As You Sip is our content series where we chat to some of our favourite businesses: they might be local to us, friends of ours, or just businesses who we admire and want you to find out more about. We’ll be chatting to them about their work, their values and of course, their drinking habits. Today we’re talking to A New Tribe, an east London store curating a beautiful collection of homewares.
For those who don’t already know, tell us a bit about A New Tribe?
A New Tribe is an independent interiors and life style store based in Hackney, East London. We predominantly sell hand-crafted products such as ceramics, textiles and other home accessories, working directly with small designers, artisans and craftspeople from around the world. We also specialise in one-of-a-kind Moroccan rugs.
As fellow small business owners, we’d love to know what drives you every day, and what values are most important to A New Tribe?
We’re driven by the love of what we do and a genuine passion for and belief in the items that we sell. The most important thing to us is to offer a unique selection of objects that you can’t easily find in other shops in the UK, often working directly with designers and artisans all over the world. This makes our job both more challenging but also far more satisfying. We have quite a personal relationship with the designers that we stock, which makes it all so much more worthwhile.
What does a typical day look like at A New Tribe, and what’s currently keeping you busy?
Ha! Where to begin….
There isn’t really a typical day for me running the business as we’re a very small team meaning that my job pretty much covers everything involved in the business, but on a typical week, I do everything from looking at orders that need placing and communicating with our community of designers that we stock, working on collaborations, planning and bringing photoshoots to life, keeping the website up to date, accounts, social media, and responding to customer enquiries.
I also work in the shop one day a week when I often re-merchandise and make sure everything is looking just how I like it, alongside day-to-day shop tasks. I love this day as it’s great to be in the shop space and to meet and chat to our brilliant customers, and our small but brilliant team run the shop the other days.
At the end of a long week, what’s your favourite drink to settle down to?
Recently I’ve treated my self to a bottle of Umeshu (Japanese Plum wine), which is my perfect drink when I get home on a Friday, served on the rocks. I always love to order this in Japanese restaurants, or during time that I’ve spent in Japan, but only recently did I think to buy a bottle of this to keep at home… Although sadly it doesn’t last long enough!
On to cocktails then, do you like to experiment with new drinks or stick to the classics?
I like to experiment within the parameters of the types of drinks that I know I’ll like… Anything gin or tequila-based usually gets my vote, although my all-time favourite is that well-known classy classic - a Pina Colada, but it has to be done well! I’m also a big fan of an Amaretto Sour.
Where’s your favourite place to take a moment and savour a cocktail?
I’m so lucky to have the all-time best cocktail bar at the top of my street - it’s called 56 St James (in Walthamstow) - it has the most perfect neighbourhood cocktail bar vibes, and very importantly the most delicious cocktails created by owner Warren. It’s only open on Friday and Saturday evenings and you have to ring a buzzer for entry so it feels like a special secret place that you’re lucky to be a part of.
Now, we’d love to know what you’re enjoying as you sip the perfect cocktail — firstly, what are you listening to?
I’m currently listening to Timbuktu by Oumou Sangare which I bought on vinyl earlier this year. At home we only really listen to records or the radio, as I play my ‘A New Tribe’ Spotify playlist everyday in the shop, and so it’s nice to have a change from this at home.
And what are you reading?
I’m currently reading a novel by Lucy Atkins called Magpie Lane which is a psychological thriller set in Oxford and is a real page-turner. Alongside this, I’m reading/admiring ‘The World’s Best Shops’ by Courier, which is keeping me inspired and dreaming of what could be next for A New Tribe.
And finally, what might you be watching?
I’m a little late on this but I’m currently watching Season 5 of ‘Better Call Saul’, which is has got better and better each season! It’s also on my list to watch ‘The Swimmers’ film as soon as I can find enough time to sit down and watch this.