I’m really loving getting to meet amazingly creative and ambitious people through my ‘Local Creatives’ series, and my latest venture out to local store Wu Concept proved to be no exception.
Nestled in the busy market town of Newtownards, around 10 minutes’ drive from Belfast, Wu Concept (Wu – the pet name of co-owner Karen’s son) is a unique homewares, gifts and interiors store that specialises in designs for children. Describing themselves as a ‘modern children’s homeware brand’, owners Karen and Rachel see the store as much more than an interiors shop – it’s a venue for mothers, fathers and grandparents to find quality European design and inspiration to create modern, stylish and fun spaces for the little ones in their lives.
When I visited recently, it was Rachel who warmly greeted me upon my arrival and I was immediately given a tour of the beautiful store’s interior, happily armed with a much needed coffee straight from downstairs artisan coffee bar Haptik, above which Wu Concept is snugly located. Fresh artisan coffee while you browse? What’s not to love?!
It quickly became evident that Rachel simply oozes natural creativity; as an abstract artist, she has a wonderful eye for good design, aesthetics and colour. She and business partner, Karen, an interior designer, have created a store that exclusively stocks high quality children’s homeware brands, carefully sourced to meet the needs and expectations of their clients, at an affordable price point.
The business pair opened the store after coming up with a new concept that was centred around children’s room design, something not found elsewhere in the region. Having met when Karen came to design Rachel’s daughter’s nursery, their idea was born when they realised that people are looking for unique, design led products now and want their kids’ sleep, rest and play environments to be stylish and modern, as well as functional, stimulating and fun.
As well as the perhaps better known names such as Ferm Living and Cable & Cotton, Wu Concept stocks products from lesser known brands across Europe, such as Sticky Lemon, whose customisable kids’ bags are simply adorable, Meri Meri, where you’ll find beautiful party ware for every occasion, Briki Vroom Vroom, a French brand specialising in carefully crafted wooden toys and teething rings, Danish brand Maileg and Lucky Boy Sunday, the brainchild of a Danish design duo, offering quirky cuddly toy characters made from the softest Alpaca wool.
Here are some of the gorgeous products on display…
Rachel also explained that they are happy to source any products that can’t be found in store – they are very much committed to offering a value-added service to their local customers and this is extended to their newly launched Click and Collect service on their website, whereby clients can order products online and pick them up in store (along with that coffee, of course)! As busy mums themselves, they recognise that the pressure of modern life can often mean that we simply don’t get the free time to visit the shops.
Along with the beautiful range of products in store, Wu Concept also offers an interior design service, solely for children’s rooms, run by interior designer Karen. They offer a bespoke room design, covering every detail from initial consultation right through to project management, completely tailored to the client’s needs, as well as a full styling and sourcing service, to help you create a perfect space for your child to grow and develop in. This belief that every child should have a magical space to spend time in is at the core of Wu Concept’s business model and they really are committed to providing the best service possible, whether you’ve just popped in to buy a small gift or you’re looking to decorate a new nursery.
Do take the time to pop over to Wu Concept (they open Wed-Sat 10am-4pm, from 9am on a Saturday), or check out the wide range of homewares, toys and stationery available on their website. They also regularly update their Facebook page and Instagram feed with new products and styling ideas.
So, if you’re looking for inspiration for your child’s bedroom or playroom, this is the spot to visit – you can be assured of a warm welcome and plenty of modern, luxury brands at affordable prices.
Thanks Rachel for showing me around and I wish you every success in your business venture. I’ll be back again soon!
** Wu Concept have kindly offered all you lovely Dekko Bird followers a 10% discount off their products in-store. Just quote code INTRO10 at the checkout! (Available until 10th June 2018 and limited to one discounted transaction per customer) **