“We Built This City” first opened on Carnaby Street 2014 as a pop up store, and since then has understandably become a permanent and important fixture on the street. Just a stone’s throw from Oxford Circus tube and also easy walking distance to Piccadilly Circus, the store is in a super central and handy location to reach. It’s colours, its vibrancy and it’s celebration of London and English culture is Carnaby Street through and through.
Nearby Oxford Street has the drones of the usual souvenir shops selling, quite frankly, the same old tat. Sure, some of it is nice, but none of it is particularly unique (“seen one, seen them all”). That’s where “We Built This City” steps in and steps up to bring you the best of London based artists. You are going to go in to buy something for your sister or relation overseas and walk out with items for yourself, or things on your own “to buy!” list, I promise you. This isn’t your standard souvenir cheese shop, it’s a mecca of some seriously talented London artists work and UK culture to be seriously celebrated. If you are a Londonphile as I truly am, you’re going to bloody love the amount of art and talent in here.
It doesn’t have to be huge things either- the shops offer stationary, postcards, jewellery, personal and unique gifts, all with a London flavour. You can find your favourite artist on their website with their A-Z list, or use this list to be inspired as I have. Check out their website for all the glory at: https://www.webuilt-thiscity.com/pages/revolutionising-london-souvenirs
Then there’s the events that the store has on a monthly basis. Current artist in residence is the sublime Josie Shenoy who creates the most beautiful, delicate and heaven sent artwork. Ethereal springs to mind: it’s totally dreamy. Josie was the illustrator for the book The Buildings that Made London (https://www.amazon.co.uk/National-Archives-Buildings-That-London/dp/1408883643) and has been commissioned for Anthropologie, Somerset House and The British Museum to name but a few. Her work is incredible, and her website showcases all of this beauty and talent, but the BEST thing is that at the moment her pop up store is available at “We Built This City” until the 25th November 2018. Any of the prints from the book can be purchased directly from Josie’s site (https://josieshenoy.com/) but if you pop by on the evenings of the 24th or 25th, the lovely Josie will be there to add extra gold sparkle to your purchases, for free!
Head downstairs in the shop from 6-8pm this Friday and Saturday evenings and get something totally unique and special for that equally someone special (or as I said on Instagram, perhaps just for that super special you!).
I’m absolutely delighted with the print I purchased and I can’t wait to get in a frame, and get it up! It feels really, really lovely to have met the artist behind this glorious design and have my own little piece of London to celebrate 🙂 If you go, be sure to let me know in the comments below!! This one definitely invokes the magic of Christmas folks x