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East End mum and fashion buyer launches The Curious Cockney

An indulgent stay at an eccentric hotel prompted former fashion buyer Sam Parsley to launch an online shop ‘The Curious Cockney’.

Sam, who lives in Mile End was previously a buyer for ASOS, River Island and Topshop and was taking time out to look after her two children. She was enjoying a weekend at the Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield.

“Before I went back to my room, which was all mirrors, crushed velvet and bling, I had a thought: Wouldn’t it be good to setup a small company that specialised in decadence but at an affordable price?’ I couldn’t let go of the idea.

“In a large company it can take so many meetings to get anywhere but working for yourself you can just make it happen. The freedom to think of an idea and action it is amazing"

“The idea of setting up a small business, working from home and spending more time with the children was overwhelming.

“My heart was always one of community, creativity over the bottom line. I like The East End of London, where I live. I’m proud of where I live. Antique markets, vintage clothing and homeware inspire me. Quirky curiosity shops. Friends and fashion.”

10 months later The Curious Cockney was born – an online shop specialising in decadent, bohemian and modern homeware and fashion which is mainly sourced from East End makers and artists. And it has already amassed a whopping 28,500 Instagram followers.

Members of the Local Buyers Club can save 10% at the Curious Cockney. More details here

Sam has invested her savings into purchasing stock and setting up the business. Among the 20 plus local suppliers featured are Paradise Row, Limehouse Ceramics, Earl of the East, Jess Jos, Paradise Row and 57 Design.

Sam added: “Many of the people we work with work out of garden sheds, small studios and in some cases from home.”

The Curious Cockney aims to promote unique products above mainstream and supports independent makers and small businesses. Products are mainly one-offs.

Sam created the website herself with help from her partner David, a music video director – they taught themselves via YouTube tutorials.

“In a large company it can take so many meetings to get anywhere but working for yourself you can just make it happen. The freedom to think of an idea and action it is amazing. It’s also great to be spending more time with the family. I had been a mythical creature at home for such a long time and it felt great to spend some time with them before they really were at the stage when they would rather I wasn’t here.”

What is the Local Buyers Club?

We're on a mission to help you discover and support the best local and independent businesses.

We've negotiated discounts for our members at dozens of fantastic restaurants, shops, bars and businesses throughout North and East London. We help promote them and raise awareness of the advantages of shopping locally.

Join Local Buyers Club and, for just £12 per year, you'll be helping to support independent businesses and you'll receive a discount card to use at any of the 90+ businesses listed on the site. Find out how it works.


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