Saturday, 23 March 2013

Local Independents - Blaze

I want to support local craftspeople by writing up a few posts about some independent stores selling great handmade products (not entirely for the purpose of giving me an excuse to spend lots of time in them...). So that said -here is the first.

'Blaze' is situated slightly off the beaten track, on Colston Street in Bristol, but is well worth a visit. Listed as one of the country's 'Top 10 Unusual Shops' by The Guardian, it's a veritable Aladdin's cave of handmade goodies entirely stocked with items contributed by local people.

Many of the products are made on site by some of the in house artists who form a co-operative which runs the shop. This enables customers to interact with the very people who created some of the products on offer.

I was particularly struck by the quality of the merchandising -a potentially tricky task with so much variety on display, but the stock is arranged so beautifully on bespoke and vintage furniture. With it's whitewashed walls and stripped wooden floor it's a lovely light and airy space for showcasing work, and even better now that the shop has been newly extended into what was previously workshop space.

It really is a little gem of a shop full to the brim with gift ideas. I loved this collection of sailors by Lina Lofstrand -each with their own name and story. They have so much character.

'Stewie', 'Grigory' and 'Max'

There is a great selection of organic handmade toiletries including this 'Bristle Fashion' Beard and Mo care kit (I love a pun) by Happy Holistics and I couldn't resist taking away one of these little ceramic bunny brooches by Hanne Rysgaard who has an array of beautiful ceramics on display.

Knitted groceries by Ali Brown and 'Knitiffi'

Anyone interested in contributing their wares or simply seeking more information about the store can get in touch via the Blaze website or Facebook. If you'd like to be kept up to date with their latest news, you can also subscribe to their Blog.


  1. Wow, never seen this place before. Will have to check out. Also...I'm tempted by a trip to this. Maybe even a stall next year if I get my bum in gear!

    1. Oooh. Just checked out the website. Looks good I'm in -methinks it'll be one expensive day though!