Discover chats to Maxine, the proprietor of Stanley Road Departement Store to find out more about their unique concept
Tell us about Stanley Road?
The concept is, it started as an artist open house on Stanley Road in Brighton and the principle behind that is that all the artists pay a small amount and the house takes a commission. I expanded that model into a shop so everyone pays a little bit towards the rent and I run the place. This is an attainable way to hold onto a big property. It’s an amazing shop and everyone helps out. We sell everything, jewellery, artwork, vintage clothing, beauty products, candles, even mugs. It’s called a department store because it’s part of the old Hannigtons which closed down many years ago. So we have a two story shop with 3000 square feet.
We immediately thought of Paul Weller when we heard the name, are there any connections?
No, just the road my artist open house was on, but my brother-in-law did design Paul Weller’s last album cover ‘Fat Pop’ his name is The Stereo Typist and you can find him on Instagram.
How many people are part of Stanley Road?
Around 100 at any one time. We started out looking like an indoor market when we were at other locations, but when we got the shop it came with lots of great fittings which we utilised and have curated the space to look like a shop. It has a very high end feel to it.
What is the shop’s ethos?
The emphasis is on local, at least half of the stuff is from Sussex, so very small brands. The rest of the products are made in the UK. There are a couple of French people involved too. We try very hard not to get any mass produced stuff, no disrespect to China and other countries where mass production takes place, but we are trying to carve out a different market. After Covid, everyone became addicted to shopping on Amazon, for convenience, but here we tell every single person when they come in and buy something, who made it. For example yesterday someone bought a load of handmade badges and they were made by a student who is graduating from Brighton University and he comes in every day to see what he’s sold.
Is there something for all budgets in the store?
We have things for as little as a pound and things for up to £500. We have Ken Erdley who is a famous Brighton ceramicist who sells his work here, people queue round the block on his sales days. We wanted to be very accessible and I feel we have achieved that.