Andrea Bates set up her stunning homeware shop back in 2012. Since then she has expanded into larger premises, collaborated with new designers and worked on exclusive ranges. Did we also mention she is hosting numerous events over the coming months promoting local artisans and businesses? Now this really is one hidden gem.
Future and Found is located a stone’s throw from Finsbury Park tube station. “The area has really changed over the past few years” says Andrea, “there are now numerous cafes, a butchers and even an ice cream parlour! More and more people are being attracted to the area, and we’re lucky in that respect. All has been good so far- thank goodness!” she laughs.
As you approach the shop, you quickly realise there is a lot more to this premises than first meets the eye. First off, the shop entrance is actually an archway, covered in grey paint with neon arrows that direct you into a courtyard, brimming with plants and furniture. The backdrop to this enclosed haven is a gorgeous converted warehouse. You almost feel as if you’ve entered someone’s home; which is kind of true, as Andrea does in fact live upstairs!
As you step inside you are hit by the amazing collection of furniture, homewares, stationery and crockery that Andrea has curated. Sure, you may not need any of it; but you are suddenly overwhelmed by the sense that you have to have all of it!
With a background in retail buying for the likes of Heals, Paperchase and even Jamie Oliver, she has spent years refining her taste and understanding what sells. But this time she has been able to inject her own style, which is undeniably Scandinavian, interspersed with blasts of neon.
“We are inspired by simple, stylish and thoughtful design. We like things that are playful and fun, beautiful design that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
“We think that calm and understated sums up the style of the shop nicely; but with a splash of colour and fun thrown in for good measure. Hopefully this sums up our personal style too, although we don’t always feel so serene!”
Andrea is keen to expand the business and often targets young graduates for collaborations to help her products and brand stand out. To this end, she has also curated a number of summer events, each one themed to incorporate local businesses.
“The first will be an ‘artisan afternoon’ with a wood turner and a ceramicist. The next will have a geometric theme, with jewellery and textile designers. We even have a wedding themed event with wedding planner and cake maker in tow!”
“It’s a great way to attract people to the store outside of peak trading times. We’re not expecting to make a fortune, but it will be a great way to drum up energy in a relaxed atmosphere. We also have big plans for Christmas” she smiles. “Trees will line the walkway from the archway; they will then form two paths, one to the shop with more tasteful decorations and the other to Santa’s grotto, which will be full of craziness!” She laughs.
As if this wasn’t enough to keep Andrea and her team busy, she also dabbles in some interior design on the side.
“The interior design service is an extension of the ethos and style of the shop. We curate calm, understated yet design-led spaces that are done but never overdone. We believe homes should be lived in and loved in equal measure” she explains.
Andrea is a humble character, but full of passion. She lives and breathes her business. Quite literally! She tells me how she takes great pleasure in walking down into the courtyard every morning before setting up for the day. For her it’s a way of life.
Even if you aren’t there to buy anything you just can pop by, have a cuppa and soak up the ambience of the shop and courtyard whilst you catch up on some work. (However, there are some great neon pens that would definitely improve your productivity if you’re interested!).