WHAT WE LOVE: A shop with two floors filled with beautifully designed objects for the home and life. Established in 2019, HOLD Brighton has a stunning shopfront with its graphic, gold signage is a testament to the delights and treasures that await customers inside.
WHO: Kelly Hyatt, creative director of Lagom Design, an award-winning boutique greeting card and gift wrap company also based in Brighton.
WHERE: 14 Bond Street, Brighton in the North Laine Bazaar.
In conversation with Kelly Hyatt, the shopkeeper at HOLD Brighton
What makes HOLD so unique? We love good design, and everything we sell is hand-picked with this passion in mind. At HOLD, we seek to discover products that enhance everyday life. We also take our responsibility to the environment very seriously and strive to source the most ecologically sound effects. From fragrances to stationery, from candles to wooden toys, we sell products designed to last, products you will want to hold on to.
Why did you choose the name HOLD? The name HOLD stands for House Of Lagom Design, and it’s a homage to our big sister company, Lagom Design. We wanted to give the nod to our beginnings but still create a brand for ourselves. I also love the connotation.
What are HOLD’s best selling products? Our best selling products vary at different times of the year, so I suppose we don’t have a ‘best seller’. That said, we sell lots and lots of cards from our sister company, Lagom Design. People love them!
Where are HOLD Brighton’s products sourced? Products are sourced from all corners of the globe. We always pick products that have a story and which are sustainable.
Who are HOLD’s customers? Hip, young at heart and design-conscious. People who shop carefully for things that will last.
How has the internet impacted your business? Having an online store has helped us get through such a challenging year for retail. We continue to curate a unique collection of our favourite brands and designers, sharing it with like-minded people worldwide. Our store is often the customers’ first introduction to HOLD, and the website enables the customer to continue to shop with us whether they are local or overseas.
Have you adapted your business to the coronavirus pandemic? The pandemic pushed us to get our online store up and running to continue to trade during the national lockdowns. We also implemented new safety measures in store for when shops were allowed to be open. Reduced capacity and social distancing seemed to positively affect the store, encouraging customers to browse more consciously and thoughtfully.
Kelly Hyatt, the shopkeeper at HOLD, Brighton
Who inspires you? The Late Terrence Conran, Roger Federer, and lighting designer Achille Castiglioni – to name a few.
What inspires you? Everything – good or bad.
Before, I was a shopkeeper. I’ve worked for Walkers Crisps as a potato cutter, a painter, a pie maker, a stint as a printer and a graphic designer, and owned a stationery company for 15 years. Alongside HOLD, I’m currently the owner and creative director of Lagom Design, an award-winning boutique greeting card and gift wrap company based in Brighton. I also own a design company called Hyatt Associates and have worked for the family of Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko.
Your favourite thing about owning an independent shop? I genuinely believe in bricks and mortar and love the interaction with customers. I also love the flexibility which comes from owning an independent store. Working with big retail stores via my other business, I see how slow they are to move with the times. With a smaller independent store, we’re able to react and change overnight. I also love it when new products arrive in the store – every day is Christmas!
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Do your homework and spend a reasonable amount of time researching products and places you plan to open. It’s also good to offer something which a customer can’t just pick up off Amazon. I think it’s essential to stock brands that are ethical while having a story behind the brand. It’s vital to have a good mix of unique products and prices from low, medium to the higher, more inspirational products. And pay attention to your space, making it an area in which customers want to shop. It’s also nice to hone in on the details, such as excellent packaging, freebies at the till, etc.
If you weren’t a shopkeeper, you would be..? A pilot or a garden designer.
What are your favourite local independent businesses? I love Pantechnicon, and I’ve always been a fan of the Conran Shop. The clothing store Trunk in Marylebone also ticks all the boxes when it comes to service and product selection. You also can’t beat a trip to Tokyo, who in my mind are the masters at retail.
ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
“I really can’t see an end to retail. We love consuming too much. However, I think buyers are thinking more before they buy and considering its impact on the earth – which is a good thing for sure. That said, I do notice the long queue outside Primark. I know it fits the budget for folks on a lower income, but let’s face it – you know, if you’re able to buy a dress for £10, then someone is suffering along the chain, and it will most likely end up in a landfill within six months contributing to more emissions. The big guys such as Amazon; will focus more on using technology to entice and lure customers while making ordering online even more seamless. For smaller retail outfits, then I think you’ll see more local, niche shops popping up, benefiting from lower rents. People have really missed human interaction during the lockdown, and our customers are happy to be back in the store, chatting to staff and enjoying the tactile experience of holding the goods. You can’t get that online.”
14 Bond Street, Brighton, East Sussex, U.K.