Hand (Notting Hill, London)

Business partners Susannah Baker-Smith and Gail Arnold have great passion for all things handmade, a passion that extended beyond mere conversations between friends. Together, they launched the exquisite Notting Hill shop, Hand. Visitors describe Hand as "shopping a fabulous bazaar", and from viewing their website, I cannot question this observation. Their ecclectic selection of items arrive to them from skilled artisians based worldwide who share Susannah and Gail's commitment to quality craftsmanship and materials, along with originality and beauty. With a delightful array of housewares, jewelry, clothing, both vintage and contemporary, these ladies can't help but inspire us to think more about the importance of spoiling oneself with unique hand-crafted wares.

You're sure to like what you see at this fine store, you may even leave with a huge smile and a bag swinging in hand. Why so happy? You opted to shop for something special while supporting independent crafters. You may purchase less than at a big box store, however you own something with meaning, with value, and a quality item that will outlast most purchases at a mass retailer. Sometimes, the best retail therapy isn't about the number of items you purchase, but the emotional experience of browsing a relaxed beautiful environment, running your fingers over smooth hand-thrown porcelain and luxurious silks, interacting with store owners who tell the stories behind their wares, taking you far from their little shop in London, opening you to an adventure around the world.

(images from hand - please click for larger views)