Welcome to our first journal entry. We will use this space to tell you about our makers, give you an insight into how our products are made and to answer your questions. But before we begin, we would like to share our story.
The elph store story began as far back as we can remember. Running a shop has been a long-held family dream for us for many years. Beginning with Belinda’s love of beautiful objects and time doing business administration for other small shops and businesses, fuelled on by Sophie’s love of good design and background studying Industrial Design, and finally pushed into fruition as an expansion of Eloise’s handmade ceramics label, elph store was born.
The name ‘elph’ is a combination of Eloise and Sophie (or El and Soph), with the ‘e’ kept uncapitalised for balance. Originally, elph was the namesake of Eloise’s ceramics brand, elph ceramics, for which she began making minimalist pieces inspired by her sister’s refined aesthetic. Designed as a kind of gateway drug into the world of handmade ceramics, elph ceramics continues to be a staple of the elph store offerings. This range spans from mugs and bowls to the iconic elph bottle vase and cuddle cup. Its most recent addition being the spaniel dog bowl. This range can be custom ordered in sets or with personalised touches as it continues to be made by Eloise on site at elph store.
elph store is located in a traditional Victorian-style Paddington terrace house in iconic William Street. Our terrace house was beautifully restored in 2018 from a neglected office building into our beautiful shop, ceramics studio and apartment. Continuing the tradition of shopkeepers living above their stores in historic William Street, elph store continues a long history of William Street’s handmade ceramic shops. Our refurbishment was designed by local architectural firm, Kenström Design, with a focus on heritage touches, small space functionality and sophistication in its finishes, elph store fits a lot into a small space.
Downstairs, elph store occupies the space of the living and dining area of a traditional terrace. Behind the shop, there is a small tea room with shop storage and light well courtyard showing how the original terrace narrowed. It has since been extended out to create a separate light-filled room which has become our elph ceramics studio. Exiting the studio through French doors, you will find a small courtyard and backyard toilet – another nod to the history of Paddington terraces. Above the shop and studio is a one-bedroom apartment with cosy living room, galley kitchen (that you wouldn’t guess is mostly from Ikea!) and a sun filled bathroom. Entering through pastel green doors, the apartment is filled with Eloise’s art collection made up of gifts, purchases and works swapped from other artists met while studying at National Art School. Oh and you’ll also find Eloise’s 10 year old Border Collie, Emily, asleep under the dining table or in the store!
elph store continues to be run by mother, Belinda, and daughters Eloise and Sophie Rankine. In store, you will find Sophie or Eloise behind the counter while Belinda keeps all the accounting in line from behind the scenes. If you would like to know more about us or ask us a question to answer in an upcoming journal entry, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
love elph xx