Hello, I am Joe…one of the founders of ARDDUN which consists of ARDDUN AGENCY which is a wholesale agency and ARDDUN STORES which is our retail store located inside the Harvey Nichols department store in London. ARDDUN STORES is a store focused on beautiful products that are well made and with a story to tell which is how we met the lovely KANKAN!
Tell us a little about where you live, who you live with and why this is important to you.
I live with my partner Ian who is also my business partner (!!) – we live halfway between Islington and Shoreditch. We actually sold our house in Hackney during lockdown and moved more central. This seems to be the opposite of what everyone else has done but whether or not the shops and restaurants are open, Central London is so incredible and so much to explore. With the streets being empty it has actually been such a joy to walk around and discover places we haven’t seen before.
What does home mean to you?
Home to me is a place to relax and recharge. Pandemic or no pandemic we are always rushing around and working our socks off so having somewhere to come back to and truly unwind and de-stress is so important to me. I consider myself to be quite an introvert so having a home that is peaceful, calm and comfortable is important so I can build up my energy to tackle the days ahead!
What is the best part of your job / What is the thing that keeps you up at night?
The best part of my job which goes across the agency and the store is definitely the small yet wonderful brands we work with and the people that own them. The people we work with are so passionate about what they do and it is our role to take that passion and heart and ensure the customer sees it too. It really is such a pleasure to work with the brands we do.
The hardest part of my job/ what keeps me up at night is the constant juggling of roles and responsibilities as a business owner. We have luckily grown substantially during the pandemic and with that we have expanded our team. Knowing that we have a responsibility for our teams happiness and job security is a big deal and one I do not take lightly!
What is the one luxury that money can’t buy?
Seeing friends and family. This last year has been so hard in so many ways but it is an incredible reminder how important your friends and family are to you and how we took being able to see each other so easily for granted. I got to see my parents for the first time in a long time recently and it makes me so excited for the year ahead knowing that with the vaccine we can start to spend more time together.
This one is easy and a small joke between my partner and I. ANYTHING with a frangipani scent I am obsessed with. Smells immediately evoke memories with me and frangipani reminds me so much of exotic holidays and our time living in Sydney. I am trying to get hold of more frangipani scents for the store but not having much luck. I also doubt people will be into it as much as me but who cares!
In 2020 we got rid of our car. This was something we deliberately did for many reasons but the key one was environmental reasons. We figured we could do 90% of our travel on foot or cycling and it doubles up as exercise so it’s a win for us all! My other goal is to push further discussion on what sustainability actually means. Sadly our industry has been overrun with brands using the word sustainable as a marketing ploy with no real understanding of what they are saying. It is quite sad to see and quite frustrating. I think there are better ways to discuss it and more meaningful ways to make positive purchases. We work with so many different brands that are doing something good in their own way.
Favourite shop/ place in your neighbourhood? And why?
Our store is lifestyle but with a slightly more women’s focus. I would definitely recommend checking our Array Store on Stoke Newington Church Street for a more men’s orientated store. They have some amazing homewares, lifestyle and menswear. Shane is a retail veteran who opened his store just as the pandemic began – check it out if you are in the area. So many other good independent shops in Stoke Newington too!
All images shown are products that can be found at ARDDUN STORES