When we first stumbled upon Search & Rescue, it was a warm April afternoon, during a wander down Stoke Newington Church Street (which we never venture to because the Tube doesn’t go there… Yes, yes, we know, poor excuse. Anyway…). We were wandering around that postcode because we had just gone to pick up a stash of Kilner and Weck glass jars for an absolute bargain (she was moving countries), and so paused to poke our noses into the shops lining the road.
Lucky for us, we didn’t walk right past Search & Rescue, although we nearly did. If we had, we would have missed this gem of a shop!
The store is called Search & Rescue because the two main creative brains, Clare and Louise, search high and low to find beautiful and interesting products to fill their shop space with, often needing to rescue the objects from unlove and restoring them to new life and interest.
Search & Rescue is managed by Clare, whose background is in vintage buying, costume making and design means that you are greeted with a clear artistic aesthetic and voice, when you walk into the shop. Buyer and visual merchandiser, Louise, has a background in design and photography, which really explains the stylised layout of the merchandise. Louise hunts through design blogs, magazines, industry journals, for inspiration, and then heads off to markets, auction rooms, antiques halls to transform those ideas into stock for Search & Rescue.
If you are looking for quirky, refound objects, you won’t be disappointed – This cleverly curated store carries a range of homeswares, gifts, and other seemingly random items that are somehow incredibly desirable (it’s amazing how compelling good visual merchandising can be…). Here, you will find contemporary and vintage homewares sat side-by-side, casually set on a table, in a shelf, on a bench, as if they already belonged to someone, and had been artfully left on display. We particularly love shops with one off pieces of reclaimed or vintage furniture, and Search & Rescue has enough to keep us happy an satisfied. and one off finds, soft furnishings, kitchen wear, crockery, ornaments, vases, framed prints, scented candles, Women’s Beauty, Men’s Grooming, leather goods, jewellery, gift wrap, greetings cards.
At Search & Rescue, there is one motto: If it’s beautiful, and they love it, they’ll stock it. Their main priorities are quality, beauty and uniqueness, and where possible, British-made. We love that Search & Rescue believe that it is important to support local designer-makers (it’s a real priority for us here at Courage & Dash!) – that, mixed with vintage finds makes the store a wonderful treasure emporium.
We loved the feel of the shop, and the way the merchandise is laid out, in an almost bazaar-like, yet styled fashion. Almost as if you are wandering through someone’s home. It’s an aesthetic that we are pleased to notice is slowly growing in popularity here; we call it “the Anthropologie feel”.
“Merchandising the shop is bit like a jigsaw,” Clare says. “We move the pieces around until they fit. It can be quite labour intensive, and definitely keeps us on our toes. The shop is in constant flux, it morphs and refreshes itself on a daily basis. It also keeps things interesting for both us and the customer.”
Definitely one of our favourite shops in London – wish there was one right by us!
For more Search & Rescue goodness, visit http://searchandrescuelondon.co.uk/.
Search & Rescue
129 Stoke Newington Church Street
Images: Yeshen Venema via Search & Rescue