HLN x Bellwoods | Lust List Takeover
This week's lust list is a special edition, introducing you to a new online lifestyle store, Bellwoods...
In partnership with Bellwoods
We caught up with owner Nathalie Bouleau Chabot who set up Bellwoods to pursue her passion whilst on furlough from SmartWorks Newcastle.
Tell us about Bellwoods – how does it work?
Bellwoods is a modern online lifestyle store, bringing together a collection of items for you, your home and your life. I’m really passionate about supporting and shouting about independent designers and I want people to see the amazing work made by someone’s own hands – the creativity, time and effort it takes to make something truly unique and special, rather than a mass-produced item made with no care and attention.
I am inspired by keeping things simple – products I choose to focus on craftsmanship, functionality, concept, or just because they look so good that I need them in my life!
Each maker and item in the shop is thoughtfully selected to feel like it belongs next to the other. This creates a beautiful visual experience for our customers, and also takes out some of the stress or overwhelm that I know people do feel when shopping – especially when shopping for someone else. I want the whole experience to be personable and enjoyable.
I buy items in small batches and regularly introduce new products so that people are inspired each time they visit.
We all know you from Smart Works – tell us your background and why you have decided to set up this lifestyle store?
I spent my 20’s in Toronto (Bellwoods is affectionately named after Trinity Bellwoods Park) working as a retail manager and visual merchandiser for national retailers and independent stores. I was really inspired by the indie shop scene in Toronto.
When I moved back to Newcastle, I couldn’t find any shops similar to those I loved in Toronto and found myself travelling to other cities just to get that same shopping experience.
I have always wanted to own my own shop but never had the courage to do it. This May I was put on furlough from Smart Works and after some reflection, I decided that is was now or never. I have launched online but hope to open a physical space next year.
How have you found starting a business during the pandemic? Did you see it as an opportunity?
I think the pandemic was actually a great time to launch Bellwoods (I never thought I would say that sentence!)
We’ve all been spending more time at home and I think people have come to appreciate their space as much more than just four walls. We’ve learnt to appreciate the small things and take life at a slower pace. I think the pandemic has allowed people to show they care by choosing how they shop. I know in Newcastle, and in Whitley Bay where I live, there has been a huge increase in people shopping locally and wanting small businesses to succeed. From speaking with people I know, they don’t really want to travel all the way to the city to go in a huge crowded shop – they want a smaller, more personable experience, and that is what independent businesses are great at!
Business has been really great so far – I’m so grateful for all of the support I’ve received – and that I’ve had customers from across the country – not just my friends and family! It has been really encouraging.
I hope people continue to shop local even after the pandemic, which will enable small makers and businesses to continue to grow
Finally, tell us why you’ve chosen the below items for your lust list takeover…
Every item on Bellwoods has a reason why I love it and why I’ve chosen it for the shop and I’ve chosen some of our most popular items that focus on stay-at-home autumn comforts – we’ve got you covered with candles, cushions, throws, nail polish, socks, chocolate, notebooks and magazines – everything you need for staying in.
Our new Christmas collection will also be launching in October so look out for that – and in the meantime, I would love to offer High Life North readers 10% off their first order. Simply use HLN at checkout and the discount will be applied!
HLN x Bellwoods – Lust List Takeover | 25 September 2020
Nude Throw in Midnight
Folded, this throw is a lovely mix of colour and shapes, but opened out, she is revealed, in all her glory. We love to celebrate the female form.
This brand has matched every throw bought with an emergency blanket for a refugee, through Choose Love, the world’s first store that sells real products for refugees.
Bleecker Cushion Cover in Pink
This is a little piece of abstract art for our sofa. The Bleecker collection is inspired by the sights and energy of Brooklyn, NYC. If we can’t be in New York, we can at least be surrounded by memories of the city!
Volume 19 of Cereal Magazine takes us to Korea – exploring the architecture, photography, food and fashion. A collection of essays and poetry delves further into Korean culture, both in Korea and beyond.
Our favourite feature? Definitely the 24 hour city guide of Seoul – we are dreaming of when we can travel again!
Bare Bones Chocolate – Dominican Salt
Salted chocolate? Yes Please!
This single origin Dominican Republic 68% dark chocolate with taste notes of salted caramel and roasted hazelnuts. The salt creates the perfect balance of sweet and savoury – making it incredibly complex and moreish.
And the packaging is as good as the taste .. perfect as a gift – or for ourselves!
Oat Nail Polish
We love subtlety for our day to day looks and Oat elevates our basic jeans and t-shirt look to make us feel like we’ve put in just a bit of effort! Mornings are often rushed so we love that it’s fast drying too!
Hello You Lay Flat Notebook
Lay flat notebooks are the only notebooks we use. The pages lie completely flat (also perfect for lefties) and Hello You features music sheet paper complete with a rotation of lines/dots/plain. Perfect for notes and drawings!
Glaze Scented Candle
The Glaze Scented Candle has notes of patchouli, rose and brown sugar – a totally unique (and wonderful) smell.
The vessel features an all-over screen printed artwork, with matching box (perfect for gifting), and once the candle is finished we’re left with a beautiful glass jar.
I Love You, Now Get Off Me Card
Two words: dead arm.
The Lizzy Minimal Brass Hairpin
We love anything that is beautiful and functional and the Lizzy Brass Hair Pin is both! Lizzy is a really simple way to keep your hair back off your face and can be worn in multiple styles – the perfect everyday hair accessory.