Cuemars is a highly creative local UK brand which combines the finest contemporary homeware with the passion of nature. The goal is to provide well designed and durable accessories and lifestyle goods for your home under the philosophy “buy less, buy better”.
We have the chance to interview Charlotte, a lovely lady who experienced a long time process of reflection and observation that led to a clear vision of how she wanted to live her life. In her shops, Cuemars, she carefully selects products locally designed and sourced which helps her to control better the supplying chain. Find unique pieces at Cuemars and get a 30% discount with us (using “ourgoodbrands” discount code) and of course… ENJOY THE INTERVIEW!
What is the tipping point for Cuemars to start? Did you one day decide to change your lifestyle?
We started Cuemars in April 2016, with the vision of creating a brand that promotes environment and sustainability. We didn’t decide one day to change our lifestyle; it’s a long time process of reflexion and observation. We now have a clear vision of how we want to live. Being green, environmentally friendly and sustainable is essential for us in our personal lives and for our business and we want to share these ideas with others.
What is your story on sustainable living?
Our story about sustainable living starts with the idea that every action can make a difference. We often hear from family or friends the frustration of not being able to do more or the feeling that small actions are useless (i.e. recycled, stop to use plastic bags…). We really believe that everybody can do something to protect the environment, the key is consistency.
How would you describe the philosophy at Cuemars?
The legend of the hummingbird can resume this philosophy :
“One day there was a terrible forest fire. All the animals terrified were watching the disaster helpless. Only the little hummingbird was busy, fetching a few drops with his beak to throw them on the fire. After a moment the armadillo, annoyed by this derisive agitation, said to him: “Hummingbird, are you crazy, you are not going to extinguish the fire with these drops of water. And the hummingbird replied: “I know, but I do my part.”
Do you design the products? What is your background?
At Cuemars, we have our own products that we designed, and we also sourced and stock local designers. Both my partner and I have studied business. However, the design has always been part of our life, we do not have the technical skills, but a lot of ideas!
We understand the minimalist philosophy of the shop “buy less, buy better”. May we ask what sort of clients do you have?
Our clients are 60% local and live or work around the shop. People are starting to show more interest in the production process of products they buy, as well as sustainability and where they come from. I think this will only grow as people turn to independent retailers to provide these types of products, making the link between the maker and the buyer much stronger.
Do you think they are aligned with the philosophy of Cuemars, or they buy because they like your designs and the shop?
The first really like the vibes of the shop which is very green and fresh. I will say they buy because they like the design, but we can see that more and more people want to buy better and are careful about what they are buying.
Could you please provide more details of the supply chain, say where you source the materials from, how it is produced regarding sustainability?
We try at the maximum to shorten the supply chain process by buying directly to makers (in this way we can control more the production and the materials).
For clothing, all our garments are certified organic and made in fair trade factories.
What does a designer or brand need to do to be distributed in your shop, or are they selected carefully by yourself?
We select each designer carefully. We are looking at different aspects of the products (where and how the products are made, which material is used (for example, for clothing, we only sourced and stock organic cotton & sustainable material made in fair trade factory).
We love the terrarium workshops you organise, any comments on that? What is the feedback from the people?
Terrarium workshop is received very well by the public. Amir has very green fingers, but I don’t, when I started to make terrariums, I was so happy to see how low maintenance they need and how easy to care they are (easier than cactus), and I found it kind of magic that the plants can develop in a sealed glass.
You sell worldwide?
We sell worldwide, the shipping fees excl EU is £17.
For those who are local there are two retail shops in East London and a popup in Backyard Market.
Check out the range of products at Cuemars and get a 30% discount using the “ourgoodbrands” discount code!
Jewellery – Necklace, Earrings, Rings (all products here – ourgoodbrands – 30% discount code)
Most of our jewellery is made in locally, using sterling silver.
Accessories – Sunglasses, Handbags, Purses, Beanies (all products here – ourgoodbrands – 30% discount code)
The sunglasses are made in Cornwall using recycled Denim
The leather accessories are made in a studio located in our shop using tanned vegetable leather
The handbags are made in North London by a French Gentleman; each piece is unique and handmade.
The beanies are made out of Merino Wool (it’s important for us to not use synthetic material).
We design all our lighting products. We now focus on the LED light bulb which is very energy saving and last a very long time.
Gardening: Airplants, Vase, watering can (all products here – ourgoodbrands – 30% discount code)
We make all the concrete holder for the airplants in our studio.
The watering can are made in the UK using a pure copper sheet.
Art pictures and illustrations (all products here – ourgoodbrands – 30% discount code)
All the illustrations are printed in the UK using vegetable oil inks which have much lower rates of VOCs emissions than mineral oil inks. Also, in contrast to mineral oils, vegetable oils are derived from renewable resources, and the inks made from them are more easily removed from waste paper during de-inking. Another plus is that the pigments in the vegetable oil inks do not usually contain heavy metals.
Pillows, baby alpaca throw, organic candles, clock, jugs (all products here – ourgoodbrands – 30% discount code)
The candles are made in the UK using soy wax and organic essential oils.
Terrarium workshops events
Learn how to make your own self-sustaining terrarium. Cuemar’s team will guide you through creating your own garden in a jar.
From the exciting history of terrariums to the variety of plants and mosses and prove how a terrarium can be built with hand-made tools. All the equipment and materials will be provided for you, as well as a care guide of how to look after your terrarium at the end of the workshop.
All workshop attendees will receive a 20% discount to use in store.
Approx class time: 90 minutes
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