Below we’ve listed our current favourite Independent Manchester owned homeware brands to help put a bit of life back into your bare walls!
Proper Good Prints
The lockdown baby of shop owner, Abbie Franks, Proper Good Prints sells funky, feel good art and home decor inspired by all things Northern. Abbie designs all of the prints herself and has something for music lovers, cocktail connoisseurs, self love gurus and city-slickers in the form of wall art, tea-towels, phone cases and stationery.
The Neighbourhood Threat
Salford-based artist, Holly Ramsey began The Neighbourhood Threat as a way to feature her cool, quirky artwork in people’s front rooms. Her designs are totally unique, bursting with oddity and warm and welcoming weirdness, all handmade in her Salford studio. She’s got coasters with space age female fighters, Babycham cushions, 70s tupperware print tea towels and loads of ace wall art influenced by glam rock, theatre and Northern Manc heritage.
Caroline Dowsett is an artist, painter and maker based in Manchester, known for her work that’s full of movement, shapes, colours and lines. She’s influenced by feels, sounds and words from the everyday and works with a wide colour palette conveying a creative approach, alongside fluid shapes and words to convey messages and start conversations. She’s created murals and a range of versatile art prints to brighten any space that might look a bit empty after the dreaded Christmas decoration removal.
Shop Strawberry was set up by the brains behind the Grey Milk clothing line, Gwen Harris. The small, independent online store stocks everything from big, bright throws covered in smiley faces, to pillar candles, prints, kitchen trays and cushions to revive your home. Gwen’s distinctive style has filtered through to Shop Strawberry, with her signature pink tones and floral patterns taking you straight to your happy place. Gwen also runs the shop with her business partner, Poppy out of a teeny pink shed in the middle of her back garden!
Bloq is a concrete interior decor specialist based in Manchester, designed and created by Gabriella Ashcroft. Inspired by simple, Scandinavian homeware, Bloq’s collection is minimal but beautiful, blending perfectly into any room. Gabriella’s creative background in acting has given her the creative flow needed for Bloq, as she’s spent her career devising something small into a big project to be proud of. Her DIY approach has also helped to develop this idea into something tangible. You can check out her pieces on Instagram, but we’re still eagerly waiting for an online shop! Bloq will also soon be making its debut at Manchester’s creative markets.
Starting off her career selling hand-painted prints at makers markets around the city, Eleanor Bowmer has now successfully branched out to huge stores including Selfridges, Boots and John Lewis. Her love of bold prints and colours is apparent throughout her work, which now includes everything from leopard print dog bowls, a huge Christmas collection consisting of pyjamas, cards, gift wrap and stockings, as well as mugs, prints, tote bags, oven gloves and wallpaper. Her signature style celebrates the DIY, hand-painted aesthetic she started her business with, as, fundamentally she’s an artist and a dab hand with the paint brush, still hand-painting most of her designs now.
Artist, Kim Thompson creates a range of prints for your home taking inspiration from gothic portraits, and a love of kitsch, pop culture, folklore and Afrofuturism, which leads her to create vivid illustrations centring bold characters, both real and imagined. Kim’s work focuses on themes of nostalgia and fantasy, and of empowerment via otherness. You’ll also see a bunch of familiar faces on her page, too, as she’s a big fan of 70s music and cult-classic TV shows including, Twin Peaks and the Addams Family.
Maisy Summer’s illustrations paint pictures of Northern communities through nostalgia and childhood joy. Her distinctive style has a naivety to it through her hand drawn pictures of old washing up bottles, and Manchester music venues full of scribbled, disproportionate crowds surrounded by red hues and hand-drawn film posters. You can buy her work from her Etsy store, and she even does enamel pin badges and laser cut characters to pop around your home, too!
Illustrator, textile designer and small biz owner, Jessica Crawford, AKA Icka Print designs and sells an amazing collection of prints and cards. Her maximalist style blends big, bold prints with everything from eggs, cats, dogs in jumpers (I KNOW) and naked ladies running through fields to send to your best gal pal! Her design style is mystical, often clashing colours and prints to create prints that paint a big smile on your gob!
Nordic Muse is an own-label jewellery and branded Nordic lifestyle collective ran by Jenny Maxwell. They have their very own permanent bricks and mortar site on Tib Street in the NQ, offering up design-led products at the right price, with a curated range of wares from home, living, jewellery, accessories, cards, stationary and loads more!
Thanks a Bunch
Thanks a Bunch is a Manchester based homeware brand inspired by the little things in life. A morning coffee treat, freshly bloomed flowers, laughing till 3am, and park benches at sunset have all given designer, Carly Spencer her direction. All her pieces are made with love and you can catch her regularly down at Levenshulme market!
Helen Tiffany Glass
Helen Tiffany is a designer-maker working with glass and enamel. She specialises in screen printed glassware and enamelled silver creating colourful pieces for interiors and to wear. Inspiration for her glassware and jewellery is found in the everyday. Helen is drawn to structure, pattern and colour but it’s material qualities and techniques that lead her work. Above all, she enjoys the making process and is driven by a desire to create the best quality pieces, made by hand from start to finish.