Grand Designs: Si Beales takes a regular look at some of Brighton & Hove’s most successful businesses. This week he discovers a design led shop for grown ups – Junkfunk in the North Laine
There’s something just a little bit different about Junkfunk on Gloucester Road – something a tad more sophisticated. Maybe it’s the fact that founder Huw Williams comes from a graphic design background. Or that Michael Robson, his fellow director, has extensive marketing and retail experience, but they seem to be just a bit more grown up and well conceived.
The key to the success of their business is they know what they like and understand the tastes of their ever growing list of customers. The essence of the business is gifts, homeware and T-shirts but always with a design led and often typographical approach.
Take their T-shirt collection. Designed by Huw they are quirky and humorous but not ‘in your face’. The muted colour palate and original slogans make a change from the gaudy brashness of the high street.
And it seems like they are more than just my cup of T, as Junkfunk have been wholesaling their T-shirt collection to selected stores in the UK, Europe and Japan since 2003 and are planning to take the brand to a key trade show in Berlin.
This design led, typographical theme continues throughout the store – whether it’s books, cards and badges by David Shrigley, ceramics by Keith Brymer Jones, or watches by Mr Jones and Martin Larsen, there is a focus on quality of design and manufacture.
Junkfunk also carry a small collection of women’s dresses by Emily & Fin. Plus there are innovative accessories like a belt made from recycled bicycle tyres. As often as possible they try to work with local designers and source ethical products. Coming soon will be a new T-shirt design by celebrated graphic designer, Si Scott, which will complement the existing in-house designs.
Junkfunk are also extremely active online and their website is fast becoming a vital component of their business. But it’s the store which is the showcase to their unique approach to design led, quality products. They have really made a home for themselves in the North Laine since they opened in 2007. And they have now become an integral part of the design led character of many of the stores in Gloucester Road.
Junkfunk is a great example of a vibrant and successful Brighton business – exactly what this feature is all about – and with their ambitious designs on the future they are undoubtedly a business to look out for.
Junkfunk, 27 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AQ, 01273 680555 www.junkfunk.com