Every Wednesday 'Indie of the week' celebrates the best independent stores around. These places sell interesting and varied collections of design-related things you don't see everywhere else. They may support young or local designers or be great at finding unique things from around the world. By thinking a little more creatively about what they stock they are fighting the bland homogenisation of so much of the high street. And since I'm down with the realities of modern life, online only stores count too, because a beautiful and easy to use website is just as delightful an encounter in cyberspace.
Do you you have a favourite store? I'd love to hear from you.
Ever wondered what ice-cream parlours are used for in winter? This enterprising trio have come up with the perfect seasonal solution.
Who are you? Louise, Carol & Meryl of The Original Pop Up Shop
Where can we find you? At our pop up Christmas shop, now until the 21st December, at the Riverside Parlour, Tolney Lane, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 1DA. Online at The Original Pop Up Shop; on Facebook; and on Twitter
Describe your store in five words: Festive, inspiring, timeless, crafty and original of course!
What makes you different? We started out life as a pop up shop three years ago transforming our family ice-cream parlour into a festive wonderland for the five weeks leading up to Christmas. Out go the freezers and in come the decorations, wreaths and locally grown Christmas trees, last year we launched online so we're a kind of online pop up shop too, that's quite different I think.
How you decide what makes the cut? Planning for each Christmas collection seems to start earlier every year and we always try to source unusual and beautiful products, often collaborating with little designer makers to come up with something a bit different. So we are often involved in the design process early on which means you've got to love it, or it's just no fun.
What were you doing before you did this? We are all still working full time in other jobs, so this is a project that we all fit around that. Carol runs the ice-cream parlour for the remainder of the year, Meryl is in finance and Louise is a freelance stylist in Sydney, Australia.
If you were starting again what advice would you give yourself? Trust your instincts a bit more and remember that it's all a massive learning curve so don't be too hard on yourself when things don't always go to plan.
What are you most proud of? The fact that we have managed to achieve what we have with one third of the team half way round the world, a really small budget and lots of determination.
Do you have a favourite thing in the store right now? Probably our hand printed Santa sacks and the super cute 'decos' by Abbie Brown - love them!
What's hot for 2013? We are loving our multi coloured felt ball garlands and can see them being strung up not just for Christmas but all year.