Indie of the Week #6: The Hambledon

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.

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The Hambledon has been described as Winchester's answer to Liberty and it's easy to see why. This urban outpost is a haven of highly covetable homeware, beauty products and fashion which have been hand-picked to fit a certain aesthetic and customer. It's the kind of place where people don't just like it, they love it.
Who are you? Victoria Suffield, owner of The Hambledon.
Where can we find you? 10 The Square, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9ES and online

Describe your store in five words: Friendly, varied, inventive, funny and serious.

What makes you different? We're sort of ploughing our own furrow. We're a bit like a department store but we just sell what we like. We're obsessive about the look of shop. And we're very enthusiastic.
How you decide what makes the cut? We have to really love something. And we like to have an imaginary mood board for the season when we start buying. We then try to shoe horn things to fit our mental image. Spring is all about soft colour with flashes of neon. 
What were you doing before you did this? My mum has always had a shop (The Hambledon Gallery, Dorset) so I was brought up with retail. I've worked as an art dealer, for a film company and had a mail order business but there is nothing better than good old fashioned shop keeping.
If you were starting again what advice would you give yourself? Try not to fret, don't procrastinate and buy the bloody building.
What are you most proud of? Most of the time I'm pretty proud of the shop as a whole and I work with the most lovely, lovely group of people. It's not really for me to be proud of them but I am! And we're still here, 13 years later.
Do you have a favourite thing in the store right now? Womenswear for Spring is just being delivered and it's very, very pretty. We're all looking at quite hefty personal orders!
What's hot for 2013? I'm loving new paper cups and plates from France- geometric designs and subtle colours. Roll on the grown-up party.