up in the best point of sale wrapping I have seen in a long time, thick brown paper wrapped creatively and tied with violet coloured raffia ribbon. How could anyone resist?
We’ve been talking for a while about how craft and make-your-own has started to reappear as a trend among not just our age, but also younger generations. In a world dominated by quick disposable purchases, particularly of clothes, it’s good to see that there is still room to appreciate the huge satisfaction of making something yourself and we hope the store does really well.
Slanchogled uses Facebook in Bulgaria with huge success and it is building up its UK site to be the main way of talking to its consumers, so if you are interested then seek them out. Slanchogled on Facebook
Slanchogled, 66 Chalk Farm Road (Just opposite The Round House) Camden Town, NW1 8AN, tel 07586 251594