Meet SoLo Craft Fair: 1/3 of Elephant Stores
SoLo Craft Fair opened their first independent gift shop at Elephant Park in 2021. They tell us why they love being based in Elephant Stores.
- 19 January 2022
SoLo Craft Fair (South London Craft Fair) was founded by Catherine Dunne and Rebecca Hunter, who are both makers themselves. Catherine is the owner of London Lily which is a homeware, jewellery and beauty range, and Rebecca is part of the Drawn Together Art Collective.
Each month SoLo Craft Fair will play host to over 60 small businesses, selling everything from art to fashion, to homeware and more. Their new space is part of the multi-use unit Elephant Stores where other small businesses Little Louie and Fix Your Cycle also operate.
We hear more from founders Catherine and Rebecca about their new store at Elephant Park…
We were having a Christmas drink in the winter of 2015 and said how nice it would be to have a few more South London markets, and by April 2016, SoLo Craft Fair was born. Initially, we were only meant to do the market as a one off, but 5 years later here we are!
We love being part of Elephant Stores, it’s brilliant to be working with two great businesses, Little Louie and Fix Your Cycle. The fusion of having three different companies under one roof really makes the place truly unique.
As South Londoners ourselves we love to champion businesses South of the river - all our markets are in South London, so it only felt appropriate to have our shop in a similar location. Elephant & Castle seemed perfect as it is a central location, yet it has that strong sense of community. We have loved getting to know all the locals and neighbouring retailers of Elephant Park over the past two months.
Most of our staff and traders are South London based - we really welcome having local makers on board.
Elephant and Castle is an eclectic mix of culture, arts and innovation. Certain streets are buzzing with energy no matter what time it is; in others you can find a little oasis of calm.
The diverse mix of things you can find here - whether it’s a Colombian food shop, an 80s arcade bar, an Italian food market – Elephant & Castle has it all!
Cultural, energetic and creative.
The local community has been so welcoming and supportive - it’s meant the world. Opening a shop during a pandemic is incredibly nerve-racking so it’s been great to meet so many locals and have their support.
Elephant Park is a brilliant hub of fantastic unique businesses - we could just lose hours wandering around the park and having coffees in all the bars and restaurants.
Lendlease and the Elephant Park team were extremely helpful in assisting us setup and, now we’re open, the support continues.
Small businesses tend to be more sustainable, with the lack of mass production, and most companies using recyclable packaging. Many of the businesses we work with have a sustainable ethos and plant trees for every product sold. The shop produces very little waste, and we are mindful about the impact we have on the environment.
This is a hard one as there are so many to choose from!
We love having Penny and Lil’s lampshades in store - they’re made just down the road in Catford and are all so incredibly vibrant and unique.
Secondly, we should mention Gifted Hands Africa which is ethically sourced homeware made by single mums in Uganda.
Finally, we’ll go for Ruby’s Reads who provide multicultural books which are beautifully illustrated, and all celebrate differences.
Any maker can apply to be in the shop via our website.
- Every month we showcase different makers and designers - so there’s always something new on offer.
- We are a small business supporting other small businesses, with a sustainable vision.
- The shop offers one of the most original and diverse range of gifts.
To read more Q&As from our other retailers, check out the below links: