Up next in our latest 'Retail Spotlight' series we caught up with owner, Lily James, from the wonderful gift and homeware store (and online store) Edit UK.
Tell us a bit about yourselves?
We are Calvern and Lily James, founders of Edit Fashion & Homeware Ltd. Originally from South Africa and Turkey, we moved to the UK about 20 years ago to pursue our dreams. After years of planning we were delighted to finally launch our store in 2018 and are so grateful to have such an incredible community of customers. We are a happy go lucky couple with a passion for giving back to our community.
Tell us about Edit?
Edit aims to inspire and excite the imagination and ‘wow’ its customers, by showcasing the diversity of unique gifting and homeware brands, empowering them to create their own individuality around the home, their life and the ones they love. Each item is personally and responsibly sourced by Lily, where quality and sustainability is at the heart of every decision. In addition to the beautiful brands we stock, visiting Edit is an experience where customers are first greeted by the gorgeous, scented candles that fill the store with a calming and inviting atmosphere, followed by a friendly hello and a smile. We always tell our customers to make themselves at home, which they do. Our customers always comment, “so many things I didn’t know I needed”.
What inspired the beginning of Edit?
We have always had a passion for good quality items that are designed to become an integral part of our everyday lives. From this, we wanted to combine our favourites and share those with others. Thus, Edit is a way for customers to find premium, trendy products all in one place.
What’s been your favourite moment since opening the store?
There are so many to choose from, like dancing with our customers, hosting film nights or birthday parties, (pre Covid of course), and the occasional prosecco shopping day, but we know that sometimes people just need to be heard or simply have a shoulder to cry on. Our favourite moments are those times we were able to help a customer who was feeling low during lockdown. For them to walk past the store and say hello from a distance, have a chat, hear that we miss them, and send them on their way with a smile or a laugh. We couldn’t ask for more than that.
What kind of products do you sell, and how would you describe the style of the store?
We bring together timeless style, modern design and quality gifts from leading brands for you and the ones you love, handpicked by Lily herself. These range from quirky animal vases by Quail Ceramics, intricate jewellery by Alex Monroe, ethically produced homeware by Nkuku, stylish high end fashion items and our beautiful collection of Newgate clocks. Each product has been thoughtfully introduced into our range of lifestyle accessories and gifts.
Edit is also soon to launch a new category to the website, on a mission to introduce seamless access to hand-picked, unique and connected gifting experiences, focusing on experience enthusiasts or those looking for alternative gift ideas that create happy memories.
What’s your favourite Newgate product?
It's really hard to choose, we have a favourite for each room! But if we had to decide, we would say the Pluto Starburst Wall Clock. This retro beauty is a most unique clock, strikingly perfect to make a statement in any room and made with real wood. We would happily have this in our kitchen, lounge, or bedroom, but we have ours in our dining room where we spend much of our time playing games and chatting as a family.
Who or what are you influenced by?
Lifestyle brands like GOOP which not only offer products, but also possess the ability to instill a sense of community for people because we believe this to be extremely important.
What’s been your biggest challenge since Covid-19, how did you overcome this?
Shutting down without notice during the 2020 lockdown was devastating news. We used this time to develop our online store which finally launched in January 2021. We also used the time to bond as a family, as we’re always so busy, this was a rare opportunity to spend quality family time together. But as soon as we were able to open again, we were so grateful to welcome back our lovely loyal customers. It’s down to their support for local shopping that we’ve been able to continue. Now, we remain focused on satisfying their needs and delivering the Edit experience.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a new venture?
To have patience and persistence, always allow your passion to shine through. Collaborate and support other businesses along the journey. Put the customer experience first in everything you do. Learn and adapt swiftly to changing needs and demands of your customers. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Always remember to be grateful.
A big thank you to Lily and Calvern for taking the time to chat with us.