For this week’s #FinditInExeter we visited Nicky Edmunds, founder at Princesshay’s indie hidden treasure, Insideout.
The idea to open a contemporary lifestyle shop sprung to life after Nicky’s son was born, just over fourteen years ago. She felt it was time to leave her busy London life and retreat to Devon, where she could go back to her art and design roots and immerse herself in an exciting business venture.
Insideout has been nestled away in Princesshay since its reopening almost eleven years ago. The premise of the shop was, and still is, to provide a range of affordable homewares to suit everyone. Nicky points out that ‘affordable’ is different for each person, and so the shop offers a diverse selection of items across a spectrum of budgets.
She tells us, “When I buy stock for the shop, I pick six or seven of my core friends and envisage items in each of their homes, or clothes in each of their wardrobes to get a variety. Over time, I’ve learned to identify my customer, so now I know who I’m buying for, but ultimately everything I sell I adore too!”
Nicky is especially passionate about the artisan partners she works with, most of which are based in Devon and Cornwall and offer an exclusive range of products to the shop. Particularly rewarding for Nicky is seeing these artists grow from their relationship, benefitting from Nicky’s advice with making their designs more appealing to buyers. Some of the smaller producers, such as textile designer Alison Whateley, were working on a hobby basis but now work full time at their art and now employ people themselves.
Insideout is currently promoting the #JustACard campaign, launched by artist and designer Sarah Hamilton, who was supplying lots of different indie shops that kept closing down. One of the comments she heard time and again was, “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card’ we’d still be open”. The campaign emphasises the importance of supporting a business if you like what they do. Unlike big retailers, independents rely on every penny. If you like an indie shop, have a think next time you’re in town and pop in to purchase a small something, even if it is ‘just a card’.
Nicky is passionate about the benefit of independent shops to the local community, supporting local artists and crafts people ensuring that profits remain in the local economy, as well as providing a unique shopping experience in the city centre.
Insideout is dedicated to supporting local designer-makers and is always looking for new artists to work with.