I was delighted to see Little Beach Boutique featured in our first editorial recently. Smallish Magazine, which specialises in ‘Family life for the Modern Mother’ ran a feature in their May edition all about Brighton, aka ‘Britian’s Riviera’ and we were described as a ‘firm fav’ in the North Laine shopping area. They mention our limited edition children’s books by Temporary Measure and our handmade felt slippers and describe us as ‘bijou’ which brought a smile to my face (because I had to look it up!)
We were in great company, alongside the newly completed British Airways BA i360, as somewhere to visit, and local favourite, the Coalshed, as somewhere to eat.
May is a perfect time to visit Brighton, so it is well timed. The city comes to life with two festivals running alongside each other. The Brighton Festival is curated by Kate Tempest this year and I am really excited about the personal touch she has already bought to the established way of things, with a focus on inclusivity and branching out into areas of Brighton that haven’t be featured in recent years. I’m excited about ‘For the Birds‘ which is an ‘immersive night time adventure’ running throughout the month. As a bird nerd and someone who loves to get away from it all up South Downs, this is the perfect event for me!
I am also excited about the Brighton Fringe festival which runs throughout May. It always boasts a packed line up of events and brings music, art, comedy, theatre and a sense of adventure to each corner of Brighton. A great way to see the city and its amazing creativity whilst peeking behind the doors of some of Brighton’s historical homes and buildings is to follow the Artist’s Open Houses trail. There are always some established listings who open their doors each year and become veritable art galleries for three weeks. Alongside them are new listings made up of artists collectives exhibiting for the first time. I wish I could go every weekend-but I still wouldn’t have time to see it all!
We hope you’ll be able to pay us a visit if you visit Brighton during May-but it is always a great place to come…and we are open every day!
Brighton is beautiful at the moment. A heavy fog for most of February seemed to obscure the horizon for days on end, but it eventually cleared away, and from behind the mist, some much needed spring sunshine appeared and made the sea sparkle again. Spring is here, albeit tentatively.
No matter what the weather, dog walkers and joggers pound up and down the seafront, but it is at this time of year, as the clouds start to clear, even for a day, the crowds decend to warm their faces and stretch their legs over the pebbles.
I went up the British Airways i360 on a beautiful sunny Sunday and saw Brighton from above, reaching for the Downs, the glorious Recency layout of Brunswick and Adelaide and the lonely and majestic West Pier. It is a wonderful view from up there!
As well as the beach, people are often drawn to Brighton because of the volume of independent shops and eateries which offer unique, diverse and interesting selections which won’t be found anywhere else. In particular The North Laine, between the station and the sea, is home to dozens of small shops and independent traders. For decades it has been seen as the most vibrant area for quirky clothing, vintage finds, vegetarian and vegan cafes, boutiques and some of the best pubs in the city for people-watching over a delicious craft beer. Spring is a particularly good time to do this! My favourite is the Dorset Pub, just on the corner of Gardner Street and across from us here in Little Beach Boutique. It is the best place to sit and watch the world go by and offers excellent home-cooked style food.
When we’re not basking in Spring sunshine or watching buskers from the Dorset, we have been busy coming up with some new glass designs here in Little Beach Boutique, inspired by the season.
Above is a one-off piece of fused glass, made with layers of sheet glass, with strands of copper leaf placed in between, and colourful ‘confetti’ and ‘frit’ placed on top to convey spring shoots peeping through the ground. It has been fired twice – first to fuse the individual peices together, and second, to ‘slump’ it into a mould so that it will be free-standing. It looks beautiful in a sunny window on these fresh spring days.
We have also been producing some new designs for screen-printing onto our hand made coasters and glass tile frames. Following themes of wanderlust, travel and exploration, we have designed a hot air balloon silk-screen which we have layered with pieces of ‘dichroic’ glass. ‘Dichro’ adds an iridescent quality to glass pieces, and a few small bits added between the layers, before going into the kiln, looks beautiful when fired….
We have also been running our popular fused glass workshops and have been putting dates in for the months to come. The next available date is 14th May – if you would like to learn how to make your own glass pieces and in a fun and creative environment, why not book a space with some friends and have a wonderful day out in Brighton during the May Festival?
We have been adding lots of new pieces to our Spring collections, so do watch this space for more to come! In the meantime, enjoy the spring sunshine! X
It might only be the 1st of November but here at Little Beach Boutique we’re already excited about Christmas because we’ll be joining some of the best independent shops in Brighton for a one-off late night Shopping Event this December.
The North Laine is always beautiful at Christmas, with fairy lights draped between buildings and the varied and vibrant gift shops offering a wonderful range of products, many of which can’t be found on the high street. This year there will also be carol singers to get us in the mood for the festivities!
The offers and late night shopping start at 5.30 on December 8th and finish at 8.30. Visit our Facebook page for updates and further info…we hope to see you there!
In other news, we’ve been sourcing some wonderful new collections this season from some emerging designers, small businesses and makers, including a new range of skincare from Nathalie Bond Organics, accessories by Imagination Illustrated and beautiful Jewellery by Misskukie, all designed and made in Britain.
Nathalie Bond Organics – beautiful essential oils candles and natural skincare
Misskukie Jewellery Handmade in Sussex
I’ve been feeling inspired by the new season and have been making some glass tiles to reflect the change in the environment around us. I was pleased with these tiles on an earthy green glass. The tree branch is screen-printed and layered with orange frit (crushed glass) with the words ‘Let’s Fly Away’ written underneath. The woodland scene is also screen printed from my original drawing and layered with a slightly sparkly green confetti (very thin glass) to add some intrigue. I have mounted them both into white box frames which really sets them off.
Fused Glass tile handmade here in Little Beach Boutique
I’ve also been running regular fused glass workshops which have really gained momentum this year. There have been some wonderful creations and I’ve been so amazed by the variety and creativity in what people produce in one day.
We hope to see you soon here in Little Beach – bye for now x
I have been running our fused glass workshops once a month for a year now, in Little Beach Boutique, and they have been so much fun! I have often been amazed by how quickly each person gets into the flow of making their own unique and beautiful pieces – even people who say they have no artistic tendencies and just came along for a nice day in Brighton!
Each workshop is aimed at complete beginners, as an introduction to glass. I tell people about the different types of glass they can use for different effects – stringers (long rods), frit (crushed glass), metals, papers and ‘inclusions’ – soon into the session we start with learning how to cut glass – and that’s when the fun starts!
People aim to make four coasters and a small panel during the day. You can approach glass a bit like a blank canvas, layering and assembling pieces where you want them – a little like a collage. The unique quality with glass is trying to visualise how it will look after it has been fired. A kind of alchemy occurs when it is fired in the kiln – colours deepen, textures change, metals react, bubbles emerge – and it can often be a surprise – mostly a good one though!
Very few people come with an idea of what they want to make, but find that they soon feel inspired by the sample pieces we have in the workshop, or feel drawn to a particular colour, or come across an interesting shape in a piece of glass and start from there.
What I love most about the workshops is seeing the diversity of the pieces people produce – abstracts, seascapes, scenes from nature, detailed drawings, textured pieces, Christmas decorations. People find it quite meditative to absorb themselves into something so focused and completely different for the day.
The workshops take place in our colourful downstairs space here in Little Beach Boutique. We are right in the heart of Brighton, in the North Laine area, surrounded by lovely coffee shops, cafes, boutiques and restaurants – a Sunday workshop here could be the perfect ending to a weekend away by the sea!
We have now added some extra dates as a follow on for people who want to make more pieces after grasping the basic principles – the first of these is in April, but these are likely to be monthly as well, and, who knows, they might become meet ups for anybody who is crafty to bring their own materials and create away in a relaxed and sociable atmosphere!
Fancy a creative day out in sunny Brighton making your very own glass pieces to take home?
If so, then come to one of our fused glass workshops here at Little Beach Boutique in the North Laine!
We’re very pleased to have added three new summer dates for our Introduction to Fused Glass workshop here in Little Beach Boutique – they are tailored for complete beginners and are a wonderful way to spend getting creative and learning something new.
Glass is a wonderful medium to work with and it is surprisingly easy to get really impressive results. I will guide you through all the basic principles of cutting your own glass, layering it with different inclusions, and talk you through the firing process. There will be lots of time to make your own unique pieces – people can make lots of different items such as colourful coasters, wall hangings and dishes.
Groups are small, with a maximum of six people, so there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions and get stuck in!
The venue is Little Beach Boutique in the North Laine. We are centrally located in Brighton, with numerous shops, cafes and the beach nearby, so why not make the weekend of it and see what else the city has to offer?!
We kiln fire all your creations after the workshop, ready for collection another day.
The next dates are: 26th July, 16th August and 20th September, with Autumn dates to follow later in the year.
Workshops start at 11 and finish at 16.00, with a break for browsing the North Laine shops or grabbing lunch during the day.
The workshop costs £60 per person, and we offer a 10% discount for groups (2 or more people) so bring a friend!
The price includes all glass materials, tea, coffee and snacks.
Recently, we’ve had a little run of inspiring and thoughtful messages conjured up by our creative customers to personalise the framed glass tiles which we make here in Little Beach Boutique – and I wanted to share some with you…
It was Father’s Day this weekend, and as a present for her father, one customer chose the Brighton and Hove Peace Statue tile, which is a beautiful angel, screen printed as a silhouette onto a fused glass tile. In the frame we have written the words “I’ll be your angel because you have always been mine”. Such a lovely personal touch…
Another customer chose our Hove Beach Hut tile for her friend’s birthday because the area holds special significance for them as a place they grew up together. The message reads “Hove is home…We didn’t know we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun”. So beautiful, I would love someone to give that to me!
For a child’s christening, the Peace Statue was chosen by another customer. This time, they opted for the glass tile to be made with copper foil, which forms the infused blue bubbles within the glass. It is a beautiful turquoise blue and really stands out. As a godmother to her niece, she chose words that reflected love and protection, personalising her tile with the words “I promise to help you and lead you, to encourage you, to care for you, to always love you”.
I was feeling inspired by a sunny Brighton myself, this week, and made some new glass tiles reflecting the boats on the calm blue sea. I chose the words “There’s something beautiful on the horizon” to write underneath the tile. This piece is made with crushed glass, called frit, and fired on quite a cool temperature so that the glass doesn’t go fully liquid in the kiln. The result is a lovely texture that reminds me of the sea.
Of course, you could choose any message you like to write underneath and I could also make a similar tile with the boat in a different colour, to make it really individual!
Little Beach Boutique has just celebrated our first birthday in our North Laine shop and we would like to thank everybody for their support and custom over the last 12 months.
Moving from a small seafront arch to a larger space in Central Brighton was a big challenge (and an even bigger leap of faith!) but this year has been amazing and we haven’t looked back.
Now a team of three – Suzanne, Claire and Jennie, we feel fully part of the North Laine Community of independent shops, cafes and venues. We have met lots of lovely local characters as well as talented and inspiring designer/makers from Brighton and further afield. Since opening our new shop in 2014, we have expanded our handmade collections of homeware, jewellery, accessories and thoughtful gifts – proudly showcasing new designers and emerging talent alongside our collection of glass which we individually design and make on site.
We have had our first workshops – including our “Introduction to Fused Glass” alongside our “Natural Skincare” and Aromatherapy courses, and during the May festival, we had a daily puppet show based on Mermaids and Sea Shanties which was a great success in our downstairs space.
Now looking forward to the year ahead, we will be bringing you lots of new products for the coming months, creating new glass designs, and running more workshops for your crafting pleasure!
We would like to thank all our customers and suppliers for their support, enthusiasm, kind words and encouragement over the last year.
Pop in to see us at 74 North Road, Brighton – we are open 7 days a week – we’d love to see you!
We’re very lucky to live in a city like Brighton – it’s so full of creative people and there’s inspiration on every corner.
One of my favourite local designers is Joanna Corney who screenprints her stylish Brighton inspired illustrations onto a range of contemporary homeware. Here at Little Beach Boutique, we’re delighted to be stocking her lampshades in a range of prints which capture the essence of our city by the sea.
I love the representation of the Deco buildings along Brighton seafront in this design. It can be used as a ceiling pendent or for a floor lamp base.
This Beach Hut design is contemporary and stylish with its minimalist lines capturing the essence of a lazy day on Hove seafront.
And this murmuration design is a stylish addition to any home, with a nod to the stunning patterns made by the starlings as they go to roost for the night on the West Pier.
These designs are all available to browse and buy in Little Beach Boutique, 74 North Road, Brighton and are also available made to order in different colours.
Each lampshade is made with screen printed cotton fabric, and bonded to a fire retardant PVC backing with rolled edges. All lampshades are handmade in Brighton.
Each lampshade is made from UV stable and flame retardant PVC which has been tested and passed the glow wire test carried out by the Lighting Association. 40 watt bulb recommended
This lampshade is available in a choice of two sizes:
20cm diameter x 20cm height (8″ x 8″)
30cm diameter x 22cm height (12″ x 9″)
It is also available with either a lamp base fitting or a ceiling pendant fitting
Here in Little Beach Boutique we love handmade, we delight in being able to showcase new talent and we are proud to be able to offer our customers something different to the high street.
So, we thought we would introduce you to some of our most recent stockists whose unique range of products make an independent shop such as ours a very special shopping experience, and well worth a trip to Brighton.
We discovered Mica Peet’s work via Instagram and were delighted to find out that she is based just along the coast in Southampton. Mica is a textile designer whose patterns are inspired by colour and nature. She laser cuts geometric and animal shaped pieces and prints her bold designs onto them to produce her range of individual and striking jewellery, including brooches, earrings and necklaces. We love her stag design brooch and her hummingbird earrings. Each piece features different parts of Mica’s print, so each item makes a unique handmade gift for someone (but they are very hard to give away!)
A Northern Light
We met illustrator Claire (aka A Northern Light) at a trade show in January and fell in love with her first ever range of lighting. Her beautiful illustrations are based on the natural world and feature starling murmurations, woodland scenes, and floral patterns. From her Manchester studio, she has handmade her range of lighting from parchment paper, each featuring her detailed and intricate illustrations. The range includes tea lights and plug-in lamps. Our favourites are ‘A New Day’ because it reminds us of the colours of the morning and ‘Murmuration’, because it brings to mind the starlings on Brighton and Hove’s West Pier which roost there at dusk.
Finally, we would like to introduce ‘By Alex’ who is our most recent stockist. We liked her work as soon as we saw her range of quirky stationary and wash bags, because her designs are based on our Great British weather and that is always interesting! Alex’s textile patterns feature polka dots and umbrellas in crisp, fresh colours and she makes each piece by hand in her Hertfordshire studio.
We love the fabric on these make up pouches, which are perfect for a weekend away.
Watch this space for more to come about our latest designers here in Little Beach Boutique, visit our website, or even better, come to see us if you are shopping in Brighton – we are in great company among lots of independent shops and boutiques in the North Laine.
Is it too early to mention Christmas?! Well, even if it is, Brighton is always a fabulous place to go shopping. It is peppered with a plethora of beautiful, quirky, imaginative, practical and inspiring independent shops, cafés and boutiques, and particularly in the North Laine, we’re spoilt for choice, so I thought I’d offer some inside tips to help you have a fantastic day, starting with a strong coffee of course…
1. Cafe Coho, 53 Ship Street
Conveniently located on Ship Street in the Lanes, this is the perfect place to kick off a day’s shopping. It’s outside seating gets mid morning sunshine and they offer blankets if it’s a chilly one. I love the stripped-back brick interior, they make amazing coffee and their croissants are delicious. There is also a Cafe Coho near Brighton Station if you’re getting the train.
2. Edited, 3 Gardner Street
You’ll probably have been drawn in by their vibrant window display anyway, but Edited is a must-see! They have a varied and eclectic selection of homeware and soft furnishings including colourful candles, throws with vibrant geometric designs, and train ticket cushion covers over three floors of this beautifully merchandised shop. The staff are always friendly and enthusiastic too!
3. Present in the Laine, 34 Gardner Street
One of the North Laine’s newer additions, Present in the Laine has a focus on bright colours and hand-picked gifts. Stylish accessories, baby gifts, homeware and handbags are on offer in this vibrant new shop.
4. Posh Totty Designs, 31 Sydney Street
A Brighton success story established by Alice Rivers Cripps a decade ago, her original shop in Bond Street Cottages is well worth a visit, but Posh Totty Designs have just opened their flagship store on Sydney Street in the North Laine, where they make and sell their own distinctive brand of beautiful personalised jewellery. They specialise in stunning keepsakes, hand stamped and made to order with your personal message, favourite quote or child’s names in a range of stylish, contemporary and classic designs.
5. Temptation, 56 Gardner Street, Brighton
Need a coffee break? This is a stylish and cosy cafe (with a license, if you fancy something stronger) with a delectable selection of lunchtime plates, salads, sandwiches and delicious home made cakes if you fancy jumping straight to the sweet stuff.
6. Little Beach Boutique, 74 North Road
Well, I couldn’t recommend a visit to Brighton without a visit to my shop could I, and what better time to visit than straight after a lovely lunch?! Opened in May 2014, Little Beach Boutique is new to the North Laine and offers a hand-picked range of handmade gifts, many of which are made in Brighton and the UK. I make all the glass pieces in my workshop here and you can pop in to see how it is done, as well as browse a unique range of accessories, keepsakes, homeware, clothing and wall art, including our best-selling “fabulous” felt animal slippers.
7. Utility, 28a North Road
Just across the road from Little Beach Boutique is Utility, stocking a fantastic range of “no-nonsense” household goods made by independent manufacturers, including tableware, glassware, stationary and storage ideas. Always playing excellent music, this is a must for your trip to Brighton.
8. Snoopers Paradise, 7 Kensington Gardens
No shopping trip to Brighton is complete without a good rummage around Snoopers Paradise. Purveyors of all things vintage, as well as an art space, workshop and boutique market, it is a haven for a curious shopper!
9. Pretty Eccentric, 10 Bond Street
Incredibly glamorous vintage inspired dresses and accessories designed by owner Michelle Scott, your Christmas party outfit is sorted for the year! Influenced by the styles of the 1920s to 1950s, they have a stunning range of dresses and separates, as well as jewellery to add sparkle and fascinators to make a statement.
10. 64 Degrees, 53 Meeting House Lane
Round the day off with some amazing food! My favourite place to eat in Brighton, tucked away in the South Lanes, it feels like you have been let into a secret at sixty four degrees. Compact in size, with a focus on incredible food, impeccable service and the theatre of the dining experience, you can choose to sit at the bar and watch the magic unfurl. It’s not to be missed!