Since 2017, we have dedicated our professional and personal lives to celebrating all things Northern. On Valentine’s Day 2017 we launched our own website under the name For the Love of the North and began this incredible journey. We’ve been lucky enough to have stores across the North East; in the countryside at Corbridge, in the city centre at STACK, and by the sea in Whitley Bay. Currently, we reside beneath the iconic white dome of the Spanish City where we get to watch the sun rise and fall over the North Sea. Like many of our fellow northerners, Paul and I have always been such advocates for dismantling the ‘grim up north’ ideology that is so deep-rooted in UK culture and For the Love of the North has been a great starting point. We are so excited to see what the future holds for our little indie brand and hope you’re all ready to join us on our journey.
The main focus of For the Love of the North is to celebrate the beauty of the North, something which couldn’t be achieved without our team of fabulous creatives. Our team initially started with the talented Ebony Newton Designs and Lisa Kirkbride, then, as we expanded, we began to stock Bright Seed Textiles. As the years have passed, we have worked with over 60 different creatives who have all had an influence on our brand and shaped the way we represent the North and the North East. At the moment we are gradually starting to release some exclusive stock in partnership with some of our most beloved creatives including Lisa Kirkbride, Net00n, Missus Print and more. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support and creativity from all of the artists we work with and we’re so excited to begin to expand our growing family further south to include Yorkshire-themed gifts and prints.
The landscape of the high street has certainly adapted over the last five years, with big-time retailers being exchanged for small independent brands just like ours. In 2018, the shopping district in Whitley Bay was placed in The Guardian’s shortlist of ‘10 cool shopping districts around the world’ which has really altered the ways in which shopping is perceived. Aside from promoting all things Northern, Paul and I champion sustainable and local shopping in every way we can. We run a quarterly newspaper which focuses on the local area and local shopping to promote fellow indie businesses and encourage others to shop small. The independent high-street is something that was incredibly close to our hearts even before the birth of our own brand and, in recent years, it has become apparent that people are beginning to value their indie high-street more and more. We are actively promoting a sustainable shopping environment after discovering that retail was one of the biggest polluters annually. We’ve exchanged plastic wrapping and bubble wrap for compostable packaging and are dedicated to working with creatives who are just as eco-conscious as we are. Our stock is reflective of this ideology with reusable products from Drawn By Rhiannon and our own exclusive vegan and organic tees and tote bags.
Before the pandemic, Paul and I were very involved in a variety of charities and often visited schools and HQs to discuss how we could use our business to support the local community. Whilst we are still involved in these charities, our physical presence has been diminished by the pandemic, so we’ve used 2020 to support a range of initiatives in our own special way. At the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, we teamed up with the beloved Lisa Kirkbride to create our ‘Love will get us through’ prints which then raised over £7000 for NHS Northumbria Bright Trust. Over the 2020 Christmas period, we have stocked the adorable miniature snow dogs in collaboration with St Oswald’s Charity with 25% of each sale going directly to the Trust. We can’t wait to see what the future holds and to really get back into our charity work when the world begins to settle into the ‘new normal’.