After the success of the 2019 Christmas Pop-Up, this year the Cronx Boutique returns for two months on a post-pandemic mission to champion local creative talent and bring some positivity to the neighbourhood with its much-loved alternative festive shopping experience.
The Cronx Boutique is a collective of three local brands, all passionate about Croydon. The Croydon Photographer, East Croydon Cool and Johnny Howl Club all create community-inspired artwork and merchandise to enhance local pride.
After collaborating at several Made in Croydon markets at Boxpark, we joined forces again in December 2019 to set up the Cronx Boutique; our very own pop-up store on Caithness Walk (part of the Ruskin Square development). The unique space welcomed thousands of visitors, secured coverage across a range of press titles, raised money for a local charity and hosted a series of small events.
After scrapping 2020 plans due to you know what, this year’s 2021 Cronx Boutique will include a strong focus on supporting other local creatives. Recognising the impact lockdown has had on us all, the Cronx Boutique will run a number of initiatives to help spotlight local talent.
Each weekend will feature a different Croydon creative, who will have the opportunity to sell their products directly to customers without the high costs a normal retail space would entail. These Weekend Sellers include: Three Piece Sweet (vintage clothing and vinyl), Ray Ray’s Flowers (floral bouquets), So & So Studio (slow-made vintage vibe jewellery), Mr Tinto (Colombian coffee), S.V.M (handmade dresses and accessories) and House of Lilah (art inspired candles and teas).
During the week, the Cronx Boutique will provide the Pick-Up Point for several local bakers (including Laborjee, Chatsworth Bakehouse and Dear Friend Bakery), who will be able to use the space to meet customers in a central location and hand over their baked treats.
Music played in the Cronx Boutique will be courtesy of Croydon FM – the local community radio station that received FM Status in September 2021.
With interior design direction once again provided by Croydon based Creative Consultant, Laura Sawyer, the Cronx Boutique will not be your typical Christmas pop-up. The chic black exterior will be juxtaposed by organic materials including wood, stone, plants and dried flowers to create an environment now coined as “Dark Urban Sparkle”!
In summary, the Cronx Boutique will be the perfect place to buy Christmas gifts for colleagues, clients, friends and family whilst showing support for local creatives. Items will be priced from £3 and will include art prints, candles, mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, magnets, notebooks, cards, coasters and more!
As Co-Founder Glenn Foster aka The Croydon Photographer explains; “High Streets across the UK have felt the impact of online shopping, business rates and lockdown. The Cronx Boutique aims to show how retail can be re-imagined to better suit today’s consumer.” Johnny from Johnny Howl Club goes on to say: “Supporting local and supporting small became worthy mantras during lockdown, and ones we’re keen to support and see continue”. Maddy from East Croydon Cool adds; “We believe local creatives can play a vital role in the re-generation of the town centre, and hope that the Cronx Boutique can become a case study for the type of initiative that could be invested in”.
The Cronx Boutique will run from Wednesday 3rd November to Friday 24th December as follows:
12pm to 8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
10am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays
Address: 1 Caithness Walk, CR0 9XF (next to Mr Tinto Coffee Roasters)
Permanent Cronx Boutique Sellers:
The Croydon Photographer will be selling framed and unframed signed giclée prints from his Croydon architecture collection and screen-print style giclées from his ‘Iconic Croydon’ series. He will also be stocking a range of Christmas cards, coasters and t-shirts in a bold Cronx design.
East Croydon Cool will be selling their range of mugs, notebooks and prints featuring tongue-in-cheek statements such as ‘New York, Paris, Milan, Croydon’ and ‘Croydon is Always a Good Idea’. They will also be launching their new ‘Eau de Croydon’ candle range designed to evoke memories of the Borough past and present. The range includes ‘Le Mouton Noir’ and ‘Orchidée Bleue’ – a nostalgic nod to old Croydon nightclubs.
Johnny Howl Club will be launching three new collections at Cronx Boutique. ‘The Croydon Edit’ showcases Croydon’s much-loved architecture through hand-drawn art prints while Cronx Life tote bags and Cronx Gal pouches provide a celebration of community spirit. ‘Art and Milk’ is a fun collection for little ones, including iron on patches and art prints with pop culture references. ‘Icons’ is a collection of hand-drawn digital prints that depict some of pop culture’s beloved figures including David Bowie, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Amy Winehouse.
Weekend Cronx Boutique Sellers:
WEEKEND SELLER ONE: Three Piece Sweet (12/13/14 Nov)
Curated by Oliver, this local nostalgia cave (normally based in Limitless Virtual Reality café in Croydon) specialises in hand-picked vintage clothing and collectibles as well as new and used vinyl records. www.instagram.com/3.piece.suite
WEEKEND SELLER TWO: Ray Ray’s Flowers (19/20/21 Nov)
Run by Rachel, this floral design studio based in Croydon offers deliveries of both fresh and dried flowers, bespoke wedding flowers, workshops and event floral styling. www.rayraysflowers.co.uk
WEEKEND SELLER THREE: So & So Studio (26/27/28 Nov)
Started by Sophie from her home studio in Croydon, So & So studio is an independent-one woman-run shop selling vintage vibe, slow made, handcrafted, one-of-a kind polymer clay earrings. www.instagram.com/shopsoandso
WEEKEND SELLER FOUR: Mr Tinto (3/4/5 Dec)
Founded by Francisco in 2017, Mr Tinto is a Colombian coffee roastery based in Croydon. After humble beginnings serving coffee (sourced directly from Colombian farmers) from a bike, Mr Tinto now has its own premises (just next door to the Cronx Boutique!) and a thriving online business. www.mrtinto.co.uk
WEEKEND SELLER FIVE: S.V.M (10/11/12 Dec)
Set up by Katie, S.V.M was a project born out of lockdown in which she uses her sewing skills to create hand-made dresses and accessories. www.instagram.com/notoriouskga
WEEKEND SELLER SIX: House of Lilah (17/18/19 Dec)
Founded by Chantal, House of Lilah uses scent and loose-leaf tea to bring an artistic touch to homes as well as sensory experiences that help spark creative imagination. www.houseoflilah.co.uk
Weekday Pick Up Point Bakers
BAKER ONE: Chatsworth Bakehouse (30 Nov)
Run by Tom (a professional chef) his and girlfriend Sian (a Producer/Director) this micro bakery was born out of the COVID-19 crisis, following a business closure, lack of access to basic supplies & determination to bring the community together. Overwhelming local support and a little love from the press has resulted in a ‘bricks and mortar’ premises in Crystal Palace. www.chatsworthbakehouse.com
BAKER TWO: Laborjee (2 Dec)
Established by Grace in 2018, this small business grew its wings at food festivals and markets around South London and Surrey. Having gone online, her treats are now hand delivered to doors across the Borough. www.laborjee.co.uk
BAKER THREE: Dear Friend Bakery (9 Dec)
After 10 whirlwind years of running around New York City, working her tail off in the hospitality industry, Rosa returned to her London hometown with the love of her life and little boy in tow. What began as a way to make her son happy (baking with vegan ‘happy day’ cakes during Lockdown 2020) soon blossomed into a daily way of life (and business!) www.dearfriendbakery.com
About the Croydon Photographer
Glenn Foster is a born and bred Croydon boy. As a photographer, he has worked worldwide but has a strong passion for all things Croydon and has worked with many local businesses providing imagery for websites, brochures and adverts. Over the past couple of years, he has ventured into the art world. Watching Croydon change so visually has inspired him to construct Croydon based art. His knowledge and hands-on experience combined with progressive new editing techniques have enabled him to become more inventive with his designs. www.glennfoster.squarespace.com
About East Croydon Cool
East Croydon Cool is a community marketing platform that showcases the coolest things to see, do and experience in Croydon. By creating and curating relevant and inspiring content, hosting events, selling merchandise and co-ordinating volunteers, it strengthens local pride and encourages people to embrace the exciting new changes redevelopment brings as well as the businesses, organisations and people who have been here for years. www.eastcroydoncool.co.uk
About Johnny Howl Club
Johnny Howl Club is a contemporary art brand, founded by artist Johnny Larran with business direction by Giselle Rambaran. Johnny creates hand-drawn digital impressionist pop art and sustainably sourced merchandise, using biodegradable packaging where possible. He also creates urban pop art, and paste-up street art under the pseudonym ‘Johnny Howl’, which can be found on walls across Croydon, Camden, and Shoreditch in London and Germany, Greece, Canada, and the United States. Johnny started creating art in his thirties after a chance meeting with the internationally acclaimed artist WRDSMTH who inspired Johnny to create one of his first pieces of art: ‘You Can Sit With Us’. www.dimestore.co.uk/johnnyhowlclub
About Laura Sawyer
Croydon resident, Laura Sawyer has over 18 years’ experience in the fashion, photographic and creative industries. Delivering beautiful and stylised creative direction, art direction and set design, Laura’s previous experience in fashion buying adds a commercial understanding to her inspiring creative vision. Previous clients have included; Google, Jimmy Choo, John Lewis and The Dorchester. Laura also owns The South Wing, a newly renovated Victorian apartment in Croydon that provides a versatile and on-trend back drop for fashion, interiors, still life and food photography shoots. www.laura-sawyer.com
About Croydon FM
Croydon’s first official community-led radio station broadcasts live from the heart of Croydon town centre and offers a wide range of live shows to keep locals connected informed and entertained. Croydon FM offers local people a first step into an industry that’s often hard to access. In addition to live Radio shows, Croydon FM also runs a youth training programme open to teenagers based in the Borough who are interested in learning and developing skills in Radio Production.