Carola Strohoff and Ulrike Trueltzsch-Hille are the proud owners and founders of the online store Things We Love. The company has been running for two years, representing hand selected artists and designers from all over the world to sell through their bespoke website. Things We Love – (it’s all in the name) participated in this year’s London Design Festival with a curated pop-up shop and exhibition space on Redchurch Street in London.
Having spoken to co-owner Ulrike at the show, it quickly becomes evident why the two partners set up their online business. Ulrike’s passion and enthusiasm for design led us around the space talking passionately about most items on show. The products on show were extremely varied, beautifully made and well executed, ranging from exquisite bespoke jewellery to comical colouring-in books for adults. Ulrike and Carola’s broad sense of design awareness and humour definitely shines through. Ulrike notes “the variety of our chosen designers and products are as varied as life”.
Both partners work as freelance picture editors in London and sometimes in their homeland of Germany. After many years of editing for various magazines, Ulrike and Carola decided they wanted to begin representing design products independently. “We have come across so many amazing photographers and designers’, we developed the wish to do more to promote our beloved designs”. Ulrike herself studied photography, so naturally good representation of a product became increasingly more important to her “photography is very close to my heart, but on top of that we sincerely believe that beautiful items make your existence more exciting and worth living for. As Lulu Guinness once stated on one of her bags ‘...put on your pearls girls...' “.
The Things We Love pop-up shop on Redchurch street became a great opportunity to let their potential customers see, feel and touch their chosen products, “this you can't do online....and the response has been very positive, many people liked what we had to show. It gives us the energy and feedback to continue further” Although it is hard times in today’s climate for retailers all over the world, Ulrike and Carola still remain positive about their returning customers although admitting, the products they sell are more about indulgence rather than survival. Things We Love have remained successful in not only attracting a younger edgier customer on a tighter budget, but their taste captures attention from those with “the larger purse”.
Things We Love offers a genuine and humbling approach to buying bespoke gifts. Ulrike explains that the biggest achievement so far for them is that artists trust and want to work with them, and their customers appreciate what they have to offer. The close relationship and admiration for each designer and their product is a refreshing personal touch in today’s competitive market of online retailing.
To read the article on Arts Thread: http://blog.artsthread.com/2010/10/ldf-things-we-love-interview/
Visit Things We Love: http://www.kandrmedia.com/thingswelove/