Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Brighton Art & Design Guide - i gigi General Store

I gigi General Store
Brighton Art and Design Guide

Zoe Ellison founded i gigi general store in 2004 and since then has been joined by Alex Legendre. Together they opened the i gigi cafe upstairs in 2006 and i gigi menswear in the basement at the beginning of 2009.

Before Zoe opened the general store, the building housed a greengrocers. Zoe was so taken by the beautiful facade that she trailed the country trying to track down the owner. When she finally did they were so impressed by her persistence that a few months later the shop was hers.

i gigi is located on Western Road in the Brunswick area of Hove. The area has a real sense of community; i gigi has grown with this community over the past ten years and is now an integral part of it. They have a loyal local customer base grown over many years.

Zoe opened i gigi ladies boutique five doors down from i gigi general store five years earlier. Alex ran a restaurant in Australia before returning to her hometown of Brighton to start a family. They both have a natural eye for creating beautiful interiors.

A recent article described i gigi as a ‘micro department store’ and although they stock a range of products from unusual clothes and hats to plates and antiques it could be said that they "specialise in items characterised by a soft and natural charm enabling our pieces to sit well in almost any setting"

When Zoe opened the general store she was inspired by her ideal shopping environment; somewhere that was different to other shops and had a relaxed, warm, inviting and personal feel to it. Zoe’s farm upbringing has played a big part in the rustic, earthy feel of the shop. Today however i gigi is an imprint of both Alex and Zoe’s nostalgic personal style.

Artists that have exhibited at igigi recently are Peter Ellison, Susie Petrou and Annabelle Nicoll. They also stock Royal Staffordshire, Cote Table, Tadé, Maison Bengal, as well as their own range of antique furniture and pieces that have been reworked in antique linens and beautiful fabrics that maintain the integrity of the antique piece.

No comments: