When the opportunity arose for Fleur Paterson and her partner, Matt Cottis, to set up a shop in south-east London last year, it was an easy decision.
Having already tested the waters online with Iyouall – a homewares and gifting store selling everything from cushions to kitchenware – a physical branch in Carriage Way was an exciting move.
Not least because Fleur designed the interior of the Deptford Market Yard shop, which opened in May, herself.
The pair already ran a successful design consultancy company, IYA Studio, combining their skills in interior and graphic design, textiles and branding.
An extension of their existing creative company, Fleur wanted the Deptford store to be flexible to suit the needs of both the studio and the new retail space.
“We love things that are beautiful but we also love things that are really functional, so that’s always in our minds when we’re designing,” said Fleur.
“For the interiors, we wanted to have a multi-functional space that could do a lot.
“We work with different heights of legs and different depths of flat material to create table tops, desktops, working surfaces and display tables.
“We also use foam blocks of different sizes which we use for stacking up with shelving to create displays.”
On weekends, desk space transforms into product displays and workshop areas.
The store started as a empty shell, containing only two heating and air conditioning units.
“It was good for us because it meant we could do exactly what we wanted,” said Fleur.
“We’ve kept the actual shell of the building really raw so it’s pretty much how it was, we’ve just re-plastered two sides of the space and coated them in a clear finish.
“It’s a beautiful space so we wanted to show it.”
Products stocked by Iyouall range from well-known names like Ferm Living to ceramics from a friend in Bali. Fleur said she and her husband were keen to focus more on local brands.
“We don’t just want to be a shop that stocks all the big brands,” she said.
“We’re looking for more independent brands to stock and if brands are local to use then we see that as a big bonus.”
A case in point is their Deptford neighbour, candle company McKinley And Paget.
“We have a big passion for south-east London, it’s such a creative area that it would be such a shame not to use it,” said Fleur
The couple ultimately want to create their own products.
Fleur said: “We’ll be using our skills within interior, packaging and textiles so we have significant possibilities of what we can achieve.
“It feels like the obvious thing to do. It makes sense.”
Go to iyouall.com