love the new idea, it’s very you,” gushes an enthusiastic shopper as she mooches around the typically calming space. Relaunching this month as insidestore (sic), the N19 retail gaff known for over half a decade as Future and Found will, of course, continue to sell locals a unique mix of designers. But now there’s a rebooted USP (more of which below) – not to mention spacious new showroom upstairs.
The multi-roomed store always makes a relaxed place to browse: muted tones mingle with a dash of exposed brick, a soothing soundtrack, the quiet courtyard strewn with foliage inviting customers to order a coffee and pull up a pew for a moment’s respite. Which is of course what we do, grabbing Andrea for a few questions:
What own brand products have you developed? We’re aware of the areas where we don’t have a strong range, either because it doesn’t exist from our suppliers or it’s not very commercial: they’re what we’re tackling now, starting with accessories. Textiles are a big part of it –bed and bath linen, ceramics and candles. Storage units too, because a lot of our clients have children and find it tricky to source something that’s design-led; everyone ends up with the same Ikea pieces. I can’t believe it’s taken us this long to do it, but in a weird way I’m quite pleased. We talk to our clientele so much and know what they want.
How would you describe the style? Very simple and modern, with a practical and aesthetic side: the aim is that it looks good but actually ticks a box in terms of functionality. With our towels, we’re making sure the tags are in the right place, so they hang properly. We’re looking at frustrations we have, trying to remedy them and also make things versatile. Tufnell Park is a really unpretentious area, we don’t have many big flash spenders, it’s all quite considered. We have to be sensible and realistic with our price points.
And how did you decide on the name? It came from a ton of brainstorming. We like the word inside: it’s a nod towards interiors, plus we go into homes and also welcome consumers into our shop. By appending store, it’s instantly clear that you can buy from us; this particularly applies when searching online. It felt like a really massive decision, like some kind of dirty secret. Hopefully people will get excited; it’s about our next chapter.
So, what’s up the spiral staircase? We’ve turned it into ‘our place’. The light and airy rectangular room will be displayed like a flat; we can be quite playful with things. We do a bit of interior designing; the local builder we work with has fitted the kitchen for us –we’re using that as a showcase for his work. There’ll also be a dining and living area plus a home office. We’re even going to a rescue centre and getting some cats; they’ll have the most luxurious digs ever. I really like the vibe of a place that’s got animals. Below, the existing ground floor will house best-sellers that we feel super confident in; we’ve got that safety net.
The new packaging’s snazzy. It’s all been designed in-house. We deliberately chose a lowercase ‘i’ in the name; the dot’s slightly oversized and is part of the neon graphics we’re using. There’s a macaroni and stick shape too. They all form the logo for our updated gift wrapping and postcards.