The Shopkeepers grew out of my love for design, shops and travelling.
My love affair with shops started when I visited London’s iconic Biba; I was totally in awe of Biba’s marvelous merchandising, it was like stepping into an enchanted world. Later in Dublin, as an art student, I enjoyed my part-time spent working in shops. After graduating college with a degree in printed textiles and fashion my wanderlust beckoned and I went on to live and work in London, Paris, and New York. A career spanning many amazing brands including Chloe, Karl Lagerfeld, Liz Claiborne, Gap, American Eagle and Orla Kiely, and travel dreams fulfilled by research and development travel throughout Asia and Europe. I loved witnessing the life cycle of products from concept to in-store, and all the stages in between. Although I have never had my own shop (but have come close many times) I have designed, sourced, merchandised, imported, managed, and wholesaled, some of the variety of roles a shopkeeper performs.
A pause in my career in 2015 led me to wonder what I would like to do next. I noticed with the advent of the internet major shifts in retail were happening. As stores became more empty it seemed that it was mainly tourists that had the time to visit shops in person. Strolling through a town or a neighborhood, stopping for coffee and visiting shops unique to that destination. How sad would our villages, towns, and cities be without independent shops to add variety and individuality to our travels?
The internet changed the way we shop. Everyday necessities are now a click away. Online shopping is a convenience but at the same time allows small makers and artisans to have a broader audience and reach their customers directly. Our shopping choices have become cluttered.
So back in 2015 I decided as much as I love designing I realized there is already enough wonderful product in this world. Instead I embarked upon a virtual creative path, and The Shopkeepers concept was born. I believe that independent shops are an integral part of our lives, whether local or faraway, they add vibrancy and community. The Shopkeepers is an ever-growing collection of our favorites, an opportunity for shopkeepers to share their stories and insights, and for you to explore and discover.
The Shopkeepers – Sharing A world Of Shops
Paula Flynn, Founder
Jack Clancy – Technical co-founder
An Diels – Branding
Stephanie Bateman Sweet – U.K. Contributor