Just a couple of weeks prior to this lockdown, my good friend Ruby launched a new branch of her business in what was a previously dormant floor, above The Norah Store, and below Norah Studios. We chatted to Ruby to fill you in on our new collaboration and how she came to create Still Life Story.
Ruby's initial inspiration for her business came from her first job as a florist, which gave her a taste for running and styling a small shop. Later in her career as an accessories designer, part of her job involved travelling around the world doing trend research. Ruby explored the independent boutiques in cities such as Gothenburg and Seoul, all the while gathering research and inspiration for her own venture. Having studied trendforecasting, Ruby grew to be able to spot a fad or a product which will stand the test of time. And it is these classic designs she carefully curates for Still Life Story.
Ruby previously ran a plant stall, GROW, which made a regular appearance at Makers Market around Manchester and Levy Market. On a trip we took to Marrakech a few years back, the array of beautiful hand woven baskets, coloured glassware and rugs in the souks saw Ruby heading back to Manchester with a suitcase full of homewares to sell on her stall, and Still Life Story was born.
Ruby and I at GROW plant stall
In Marrakech, Morocco searching for treasures
Ruby sourcing handwoven baskets in the Souks
When thinking about another trader who's wares would compliment vintage clothing and handmade accessories, Ruby was my first call.
Ruby and her team have done an incredible job making the first floor as beautiful as you'd expect, and her stock is just to die for. Perfect for modern homes, timeless pieces which ooze style are Ruby's signature.
We launched Still Life Story with an all day event on 7th March 2020 and it was so fabulous to see Still Life Story customer and The Norah Store customer mingle and share ideas. We were very lucky to have 3 DJs, Emily from local Loose in Levy , Tom aka Visual Sound and Hannah from trans inclusive intersectional feminist DJ collective All Hands On Deck.
We love having Still Life Story as part of the family and cannot wait to share our ideas for collaborative events and promotions with you post lockdown.
Ruby's advice for creating a stylish home on a budget?
1) Buy pieces that are timeless in style and made to last and they will never need replacing.
2) Throw away the rulebook - nothing needs to match! An eclectic array of bits and pieces that you have found along your travels is what will make your home unique and somewhere you love to be.
3) Make use of ordinary objects around the home. The arrangement of pieces with greenery and flowers can make items you may usually dismiss look great.
Still Life Story: Our Pick
The Norah Store edit - homeware, art and design that works perfectly in a midcentury home, with a nod to vintage whilst remaining throughly fresh - here's our curated selection. Click the title or image to be directed to the product.
Ruby has made use of her floristry experience and has launched the most beautiful bunches of blooms available on a pre-order and collect basis, meaning no waste! Emergency Flower Club, supplying bunches to locals to brighten up their homes during lockdown are available to pre-order here.
Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a sucker for mood lighting, and for me, multiple lamps are key for lighting a room in the home for an ambient mood. This 'Dome' Table Lamp casts the most beautiful patterns on surrounding walls with the cut glass that encases the bulb. The sleek chrome base is ideal for any midcentury inspired or modern home. It's the perfect size for shelves or a side table and is a eye-catching feature it itself. Perfect.
During lockdown our poor hands have been put through their paces, with drying and stinging harsh soaps and sanitisers. Kiss them better with Elsie Moss Botanicals. Vegan and cruelty free, no plastic packaging and 100% natural, these delicious soap bars are kind to both your kind and the planet. Multiple scents to choose from, we have picked 'Happy' for the mixture of grapefruit, orange and lemongrass, for an in shower citrusy pick me up.
Through The Looking Glass
Nothing says Midcentury style like a feature mirror. This style combines 70s rattan with the sunburst rays design. A perfect addition to any wall colour, this will add a little bit of character to a space on the wall.
Lockdown for me has been about trying to emulate the glam and fun of a night out, at home and on a budget. This Green Dream Cocktail Glass is just like a vintage 1970s Babycham set which I have taken to drinking anything other than champagne out of during lockdown. The feel of the glass just exudes glamour and has cheered me up on grey days when I'm missing a party.
Last but not least - how could I not include the Otto Cabinet. Such a divine feature, which perfectly compliments a vintage wardrobe, that it sits pride of place in our shared shop window display. If, like me, you need practical but stylish storage solutions, this is the one.
Follow Ruby and Still Life Story's journey here
Once lockdown is over come and visit us in person here
Stay safe and take care