In recent years East London has emerged to become a real creative hub. With business’ from start-ups, to artists and artisans all making this vibrant up and coming part of the capital their home. London Fields in particular was a source of inspiration for me when designing our most quirky frame (London Fields). The design represents a pairing of classic London style with modern design thinking. We wanted to create a distinctive product that represents the renaissance of creative design and the spirit of craftsmanship that is a burgeoning characteristic running through the area.
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At the end of a day exploring the area, I was heading home back towards Hackney Central and wandered through the railway arches to Gransden Avenue. I happened upon a unique building at the end of the residential street. It was home to Bonds of Hackney - a unique concept store in the heart of London Fields. After trying the door with no success I started to walk away. A voice behind me said “come in if you like” – this was my first meeting with Paul, co-founder of Earl of East and Bonds Hackney. He was inside on a ladder painting around the door, and had seen me through the window. I was warmly welcomed inside and immediately struck up a conversation, discussing all things craft and East London. Paul introduced me to his brand Earl of East, which the designer in me had subconsciously seen in homeware stores and boutiques all across London.
PAUL & NIKO
Paul and his partner Niko started their business Earl of East London in 2014, making artisanal scented soy wax candles, and selling them from their stand in nettle market. Fast forward a few years and the brand has really grown. The couple now host sell-out candle making workshops in their hackney concept store (Bonds), as well as having shelves full of beautifully curated products from equally passionate local brands and makers.
This couple are all about celebrating the exciting creative neighbourhood that surrounds them. Paul and Niko have managed to create a wonderfully collaborative space, capturing the perfect balance between studio, store and community.
After exploring hand-poured candle making techniques with soy wax as a creative outlet, Paul and Niko began to experiment with essentials oils with a view to creating deeply evocative scents, inspired by their love of travel. They now produce seven signature candle fragrances in three different sizes, all produced by hand in their in-store workshop. The team operate behind a window to the rest of the Bonds store, which allows a real insiders glimpse into the making process.
Paul and Niko have created a fantastic range of heady fragrances for their candles. The favourites that I left with had to be Strand - which took influences from Scandinavia (Imagine radiant Danish sunsets and Baltic sea breezes with notes of mandarin rind, seaweed and birch wood ), as well as Atlas Cedar - inspired by the peaceful Berber villages in the Atlas Mountains. Each candle is made from non-GMO eco wax and self-trimming cotton wicks, ensuring a clean burn and great scent throw. I'm also really looking forward to trying out one of Paul and Niko's candle making workshops, which I hear are not to be missed.
You can view and purchase our London Fields range here. Or take a look at our full collection.