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The talented locals behind The Indie Store

As we gingerly step back into the real world, it's more important than ever to support local. Here some of our Indie Store businesses recount their journey and show what makes them special.

Literati & Light – Justine Shaw,

Justine Literati and Light Meet the Makers

It all began when I was researching my PHD in Modernist literature. Being an experienced candlemaker and lover of all things fragrant, I quickly noticed how frequently detailed descriptions of perfumes and aromas appeared in literary works. It soon turned into an obsession, spending hours rifling through my favourite books to discover what the stories might smell like if I could lift their covers and step inside. Today we capture those scents in the home fragrance products my husband Philip and I craft by hand using ethically-sourced materials from British suppliers. Our products are environmentally responsible, plastic free, paraffin free and we use eco packaging too. We are constantly on the hunt for the next literary work to bring to fragrant life. But make sure you visit our scented library, it will take you on the silk roads of ancient Persia to the flapper-filled parties of the Roaring 20s and beyond.

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Limezest Jewellery – Lisa Hutton

Lisa Hutton Limezest Jewellery

I started making jewellery 10 years ago from my dining room table making beaded bracelets, necklaces and other simple items selling at local school and Christmas fetes. Having saved any profit from these events,  I bought a basic set of jewellery tools and booked myself onto a silver ring jewellery workshop where I learned how to forge and solder silver. I am however mostly self-taught through reading books, scouring YouTube and with lots of trial and error. I now have a large studio in my home dedicated to Limezest Jewellery which is furnished with many special tools (my Husband says I love my tools too much). I work with silver, gold, and gemstones, and get my inspiration from the coast, mountains and everything in-between.

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Thameside Rum – Matt Perkins

Matt Perkins Thameside Rum Company

Thameside Rum Company is my small independent drinks company based in Windsor. Borne out of my love of authentic Caribbean rum I produce rums inspired by the traditional English Navy-style Caribbean rums that were imported, blended & stored along the Thames from the 18th Century. I launched my flagship rum, Thameside – Signature Blend, towards the end of 2019 which is an authentic blend of pot and column still rums from Barbados, Jamaica & Guyana, tropically-aged for up to 5 years before being bottled in London. It contains no added sugar, colourings or flavourings. Real rum from cane to cask.

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137 Gin – Pete Lumber

Pete Lumber 137 Gin

Hi, I’m Pete Lumber, landlord of The Newbury Pub and Master Distiller of the award-winning Lumber’s Bartholomew 137 Gin. The distillery is fiercely independent and the first of its kind in Newbury, Berkshire. Every element of the 137 Distillery is unique and personal. It’s my vision at the core of the entire range and brand, from the branding and to our bold, beautiful copper still in which all our gins are hand-curated. I launched 137 Gins with a core range of four gins (Berkshire Dry, London Dry, Country Garden and Navy Strength) and recently added our very special, multi-distilled Navy Royal and a series of pre-made cocktails. It’s a labour of love. Enjoy.

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Little Labels – Angela Da Souza

Little Labels interior Angela De Souza

The inspiration for Little Labels, my Pangbourne boutique, came from a family trip to Salcombe in 2017 when I was expecting my third daughter. There were so many lovely little shops and my girls were wide-eyed with excitement. We bought little Maileg mice in matchboxes and they are toys my girls cherish to this day. As technology plays a bigger part in our children’s lives, I fear the power of imagination will be lost. I was born in Latvia we had so much freedom and used our imagination to entertain ourselves. Little Labels captures that childhood magic online and instore, stocking beautifully-made products for children aged 0-12 yrs, as well as a few treats for grown-ups too.

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The Little Bookshop – Chantal, Farquhar

Chantal Farquhar The Little Bookshop Cookham

The Little Bookshop is a Muddy Award-winning independent bookshop in the beautiful village of Cookham. Cookham residents Peter Griffin and Una Loughery opened the shop in 2018 as place to benefit the community – especially the kids. This literary hot spot is now managed by me, Chantal Farquhar, your resident bookworm. Our aim is to help you find the latest bestseller, factual page-turner, children’s classic or a bookish gift.

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Apothenie – Nichola Hinton

Nichola Hinton Apothenie

The story behind Apothenie began many years ago…My sister in law, Stephanie and I bonded over the mutual belief that living a clean, pure and healthy a lifestyle as possible was the way we wanted to live. It dawned on us that we should create a product together that not only matched our lifestyle and health beliefs; but also nurtured our creative sides. Out of the discovery that many scented products contain synthetically derived and potentially harmful ingredients, the idea to try to produce a safer and cleaner product was born! What became of this is the collection we sell today – all made with natural ingredients with 100% natural essential oils, all presented in a luxury glass jar or bottle, which can either be refilled or repurposed. Just the way it should be.

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Rococo Jewellery – Juliette Bluhm

Juliette Bluhm Rococo Jewellery

I am a fourth generation jeweller. Rococo Jewellery has been a successfully family owned and run business since the late 1970s. My mother opened the first shop in Cookham and expanded to Marlow and Wokingham. After a successful career in technology, in 2013 I took on the mantel of the family business from my parents – fulfilling my lifelong dream. My inspiration is taken from travels abroad and my love of gemstones, textures, mixed metals. I’m known for having an eye for avant-garde, ethically-sourced pieces, with some customers making a yearly pilgrimage from Europe to spend time at my boutiques or visiting my twin sister, Deborah in the Marlow store.

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Berkshire Botanical – Johnny Neill

Johnny Neill Berkshire Botanical Gin

I grew up on gin! I have eight generations behind me in this business and I started tasting gin early and loved it. After a brief flirtation in finance, I launched my own gin brand Whitley Neill in 2005, with Marylebone Gin and Berkshire Botanical Gins following. I live in West Berkshire near the 9,000-acre Yattendon Estate, one of the largest Christmas tree growers in the UK, so a Berkshire produced, locally-inspired spirit was something I really wanted to do. The flavours can be found in the surrounding countryside, and our gold medal winning Berkshire Botanical Dry Gin even has a little Norway Spruce in it.

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