ive miles from Birmingham city centre, in the bustling suburb of Kings Heath, husband and wife team Allison and Christian Sadler run The People Shop, a place they describe as “about much, much more than shopping. It's a happy friendly place, where we always have time for a good chat with our customers, we want them to have a lovely experience all served up with tea, cake and a smile!”
The couple have been designing clothing and homewares for over 20 years, originally selling at various markets in Birmingham and London and to indie stores up and down the country. They decided to set up their own lifestyle shop and design studio in one location back in 2000 and The People Shop was born.
Stocking an eclectic collection of handmade clothing, homewares and gifts, The People Shop is far from your run-of-the-mill boutique. The majority of products for sale are made by Allison and Christian’s own fair hands – the latter even offering his own range of 1950's vintage style wedding dresses. Supporting the work of other like-minded local designers is also important to the pair, who also source stock from small independent designers and makers that they love.
“We design and make most of the products we sell in store in our cute little studio at the back,” explains Allison. “We are happy to work closely with our customers to create products they fall in love with as much as we enjoy creating them and we only make a limited amount of each item, so the shop changes regularly and always looks exciting and fresh and new.”
The couple feel very much a part of the friendly bohemian vibe that resonates throughout the area, with Allison commenting: “we have become a creative hub for locals and The People Shop is an established part of the vibrant community and independent scene here. There are lots of lovely cafes, shops and cool bars here too, so it’s the perfect place to have our family home and to run our business.”
For Allison and Christian, who met at art college in the 80s at the tender age of 16, being creative is a way of life and they encourage their customers to get creative too, running a regular alternative creative workshop, the Sewcial club. “We have the Sewcial space set up in the shop so customers can see us working on new designs or stitching up a batch of new cushions,” explains Allison. “There's usually also a pile of wool and some knitting needles ... just in case our customers fancy getting creative too!”
“We have created a welcoming, inspiring, cosy place for our customers to feel relaxed and at home.”