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We're excited to introduce you to our friends and collaborators, The Compartment Store. They make gorgeous stationery and paper goods. We first met Cat and Vicky back in 2013 at the popular festive Renegade Craft Fair at the Truman Brewery. Back then we were both launching our new ventures,  collections of stationery goods. Naturally we were drawn to The Compartment Store's work but not only that, they had the most genius idea of a stand. It was a large mobile travel trunk that was full of paper goodies displayed in different compartments for one to pull out and browse, as if were a department store. It certainly put a smile on peoples faces. We loved that they kept wheeling the trunk case around the venue and they were dressed like shop assistants too, plus their stationery range had a cheeky tone to it! We popped over for a natter and bumped into each other at other market events. We became big fans of their work and suggested a collaboration. We developed the 'Come Rain or Shine Series' a celebration of weather!

As we Brits love chatting about the weather daily, we thought it would be fun to highlight it even more through our mutual love of stationery and paper goods. We chatted to The Compartment Store on what makes them tick and their plans for The Compartment Store.

Who and what is The Compartment Store? We are Cat and Vicky and we are a handmade and bespoke stationery company based in London. We make a range of paper goods for pretty much any occasion.

How did you meet and how did The Compartment Store come about? We became friends at university. In our final year we shared a studio and found that we had very similar interests and obsessions, although very distinct styles. After we graduated we were living in different cities so we began writing to each other in these rather elaborate letters.

We always dreamt about owning a shop and couldn’t really decide on one particular theme so we imagined it to be a department store of sorts that would incorporate a nod to old-fashioned service.I designed a trunk and had it made to showcase some work at university. I was never sure what other use it would have, then The Compartment Store needed a transportable home. Cat handcrafted some trays to slot into the the inside of the trunk and we labelled them with all the departments which we then proceeded to stock very quickly. We spent many weekends at the bindery where Cat works, coming up with narratives and gift giving ideas. We have a lot of fun during these making sessions and it is now a very important part of our practice. We launched at The Renegade Craft Fair in 2013.

What are your creative backgrounds? We both have Fine Art backgrounds. Cat is a professional Bookbinder, and Box maker. She also works on her business Kitty Farrow through which she has been involved in many projects. I am a Visual Merchandiser and Stylist, with a passion for displays and layouts, I also have a small gift wrapping business, Gift Wrap HQ and work on photography still life projects too.

Who and what inspires you? We are inspired by postcards, letter writing, celebrations and sentimentality. We both have an extensive collection of old cards, notebooks and ephemera, which inspires some of our collections. We also like a lot of designers, artists, writers, collectors between us, probably too many to mention. Ideas are not something we struggle to come up with! We both have many different inspirations and very distinct styles. This is something that lends itself to our collections. We generally come up with an idea and then brainstorm it and spend a day in the bindery picking colours and working with lettering. Words and sentiments are a key characteristic of our brand and we do spend a lot of time thinking about the conceptual side things. Sometimes too much time - we only made our first Happy Birthday card this year due to a friend pointing out we didn’t really have a card that said the obvious! Though we like the ambiguity of our sentiments, we now throw a few Happy Birthdays and Thank Yous in there to keep the customers happy.

Whats the 'come rain or shine' series about? We met Scout Editions at The Renegade Craft Fair that first year we took part as The Compartment Store. We really admired the brand and the Riso printing technique that they use. We made friends and they approached us about collaborating. The inspiration for this particular collection came from a mutual love of the humble brolly (umbrella) and then ideas grew from that. We all thought weather in good old Blighty (Britain), only consistent in it’s inconsistency, and all its idiosyncrasies were very appropriate and appealed to all of our interests. We decided come rain or shine was a great sentiment to live by. We loved that you could give parts of the collection to different people and it could mean different things and we loved the idea of people wearing a sun and a brolly pin just so they didn’t forget either of them.

Where would you recommend to go a perfect sunny day? We would have to say a day trip to the seaside and more specifically somewhere on the Kent Coast. We also love St.James Park in London, in the summer months we sometimes have our business meetings there.

Where would you recommend to go on a grey and rainy day? We love going to the cinema and our favourite one is Screen on the Green in Islington. The cinema is a perfect rainy day activity but there are quite a few grey days in London so you can’t let the rain stop you going out. You just have to always carry your trusty brolly with you and be prepared!

What is your favourite season and weather? Cat loves the winter for its frosty mornings and bitterly cold evenings. I prefer the weather in Autumn, the sun is still out but you can wear coats! We also share November as a birthday month too, so autumn and winter is always a fun time of year being the gift giving season for us.

Where is your favourite place in the world? We can’t pick just one place! If we had to though, we both share a love of Japan and have visited there quite a few times between us. The stationery there is incredible, which obviously appeals to us and is a good source of inspiration. There is also a very impressive craft and hand made culture in Japan that we both admire.

What’s next for The Compartment Store? We are currently working on an exhibition for The Old Fire Station in Oxford that we are very excited about. They will be showcasing and selling a lot of our Christmas range. Christmas, as you can imagine, is a very busy time for us so that really will be our main focus. We are also working on refining the range so we can introduce some new compartments next year, which we are also very excited about.

Check out The Compartment Store at :

Shop the 'Come Rain Or Shine Series' here >

See what they get up to, follow them at:



Written by Scout Editions — October 13, 2015

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