An artist who works to capture some of the familiar faces of Hull city centre in his line drawings is now venturing into business to showcase his work with his own homeware and gift shop.
Charlie Broomfield will also sell the work of other artists and creative businesses at Homestead Store, which will open on Monday 25 November at Paragon Arcade in Hull city centre.
Among a random and rapidly-expanding product range, shoppers will find quirky photobooks and magazines by cult brand names, candles with edible wax, hand-bashed candlesticks to go with them, and much more.
Charlie is confident the location will attract people who are curious about his sustainably-sourced products and who are committed to searching outside the mainstream for Christmas gifts and day-to-day items which are a little bit different.
His initial opening on Monday will be followed by a celebration launch to tie in with Paragon Arcade’s Christmas season of late-night shopping on Thursday 28 November. He’ll also be hosting the Arcade’s Christmas wreath-making session on Thursday 5 December and taking part in the monthly After Hours collaboration with other traders on Saturday 7 November.
He said: “I’ve lived in Beverley and Leeds but Hull is my home and this is where my future is. People are starting to really get behind the city again and independent retailers are building a strong sector.
“The city is affordable for business as well. With places like Paragon Arcade, Allenby Commercial are giving people an opportunity to get started.
“All of my products have been hand-selected by myself to ensure the best quality. A lot will be rotated. Once a magazine sells out we’ll get something different. Everything will be limited edition because we’ll find out what people want and meet their demand as trends and tastes change.
“The aim is to divert people away from mainstream retailers and from online by providing people with a great service and experience and allowing them to see and feel the quality of products within my quaint bricks and mortar store!
“There is a great story behind each and every product and by supporting my store people will also help the talented creators and makers of the products I am selling. My own art is line drawings, many of them depicting characters from around Hull. Ink on paper, recycled cotton rag paper, framed locally.”
Georgia Allenby, Design and Marketing Manager at Allenby Commercial, said: “There’s an element of talent spotting around the way we have developed Paragon Arcade since we bought it in 2017 and Homestead Store is another fantastic addition and a great fit with the community feel which everybody is working so hard to achieve.
“Charlie’s product range is unlike anything else in the Hull area and it will keep changing, giving people a good reason to make repeat visits to the Arcade and supporting the other traders.
“We’ve brought in a lot of exciting, like-minded new businesses during 2019 with Belle and Benjamin children’s clothing, Koda bespoke modern furniture and Milk hair salon. Charlie will take one of the units which has become available because of the expansion of Segal’s Jewellers and there will be more businesses coming soon.”
The wreath making will take place on Thursday 5 December from 6pm until 8pm and places can be booked through social media @Homestead_Store. The £35 fee includes the wreath – which is made with naturally, locally-grown materials – mulled wine and mince pies.
After Hours on Saturday 7 December will be the final one of 2019 and comes a year after the Paragon Arcade traders launched the concept.
Georgia said: “After Hours is great fun and good for business, bringing together the tenants in the Arcade and attracting a lot of custom. It’s also an excellent marketing tool – a lot of the enquiries we receive about space here come from people who have been to After Hours and want to be a part of it!”
[Phil Ascough – Ascough Associates]