Swoon is a gorgeous new online shop from Susan Cropper, owner of my favourite local yarn store Loop, and her business partner in this new adventure, Anthony Duncan-Smith.
With a shared love of beautiful, eclectic and quirky design that has given Loop so much of its personality, Swoon is quickly becoming a one-stop shop for vintage finds and artisan homewares for gifting or simply treating yourself. I caught up with Susan and Anthony to find out more about the store…
RA: When and how did the idea for Swoon come about?
Swoon: We’ve been playing with the idea of opening a shop together for about a year, mostly joking about how many beautiful vintage things we find that there is no room for in our home anymore, ‘unless we open a shop!’
For years I have also had this thought to open an interiors and lifestyle shop as I see so many beautifully made things when going to design and handmade fairs for Loop but they don’t quite ‘fit’ with my knitting shop. Also, we are both graphic designers and share a love good authentic design. We saw a beautiful typeface containing an ‘S’ that we loved and always joked that if we ever opened a shop together we had to use it – Swoon – a word we both love the look and sound of and which sums up how we feel about the treasures we find.
RA: What catches your eye – how does a product make the Swoon list?
Swoon: Luckily, almost magically, we agree and are drawn to almost the same things. We can be mooching about a vintage market with thousands of objects and we will both pick the same thing, often with our hands reaching out at the same time! The same thing often happens at the design fairs. We only take things that we both love and that we would want to live with; something a little bit different but useful. Our graphic design backgrounds also draw us to printed matter – beautiful books, hand and letterpress papers and self-published magazines.
RA: The store contains items and finds from all over the world – where are your favourite places for travelling and what attracts you to these places?
Swoon: We love to travel, having both landed in London from New York City and Calcutta, India. Wherever we go we make sure to find out when the flea markets are on. When visiting my family in Pennsylvania we scope out the antique barns and auctions, which are such a hoot. We also find things at the big interior fairs in Paris, Berlin and New York, but even at these we are looking for the unusual or to collaborate with the designers that we find such as Fliff Carr, Grainne Morton and Mizuyo Yamashita. We get incredibly excited and inspired working with people who are passionate about making great stuff and like to bounce ideas around.
RA: I think my favourite item on the site is Bella the Bunny by Emily Maude – do you have a favourite and no cheating, you can’t say they are all your favourites!
Susan: Ooh- that is hard. I think I would have to narrow it down to four things (so sorry!). The wire and bead Merry-go-Round makes me so happy when I look at it that I nabbed one for our apartment. Much to the bemusement of Anthony, I also kept back one Acorn box with Squirrel, some of the 4th-Market handmade Japanese cups and saucers (as they are the most beautiful cups I have ever come across) and the terracotta pinecone…I’m a sucker for anything ‘woodland’!
Anthony: Difficult, but I would say the pair of prints of a wedding couple. Partly it’s the designer in me that loves rare and unusual prints, but also because we found these gems in Upstate New York on a great little road trip we took to a lake last Summer.
RA: What are the 2015 plans for Swoon Lounge?
Swoon: We have some incredible things arriving early in 2015 – our Valerie Casado ceramics collection is winging its’ way over from France as we speak which we’re very excited about. Also, coming hot on her heels is our bespoke collection from Mizuyo Yamashita. In February we will receive a small range of gorgeous clothes from Manuelle Guibal and necklaces from Grainne Morton. At the end of January we are heading off to the New York Gift Fair and have appointments with very exciting people, so who knows what we will find?! It’s all very exciting and perfect for the two of us who both love to travel and find exquisite things!
RA: Thank you both so much for taking time to catch-up at what I know is a very busy time of year and I wish you much success with your new venture.
Swoon Lounge are kindly offering my readers a 10% discount on purchases valid until end of day on 31st January 2015. Simply enter the code MyLifeInKnitwear/Swoon at the checkout to receive your discount.
All images © Swoon and used here with permission. www.swoon-lounge.com
Disclaimer: I have not received any form of payment monetary or otherwise for this post.