My Shop - 'Home'
'Home', run by Helen Lloyd and Adam Edsall, Dartmouth
My Shop - Helen Lloyd and Adam Edsall
Who are you?
Helen Lloyd and Adam Edsall.
What is the name of your shop?
It’s called Home and it’s at number 17 Foss Street.
How would you describe the shop?
Helen: “Country living with a splash of colour. We sell all sorts of things for the home and garden – from beautiful china to colourful cushions; hand creams and bath soaks to locally handcrafted furniture. Our range comes mostly from UK designer makers, many of them local to Devon and the South West.
Simon and Theri Hart are well known in Dartmouth and we sell their new ‘lovehart’ range which includes stylish wash bags and toiletry accessories; then there are Winterwood wooden cheese and chopping boards made in Mid Devon, Helkat Design cushions, Alice Harfield’s acrylics, Katherine Morton’s illustrated pottery, and Hanne Rysgaard’s ceramic milk carton jugs. We choose items which are often hand made, but certainly designed by craftspeople with style in mind.”
Adam: “We’re definitely more Country Living than Homes & Gardens. The shop has a country kitchen feel to it with rustic kitchen tables made in North Devon from reclaimed pine, and dressers and shelves, with a beach/shaker style, which are made in East Allington. We hold catalogues for the furniture makers and can order from a wide range to suit all our customers’ needs.
It was important to us to come up with new ideas and find a new niche in a town that is already getting a reputation as somewhere to come for individual and quality shops, for interiors and homes.”
How long have you worked there?
Adam: “We opened at the end of March, and have had a lot of support from our neighbours in Foss Street. They have made us very welcome, dropping good luck cards through the letterbox and offering help. Our customers are giving us very positive feedback about the look of the shop. There are lots of things here that they haven’t seen before, and that’s good. We want to be a bit different.”
Is this the first shop you’ve have had?
Helen: “We first bought the Good Intent in Lower Street in 2003 and ran that for six and a half years, expanding it and creating the Dartmouth Ice Cream Company. It was great fun, but we had reached the point where we needed a new challenge, and it had always been my dream to open a shop selling lovely things for the home.
Fifteen years ago we were on holiday in the Lake District and found a little shop very like Home. I said ‘One day I’m going to have a shop like that,’ and now I have!
“That shop had a tiny café attached, and there is certainly an afternoon tea feel to Home, with our cake stands and picnic hampers. I also make cupcakes for weddings and birthdays with my business Cupcake Queen, so it all fits together.”
What other jobs have you had?
Helen: “We met at Reading University and lived in the South East for 10 years. I had grown up in South Wales and Adam was from Warwickshire. We both had pretty full on careers then. I was a dietician in the NHS and Adam was in London working in television.
After 10 years we were both shattered and decided we needed a break. We opted for a year out and came to Dartmouth. We moved into a house in Above Town, and when the year came to an end we realised we didn’t want to go back. Our new lifestyle here was too important to us. We couldn’t bear to leave Dartmouth. So we stayed.”
What is the best thing about being in the shop?
Adam: “I enjoy the business side of things and we plan to develop that. We hope to have an online store within six months, and it has been great setting up a new business from scratch.
Although we created the Dartmouth Ice Cream Company, there had been an ice cream shop on the site of the Good Intent since 1928! It’s also great working with our customers, finding out what they like about the shop, and what they would like us to stock in the future. I also love walking to work, whilst living and working within such a friendly community.”
Helen: “The interaction with the customers is the best part – the fun of meeting different people. And realising my dream. I’m an avid collector of Emma Bridgewater’s ceramics and now we are stockists for her. There are a lot of other collectors in this area and we can supply whatever they want. I’ve followed her work for years and it is exciting to share that love with other people.”
Do you live nearby?
Helen: “We now live in South Ford Road with our new addition, Holly, a seven-month-old rescue collie, who is absolutely lovely. The plan is for her to join us in the shop when she settles down a bit, and we have had a special Holly-hole built into the counter, just the right shape and size for her bed. She’s been in several times and hasn’t eaten any of the stock yet which is good!”
What does Dartmouth mean to you?
Adam: “When we were looking for somewhere to escape to, we stuck a pin in a map, and it landed near Dartmouth. I had been to Kingswear on holiday as a child and had happy memories of crabbing, fish and chips and missing the last ferry home, which meant navigating my Mum all the way through Totnes, aged ten! I also came as a teenager and stayed at the Royal Castle. Then, in 2001, we came here to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
At that time we hadn’t even talked about taking a break from the South East. But when we did, it all fell into place and it seemed to make perfect sense to be here.
“I have never felt that I belonged anywhere in the way I feel I belong here. It is a wonderful place to live and work. We both love it very much.”
First Published May 2010 By The Dart