Founded in January 2015, Blacksmith Store is a South London based online retailer with a unique offering of hand-selected well-crafted goods from around the world. We’re super excited to welcome them into our little print community and couldn’t wait to get the scoop on how they started out, their transition from the world of physical to online retail and plans for the future. If you’re curious too then read on!
The Blacksmith Store studio in 3rd Rail Print Space
1. For anyone who isn’t familiar with Blacksmith Store can you tell us a little bit more about what you do?
Blacksmith Store is an online retailer offering a selection of handpicked apparel and accessories from across the globe, alongside in-house branded products. There’s a big focus on working with brands and manufacturers who have been in their field for a long time and do it better than the rest! Whether it’s 100-year old, family-run denim manufacturer Round House or Artex Knitting Mills who manufacturer headwear for some of the world’s most sought after luxury brands. I’m as transparent as possible about where the product is coming from and offer the same quality these luxury brands can at a fraction of the price and without garish branding. All the brands Blacksmith carries are exclusive to the store within Europe, offering a more unique experience to my customers. Blacksmith branded products follow suit with consciously manufactured goods at an accessible price-point but with subtle branding and referencing art, music, films etc. that I’m into.
2. And how did you get started?
I started out printing t-shirts and skateboards and selling them online but it was always just for fun, I’m not very good at sitting still and need projects to get obsessed with! Whilst I was studying Photography at Brighton University I started buying and selling stuff online and got really into it. I moved to London and started to try and get my foot in the door at an e-commerce company to see how it’s done properly. Blacksmith was always running well in the background but I often had to keep that quiet from employers. It was never my main focus, more just a chance for me to experiment with ideas I had that weren’t right for the companies I was working for. I managed to work for some brands I really look up to which taught me a lot but I had a pretty serious illness last year which resulted in some brain surgery and a grand epiphany so 6-months ago I took on Blacksmith full-time!
3. What do you look for when trying to find new brands to stock?
The main thing I look for is authenticity, I only want to work with brands who I can be completely transparent about with regards to their labour, sustainability and overall ethos. It’s important for me to be able to get customers excited about the product they’re paying for and offer something people want to buy into because of it’s quality, history and core values.
4. In 2015 you transitioned from selling your products in retail spaces to selling online, why did you make this move?
Wholesale was always hard work for me as it’s really time-consuming and I was working for someone else 9-5, that coupled with me having to put my prices up left a bit of a sour taste. It felt like I was adding an unnecessary middle-man into the process and ultimately only impacting the end consumer in a negative way. I’ve always wanted the products I sell to be fairly priced and properly communicated, you lose all control of both when working with retailers and you’re completely at their mercy! Focusing on dealing directly with customers is a plus for everyone.
5. Is there anything exciting coming up in 2019 that you’d like to tell us about?
I’m really excited to release the first full cut & sew Blacksmith collection this Spring which what I’ve dreamed of doing for ages! I’m lucky enough to be working with some great suppliers on outerwear, trousers, shirting and jersey. It’s always been tough because a lot of factories have extremely high minimums and churn out as much product as possible with no regard to the quality or the environment, thankfully I’ve been able to avoid those!
6. And finally what are your favourite spots in Peckham?
– The Gowlett Arms
– Taco Queen
– Rye Lanez Tattoo
– Done London in Holdrons Arcade
For more information about Blacksmith Store or to shop their latest collections head to balcksmith-store.com
For details about hiring a private studio in 3rd Rail Print Space email firstname.lastname@example.org