Tucked away on the corner of Clerkenwell Road lies Marby & Elm, a quaint little letterpress shop for the curious and the creative, a mecca for those with a penchant for typographical and playful stationery.
When we held the We Blog Design tour at Clerkenwell Design Week last month, this was on the walking path and I can’t even tell you how hard it was to get a group of 15 bloggers past the colourful window display filled with an abundance of cute greeting cards and other pretty little charms, including pins and a whole army of lollipop coloured gnomes – ‘Gnome Tweet Gnome’ being the shops feature presentation as part of the fun-filled three day design event.
Motivational messaging has taken over the shop but not in a cheesy way – a firm favourite of mine is the ‘Fuck Yeah’ slogan which appears on pins (fuck yeah!) and other items in the store. The printed gift bags are also a hit with me although I don’t think I’d actually want to give them away, instead frame them as they have been in store.
Eleanor Tattersfield is the charming lady behind the shop but ultimately it’s a family affair with inspiration provided from her father, who was a lettering artist in the 1960’s and 70’s (the dream) and a brother and sister to provide shop management and photography. Eleanor’s background is in Art History and the History of London, but after running private art tours in the art world, Eleanor decided a change was in order and she bought her first Adana, setting it up in her garden shed to start life as a letterpress printer.
I have to put out my admiration to those who mix up their life like this, it’s one of the first things I ask to any niche shops I find and I love listening to all of the little stories behind how they came about. What would you guys think to a little post on this very subject? I’d love to put together something about opening your own store, although I’m pretty sure it just involves a lot of love and bloody hard work!
Find Marby & Elm on: 33 Clerkenwell Road London EC1M 5RN
Opening Times: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm and Saturdays (by appointment).