Freight HHG, a household goods and knitwear shop, is located in the charming East Sussex town of Lewes. Established in 2014, by mother and daughter partners, Helene and Adele Adamczewski, who both value good design, high quality and functionality in the goods they source for their shop. These elements shine through in the simplicity and focus of their beautifully curated vision.
Who designed the Freight shop? Adele and I designed the shop. We had a week to turn it around so kept it very simple and rather basic but that’s how we like our spaces to be. Our lovely shop counter was made from extra wide planks by Konrad, my husband and Adele’s father.
What are you famous for? We would like to think that we are known for the unique design and quality of our products and also for our great customer service! Our own brand soap and candles have quite a steady following as do our alpaca socks.
Where and how are products made? We design the majority of our products and work directly with the makers and manufacturers. All of our own brand products are made in the UK. We do not go to trade fairs to buy. Ever.
What do you think makes your store unique? We like to think that it’s because we follow our own ‘rules’ and have a strong identity and confidence in our choices. The people who ‘get’ us appreciate it and those who don’t, where possible, and if they’re interested, we will try to explain our aesthetic and ethos.
Who are your customers? We have an established and loyal customer base in Sussex from having been here for so long which has grown to be worldwide since creating our online store.
Has the internet impacted your business? The internet has made it harder to be unique. Freight was in essence a response to wanting to be truly independent and not slavishly following trends and fashions. The internet has enabled us to reach customers who have found us via instagram which has led them to our online store.
Adele & Helene Adamczewski, shopkeepers at Freight
What inspires you? We get real pleasure from working with the crafts people with whom we develop our products. There’s nothing more exciting to us than learning about the processes and pushing the limits of the materials and what can be done. We are always about ‘what if…’
Before being a shopkeepers at Freight.. Helene ran ‘Adamczewski’ a housewares shop in lewes for over twelve years, and Adele trained as an architect.
The hardest lesson learned in business Was that not all shopkeepers are born equal. There were moments in the early days when I learnt the hard way about who to trust in the business community. They were hard and painful lessons.
What task do you like to delegate? Social media (done in house) and updating our inventory.
Advice to anyone wanting to open a shop Be yourself and trust your instincts.
Which famous people would you like to visit your shop? Nigel Slater and Grayson Perry.
Perfect day off? Eating something delicious with lovely people.
Do you have any favorite shops? Markets and junk shops. Locally, Flint Owl bakery for delicious coffee and excellent bread.
I wish I could… Swallow swords and sing.
On the Future of Retail
“I think High Street retail is becoming harder for smaller independents and that originality and diversity is the way forward if we want to continue to exist.”
71 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex
Photographs by Anna Jacobsen, photographer & creative consultant We Are Here Now
Shopkeeper photo courtesy of Susan Bell