On the tenth day of Christmas, we are giving away a Shop Floor Project goody bag, worth £319, to one lucky reader. To enter the competition, please click below.
The Shop Floor Project website is run by mother and daughter Denise and Samantha Allan. Both are fine artists by training, and it shows in their website design and the products they sell. They give us stories about makers, and stories behind objects, and the 'Project' is ‘curating, designing and commissioning’. The aim is to design, develop and source collections of the highest craftsmanship from makers and traditional manufactures, predominately based within the UK and Europe.
The Allans are based in scenic Cumbria. The site began because they were both interested in how things were made and sourced. At first they didn’t quite know how to define what they were hoping to do: hence ‘on the shop floor’ and ‘project’ as it allowed them time to form their selling practice. The stock selection is quirky and unapologetic. It includes beaded animals by Ntombomzi Mzamo, striking printed cushions by Raphael Balme, and monochrome botanical paintings by Samantha Allan herself. The site changes as stock comes and goes. Some products, however, are recurring, like sconces and chandeliers by Malin Appelgren and bird ceramics by Michaela Gall. Increasingly, the Allans are designing and co-designing the products they sell, and have an adjacent business designing products for museums, which Samantha knows well from a previous work life. They have designed scarves inspired by the antiquity collections of the British Museum, and the Charleston House cushion of the Dulwich Picture Gallery's Vanessa Bell show
In 2015, Denise and Samantha relocated the Shop Floor Project to the Old Warehouse in the centre of Ulverston. Built in 1832 as a warehouse to store goods including gunpowder and linen, which were brought in on the town's famous ship canal, it has been beautifully and now serves as their new headquarters.