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Closing my bricks and mortar shop

01 March 2019

Yes it is quite a big change!  And as lots of people are baffled about why I'm closing I thought I'd share some thoughts to explain my decision.

Snowden Flood Designer Maker shop

Being a designer-maker,  a shopkeeper, selling online and at fairs AND running a shop is a lot of work.  I am well organised but a shop generates a ton of admin.  Yes really a ton.  So I have to either be a shopkeeper or be a creative but doing both while running it alone (and to the high standard I work at) is not possible any longer.   Well not without turning into a deranged person. Besides, it feels like time to try new things and to simplify - while focussing on creative work at the same time.

Snowden Flood shop www.snowdenflood.com

When I moved to Oxo Tower in 2010 I meant it to be a workspace - a workspace that hopefully paid for itself in selling items to passing trade.  What I didn't factor in was that I like meeting all the customers from around the world, and frankly I'm a bit of a chatterbox. Every time someone came into the shop I immediately was distracted and stopped design work... (that seems to function in a different part of my brain from the social bit).  It's not easy to make new creative work like that!

It's been wonderful.  It's just that I realise it's time to return to design and creativity and hopefully some new challenges to push myself a bit too.Snowden Flood Antiques Vintage www.snowdenflood.com

I have learned SO much from being at Oxo Tower.

With my son doing GCSE's this year, the rent going up, and most importantly, a constant nagging unease that I am not doing enough of what really drives me (creatiive work and learning), it definitely feels like the right thing to be giving up my lease.  That's a scary decision though.  I'm terrified of sinking without trace. But I know it's right for me now.

Snowden Flood designer maker artist www.snowdenflood.com

Final thoughts:

I will really miss meeting the amazing people that came through those doors. 

I feel so lucky to have stocked the work of some great designers whose work I love and respect

I've been REALLY lucky to have been helped by very many really supportive friends and workmates, Sophie Abbot in particular.

Despite jumping into the unknown a bit now, I'm grateful for so many fun and happy times in that shop.

I am still terrified about this change.  But that's not a good reason to stand still is it?

I am so proud at what we (because you the customers are a HUGE part of this) have achieved - winning the best loved Southbank shop Time Out award last year and frankly even just being in profit for 9 years in a difficult retail environment ...all major wins!

Most of all...thank you everyone who bought from me and who enjoyed my shop over the last 9 years. People who have visited from far away lands every time they've come to the UK because they love the shop so much - you are amazing!  I hope you will come to open studios and that I will see you at events.  (sign up to be on the mailing list to hear!)

If you read this and visited, I'd love to hear your thoughts about your memory of the shop. Thank you all so much. x


  • Posted by Mike on March 02, 2019

    Great shop with a bunch of charming staff. You had a great eye for the new, different and entertaining.
    Some of the most enjoyable businesses I’ve been in have lasted only a few years, so can’t see anyone would see your shop as anything other than someone following their passion – and succeeding.

    Good luck for the future !

  • Posted by Katrina Quinton on March 02, 2019

    I finally got to your shop in December, sadly en route somewhere so could only buy a card, but have loved EVERYTHING i have bought from you. Your designs and creativity lift my heart and make me smile. You have created the perfect wedding presents and presents generally for friends who have left London and miss it, and for those who live here and love it. You have created the best mug in the world that features the bridge where my husband first kissed me, which I found in Fortnum & Mason and which led me to you. Your designs are delightful and your backstamp means that people will find you. Your name is mysterious and your designs are beautiful. You deserve your private life and your private space and to preserve your mystery. Your designs speak for themselves and your ability to create more should be nurtured – you make the world a better place and will ALWAYS give pleasure to everyone who comes across your creativity. Thank you so much. Good luck to your son for his GCSE’s and to you for being the mother of a son doing his GCSE’s.

  • Posted by Rosemarie on March 02, 2019

    Thank you – I love your stuff and will buy online. Ever onwards!


  • Posted by Victoria Pile on March 02, 2019

    We still have your beautiful tree glasses! I will definitley be buying from you online, or seeking you out at fairs (did see you at Islington recently) Thanks for the bravely honest blog – really hits a chord with us all! Huge luck with the next phase!
    love Victoria x (a friend of Andy and Sophie)

  • Posted by Caroline Underwood on March 02, 2019

    I bought a lovely teapot and two cups + saucers for my friends who moved to Zurich a couple of years a go, as a reminder for them of their London life and to be sure of being able to have a decent cup of tea! They love them and use them all the time.

  • Posted by Susan Mayne on March 02, 2019

    Snowden, we have loved your things! We discovered you on the South Bank and bought a whole set of plates and side plates (that we absolutely love) and various other delightful bits and bobs, some of which you were kind enough to deliver to home (we discovered you lived almost round the corner from us in Herne Hill!). Oxo Tower’s loss is Herne Hill’s gain and we will look out for your shop. When do you open? Love.

  • Posted by Kathleen on March 02, 2019

    I have loved your work for years. YOU ARE DEFINITELY NOT RUBBISH – YOU ARE AN AMAZING DESIGNER. I hope by now you believe that. I look forward to your future inspirations.

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