ABOUT THINGS BRITISH

Things British was created to support and promote a community – a thriving network of designer makers and creative businesses from all corners of Britain. From ceramics to furniture, jewellery to glass, metalwork to textiles - our partners played a massive role in the social, cultural and artistic history of Britain. For centuries Britain was a nation of makers and society was built around such skills. In these modern times, however, life is very different indeed.

Few people today can say that they possess the skills required to make even a basic necessity in life, let alone any niceties.

Practical making skills that formed the basic fabric of our society are disappearing and have all but been replaced by mass production and a society where a "disposable" attitude had become almost standard. It is only in recent times that people have started to think seriously about reviving and preserving these skills - before they are lost forever.

Out of a population of more than 60 million people, less than 0.01% professionally practice making skills today. 

Our partners are a part of our culture and society that need to be recognised and celebrated. British creativity has started to grow and bloom over the last few years. Things British aims to help support, nurture and preserve British manufacturing skills and jobs and to celebrate our ever-evolving British cultural society. Things British is an innovative, contemporary new business designed from the start to help and support British businesses by providing a much-needed network of retail shops and support. 

Things British aims to become the largest retail brand destination for gifts made in Britain, unique and special, backed by an appreciation from the public that eagerly wants to support and buy British.

Darrell & Lennie, co-founders.

THINGS BRITISH TIMELINE
2010
01 September 2010

Time for a change

Darrell, our founding Director had been working in the corporate world for many years for the likes of Toshiba, Microsoft and Sage specialising in programming and retail consultancy. His job took him around the world working on retail implementation projects. Quite an adventurous role but it was time for a change. Time to stop helping other retailers to grow. Time to grow his own retail business.
20 December 2010

Atsura Ltd is born

British retail - but done differently. That was the concept. After a few months of pencilling ideas there was a voila moment and a commitment to take it forward. A limited company was formed on 20th December 2010. Atsura Ltd. Why the company is called Atsura is a complete mystery with the reason and the meaning known only to our founding Director - who won't spill the beans. If anyone knows the answer then please get in touch.
2011
01 June 2011

Planning and logo

Planning, spreadsheets, more planning, more spreadsheets and a few Powerpoints too. After a lot of deliberation and elimination the name Things British was finally born. Now it was time to look for the first shop. It had to be somewhere "important", somewhere with a bit of "wow". It had to be London and it had to be the West End. It had to have a W1 post code. No stress there then.
01 July 2011

Location for the first shop

So how do you find a first shop in a great loction? Online? No. On foot. Literally trudging the streets of the West End of London we came across the magical Kingly Court. A three-storey open-air courtyard of independent shops on Carnaby Street, right between Oxford Street, Picadilly Circus, Regent Street, Soho and the Liberty Store. We sat and watched, and observed and knew this was the right place - and it was a W1 postcode - well W1B, but close enough. The price and the shop size were ideal and it had a managed landlord. Perfect.
01 August 2011

Kingly Court shop lease signed

In August 2011 the lease was signed with Shaftesbury plc and soon after we got the keys to the shop. The shop was fitted out and our brand new bespoke shelving was fixed into place. At this point we now have a beautifully fitted out shop but not one single product to put on the shelves. We had already approached lots and lots of fantastic makers who found it hard to sign up for a shop that didn't actually exist yet. Good point. Well, the shop existed now and we started calling all the makers back armed with lots of photos of a shop, albeit an empty one. We opened as planned, on 1st September 2011 with 20 makers and grew that to over 120 by Xmas. Quite proud of that.
01 September 2011

First ever product sold

On 1st September 2011 the first ever product was sold at a Things British shop - a Polaris & Swarovski Crystallized Bracelet, by DMS Designs. The first of many to come.

2012
13 May 2012

Launch of online shopping

Our online shopping option was launched today, allowing our partners to log in and create their very own shopping portal to sell their products. The first product to sell via our online shop was a handmade black and brown leather iPhone sleeve by Ruby and Freddies.

2013
01 October 2013

St Pancras shop opens

Today the number of retail shops we have has DOUBLED. From 1 to 2! On 1st October 2013, after months of negotiation, paperwork, rules and many, many headaches, our second shop opened at the amazing St Pancras International Station. This was a new shop located upstairs on the Grand Terrace and at around three times the size of our first shop was noticeably bigger. After a few more headaches, rules, and even more paperwork, the shop opened with products from 38 different artisan makers which grew to over 140 by Xmas. The first product sold at this shop was a Cambridge Blue Teacup & Saucer by Sarah Smith.

2014
01 February 2014

Kingly Court shop relocated

We still haven't got over this, but Shaftesbury Plc, the owners of Kingly Court where our first shop was located had decided to turn the whole courtyard from being retail-based into being food-based. Retailers left and shops were knocked together to create restaurants. This knocked us for six as it was completely unexpected. Still annoyed to this day, but onwards and upwards. We marched on and recovered by relocating.
15 September 2014

London Greenwich shop opens

Yet another fantastic location. Our third shop opened on 15th September 2014 on Turnpin Lane in Royal Greenwich and became the replacement for our dearly missed Kingly Court shop. The first ever product sold at this location was a Victoria Sponge Tea Towel by Rock Bakehouse.

2015
21 August 2015

Our A-board on Eastenders!

Did you spot the Things British A-board on Eastenders? We did! They filmed these scenes about 6 weeks ago and we have been watching each episode until we spotted it - and there it was. 

2016
27 June 2016

St Pancras shop lease extended

After three very successful years at St Pancras International station a new lease was signed extending our presence there.
30 September 2016

Launch of revamped website

A revised look to our website was launched today. After over a year of coding and tinkering we are able to offer our makers even more collaborative retailing options, and our shoppers a slicker and easier shopping experience. The first product to sell via our new look website was a Gold dipped Druzy Geode Agate slice and Amethyst crystal point necklace with Fold Filled chain by Luxiere.

THINGS BRITISH TIMELINE

BRITISH RETAIL, DONE DIFFERENTLY

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Things British. The gift shops where everything is designed and made in Great Britain. Proudly helping our partners to grow with our unique collaborative retailing.

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