Based in the heart of Brixton, creative hub The Turpentine is a one stop shop for everything handmade, cool and arty. With carefully selected products from local artists and beyond lining the display units, customers are greeted by an exciting array of gifts and art prints to choose from. Not just stopping at retail, the store also puts on regular workshops, inviting customers to learn a new design focused skill or to meet those with similar interests. Run by a trio of friends who share equally as deep creative roots, it is clear to see they truly have their passion for artistry at the forefront of everything they do.
We’ve been selling our products with The Turpentine for almost a year now and have loved working with such a passionate team. We caught up with 1/3 of the brains behind the store, Alice…
Can you tell us how you started the Turpentine?
Way back in 2011, as three friends over dinner we realised we had a shared dream of one day starting our own business as well as a real need to reconnect with our creative roots. From there we started putting on pop up markets in Brixton, all in our spare time. We met a fantastic community of artists and makers and really enjoyed working together. There was no going back then, we just had to open a store. We opened a year ago and haven’t looked back since!
What do you look for when you select products for the store?
We’re passionate about supporting young designers and brands and are always on the lookout for new products to showcase. Everything we stock is carefully curated as we want to create a distinctive feel for the Turpentine. Creativity and quality are really important to us and our aim is to build an offering of fun, accessible, bright, and affordable products.
What is the best thing about being based in Brixton?
The sense of community and the diversity which makes Brixton so vibrant, that’s quite rare in London. It’s a really interesting place to be, walking to work every day is pretty good too!
What do you think draws people to visit London?
Where to start? London has so much to offer, there is something for everyone. There’s so much culture and history, or there’s the nightlife. For me it’d be the food, so many great places to eat!
Are there any exciting emerging, local artists you’ve recently discovered?
We’re really excited about Rosie Brewer, she just got back from traveling so not technically a new discovery, maybe a rediscovery. She’s based in Camberwell and makes stunning wooden serving boards and coasters. She brings out the beautiful imperfections of the wood by incorporating all the knots and grains, so each piece has a unique character.
How did you find out about Evermade and what appealed to you about our products?
It was a fortunate coincidence for us, Harry, Evermade’s founder wandered by our store a few weeks after we opened and popped in to meet us. After he left we checked out the Evermade website and we were hooked. The Zoo Portraits are such fun and we love all the different characters and the Jenni Sparks maps are amazing. The detail really draws you in, we have one on an easel in store and I love watching customers get lost in it, finding their homes and neighbourhoods or looking for their favourite coffee shop.
Why do you think our hand drawn maps make such great gifts for London visitors and locals?
The detail is amazing, I can see why it takes Jenni months to research her maps. The local knowledge that makes up every neighbourhood means everyone can have a personal connection with it, which makes it a great gift as she’s captured what makes London special on every street corner and for so many people.
What’s next for Turpentine?
We’ve just revamped our website: www.theturpentine.com and are working on our own range starting with jewellery which should be launching in the next few weeks!
You can find The Turpentine at 433 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LN.