Following on from yesterday, it's time to look at the first floor of Bird's Yard, which houses three superb and diverse shopping experiences.
Tiffany Harper is without a doubt the sweetest, kindest hearted person I've ever met. She's also a bit bonkers, and has more mannequins than you would think was imaginable. All the mannequins in the shop are Tiff's, and they are also available for sale in Butterfly Attic, which takes up most of the first floor of the shop. Whenever I go upstairs, I always walk through the shop, even though you're able to get to the third floor without walking through. You'd be foolish not to though, as you never know what you're going to find.
As well as mannequin heads, torsos, legs, arms, and any combination of those you might want, you'll also find vintage furniture, has been altered, primped, decorated, or just cleaned up a bit. Cabinets overflow with all manner of stuff, including wigs, signs, mirrors, hats... it's just a lovely place to have a browse around. Everyone who works for Tiff is friendly, helpful, and always has a smile for you. If you haven't loved Bird's Yard before you go upstairs, this shop will make you love it.
The Beating Arts
Three talented artists, working under one banner. Joy Gilleard, Gemma Gilleard and Belinda Schofield produce a bewildering array of artefacts. This photograph doesn't really do the shop justice.
Firstly, along with ReChord, is the one where the men are going to want to go. The male mannequin at the Leeds Loves Shopping launch was styled by BA, and the look they created was well received by everyone who has seen it: male fit screen printed t-shirts, hand etched leather cuffs, and trilbys. They also produce ladies fit t-shirts and tote bags, so they cover a wide ground.
As well as clothing, the shop has large prints and cards, and much for sale gives 5% to the Haiti fund. By far my favourite part of the shop is the designer vinyl cabinet. I have to be careful not to get too close in case I accidently buy it all.
Beating Arts also provide wall design, such as that seen at Eiger Studios and City Bloc, and all three artists have provided graphic design, store design and photography for other stores in the building. It's a pleasure to work in the same building as this much talent.
Gorgeous Keely is delicate and pretty, and her clothing reflects her personality. Kee Boutique declares itself all things vintage, and provides vintage clothing, lovingly restored or restyled, as well as new clothing with a vintage styling.
The shop also includes jewellery, shoes and accessories to complete your outfit perfectly.Most excitingly (for me anyway) you get to see Keely sewing in her little shop/studio. Watching someone working, and actually making the clothes for sale, is surely the essence of independent shopping: you know slave labour hasn't provided your clothing, and you're supporting local designers at the same time.
(Photos courtesy of James Abbot Donnelly - with thanks)