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2019 - Review Of The Year

We like to think we are naturally forward looking; pressing on; charging into the future; looking for the next bit of fun. But before 2020 gets fully underway we thought we'd have a quick look back at last year. Have a brief moment of resting on our laurels before we do it all again. Here's what 2019 meant to us.

 

20th Birthday

It can't have escaped your notice but we turned 20 in September and much of the Summer was spent planning how we would mark the occasion. We made a book, designed by the ever talented Sandy Suffield, to celebrate some of the very important things and people who contribute to the life of The Hambledon. Unsung Heroes was a documentary shoot (thank you Matthew Andrews), and shout out, to all those who help behind the scenes. No 10 at Twenty was our very first proper fashion shoot, shot by Phil Dunlop and styled by Lune Kuipers, which was partly about the clothes and partly about the architecture of our much loved building. Things and People celebrated an iconic 20 customers and 20 purchases over the years.

The Film

Who knew it would be fun to be filmed? We commissioned Sonder Films to make a short documentary about the shop. The Sonder boys have been friends of The Hambledon since primary school, have been customers since secondary school and filmmakers since they left school. They really know the shop. They really know the staff. They asked funny, searching questions and put together some lovely double acts. Check it our here.

 

 

Welcome and Farewell

We bid a sad farewell to Chandler, our website wonder girl, who has now moved to Australia to get away from us (somewhat dramatic). We welcomed Lara, who has happily boomeranged having done work experience here a few years ago, Jodie, the demon Christmas elf, Jasper, the demon Ground Floor not elf (because he is so very tall) and the lovely Beth . And we welcomed back two much missed friends of the shop. The lovely Bella is reconsidering her further education options in the heady atmosphere of the website office. And Richard, the nicest man in retail and erstwhile of The Basement, is back but has moved upstairs. A literal, if not actual, move up in the world.

20 Exclusives

We teamed up with some of our very favourite suppliers and commissioned 20 exclusive products to celebrate both our birthday and our lasting relationships with some of the very nicest producers, manufacturers, designers, artists and agents. Honestly it was a bit of a headache to pull this together (just ask Lucy) but we are eternally grateful to be working with such a lovely bunch of suppliers.



Themes For The Seasons

 

We like nothing better than a story. Tales we told this year included Provence to Provincetown which celebrated Spring and Summer. Our muses were the inimitable Martha Stewart c. 1985, Ralph Lauren’s take on Waspy New England and our very favourite John Derian. And all by way of 18th Century French design, a love of things European and a very healthy dose of Indian blockprinting. We welcomed Autumn with The House at Green Knowe, a nostalgic look back at Lucy's childhood library which referenced LM Boston's book about an English manor house. We were all about greenery, candlelight and a scrubbed British charm.

 

 

Silly Sale 

This is always an event, not least because it happens so very infrequently. We took over The Courtyard at The Guildhall once more and cleared our stock room. Victoria, who should have been born a market trader, likes nothing better than cash and a bum bag. This was her 2019 highlight.

 

 

Shopkeeping  

 

News of retail for 2019 has hardly been positive. It's been a bit of a deluge of gloomy stories about Brexit, online shopping, business rates and collapsing multiples. But we would like to mark the end of 2019, and the beginning of 2020, with a much more optimistic reflection on the past year. We have had a lovely time: busy and fun. There is no better job in the world, and this is in large part thanks to you, our very, very special customers. Here's to a happy, happy 2020.