As the husband of one of the two women entrepreneurs who started Holly and Lil in 2005, I would like to put some flesh on the bone (!) of Holly and Lil's Studio coming to Bermondsey Street.
First some background : Holly and Lil (named after the partner's two dogs) is already thriving web-based London company which sells high-quality leather dog collars and exports all over the world. The studio will add a physical presence to provide office and distribution space, as well as a showcase for those who wish to inspect the product at close quarters.
Holly and Lil's location in Bermondsey Street is historically authentic. For centuries, this area was London's leather centre (the studio is opposite Morocco Street and almost adjacent to Tanner Street). The hides are purchased in the U.K. and the collars are all designed, manufactured and assembled in the London area. This is a genuinely local business. Just think of the outcry which there would be if Starbarks, McDogalds or Pizza Mutt were about to open on Bermondsey Street !
There is also an historic precedent for a unique, niche studio at H&L's address at 103 Bermondsey Street, where for many years the talented Gotteliers ran their Artwork business manufacturing and distributing trendy sweaters. Again, this was a design-intensive, niche product - a recurrent theme in this particular area of SE1. Look across the road at Cockfighter of Bermondsey, a robust human apparel brand with striking design flair. Or take a peek at Zandra Rhodes's Textile and Fashion museum, soon to re-open. The design tradition is alive and well on Bermondsey Street and SE1 should celebrate.
Diversity is important, too. Take a sample of the last year's newcomers on Bermondsey Street : Post added a new mini-deli dimension, the snazzy bar-style of The Hide has no local rival, [email protected] enlivens the southern end of the street and Andrew Brown offers stylish women's hair-dressing. Holly and Lil is just another ambitious small business opening in a vibrant street. As with all one-off propositions, some will love ‘em and some will hate ‘em.
Oh yes, almost forgot. Holly and Lil collars look and feel great….and they last. Holly and Lil Studio will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from May 2007.