I love independent shops and try to support them as much as I can. It saddens me that Birmingham has so few of these, and the ones there are seem to shine bright but burn out quickly. There isn’t an area like some other cities that support them. The Custard Factory is potentially a great hub for them, with so many small creative businesses and even housing a radio station. Perhaps if and when Digbeth has its much discussed ‘great regeneration’ this will change. However, there are some gems that should be appreciated more.
Cut-Out is a lovely shop in the Custard Factory which supports young artists, designers and illustrators. It creates and sells its own t-shirts, dresses, posters, bags and jewellery. The shop also has its own screen printing studio. Everything is printed by hand on ethically sourced garments, and with water-based inks which are more environmentally friendly. The shop recently printed a series of lovely t-shirts and tote bags for Created in Birmingham to raise money for Acorns Hospice (I bought a bag the other day, it looks great!). As well as stocking clothes from Mouldy Loaf, they are very eager to sell local artists and designers work, so please get in touch! The shop has also recently started a series of intimate in-store gigs which I hope to post more about soon.
I am pleased to see that Urban Village had once again returned to the Custard Factory! A great vault of everything vintage including furniture, vinyl, clothes and jewellery.
At weekends the Custard Factory also features the Saturday and Sunday Flea markets. Running from 11-5pm on Saturdays and 11-4pm on Sundays, they support local designers and artists, and sell everything from handmade jewellery, exotic food, vintage clothes and all manner of things weird and wonderful.