So we find ourselves at that peculiar time of year, eagerly anticipating spring's arrival while winter still lingers. February, though the shortest month, often feels the longest. Amidst this transition, at Connolly, we've completed our ‘market’ trips in Italy and France, seeking new independent creators to delight our customers next season. These journeys involve extensive and exhausting travel and searching, but sometimes lead us to discover truly exquisite items. This trip was no exception. We will be thrilled to reveal our summer hand dyed Shiburi scarves from Japan, a new winter overshirt from a renowned family-run tailor in Naples, a unique hand-knit polo from a small atelier in Florence, and some exceptional prints and textiles. Additionally, we've found beautiful summer glassware, a new ceramic artist, and even two dolphins!
This rare photograph of Knaresborough Market from the 1960s, reminded me of how we used to shop for goods, and that market life has been a British tradition since the Middle Ages and perhaps because it has been our own buying season at Connolly, I realised that although the wares have changed, the ambience of any fair or trade market is the same. It is about searching for new things, making new discoveries and reconnecting with old trading partners.
The beauty of our work at Connolly lies in finding these independent artisans, a task becoming increasingly challenging as many are either disappearing or being absorbed by larger corporations. For me, Connolly has always been about curating a collection that I truly believe in, a unique piece, perhaps only found with us at Clifford Street. Seeing the vast halls of identical furniture or menswear styles, is concerning. As the world grows more connected, we are becoming somehow less, not more and making our search for unique crafts even more crucial. But finding our old friends who continue to create marvellous new pieces is also a joy, and supporting them is essential. So just like the month of February, Connolly's selection is a blend of the old and new – ancient techniques and skills reimagined for the modern day. And a buying tradition that dates back 1000 years ….