When Marcus Crane and Gareth McCully decided to pack up and escape to Rye from East London 12 years ago, with their family of hounds, they first renovated their house, but knew that they wanted to forge their creative skills and eclectic eye and build a haven for interior lovers.
You only have to search Google for ‘McCully and Crane’ (now located at 27a Cinque Ports Street in Rye) and you will find a wealth of beautiful interiors images and glowing reviews on stylish websites, which show that they have done exactly what they set out to do and made a very successful business.
Even their use of words is creative so, rather than attempt to find my own, you can enjoy a quote from their online shop describing their business as “beautifully crafted and cleverly re-worked statement furniture can be found amongst walls covered with emerging artists, daring lighting and fabulous one-off objet trouvé with a rough luxe aesthetic.”
Marcus and Gareth started by renting a small shop in Needles Passage. Marcus said “We’d never run a shop before so thought we’d give it 6 months. What started off as white jugs and shabby chic evolved into a bigger shop with an eclectic mix of furniture, a gallery and an interior design service.”
The interior design happened by accident. Marcus says “when people came into the shop and bought a lot of items, they’d ask us to help them come and put the pieces together. The interior design side grew out of that.”
The individual pieces of furniture are timeless, and Marcus says “It’s important not to get too attached to current trends which come and go and to choose an aesthetic which evolves”. Colour palettes change and trends normally go in 10-year cycles so he advises choosing pieces that are timeless and work well together. (See the gallery of images below).
Setting up an Art Gallery
When the shop next door to their interiors business became available in 2015, they decided to take it on and set up an art gallery. Marcus said “the addition to the shop was a gut reaction. We saw the art work as complementing the interiors in domestic spaces, taking into account the importance of the juxtaposition of art and objects.”
They like working with new artists, some of whom, like Luke Hannam, have studios at the Rye Creative Centre. In normal times they would run events to promote their work, but no exhibitions are planned for the immediate future.
Using lockdown as an opportunity
Their clients come mainly through word of mouth or recommendation and are based all over the country, from as far away as Cornwall. Marcus said : “We can’t just rely on footfall in Rye and we use technology and social media to build our audience”.
Their enthusiasm for their business is obvious and they were not going to let three months in lockdown stop their creative ideas evolving. They have used the time to develop their use of technology to build an online gallery, a database of repeat clients, and to source items for clients.
Buying artwork online can be tricky, but they take care to show close-ups, frames, five images, and give as much information as possible so customers can see clearly what they are getting.
Where to find McCully and Crane
You will find McCully and Crane’s online shop here or visit their eclectic interiors store and art gallery in the heart of Rye at 27a Cinque Ports Street. They even sell gift vouchers if you’d like to give an unusual gift but are worried about making the right choice.
The gallery below will give you a flavour but you can see more on their online shop.
You can also visit their Instagram
Image Credits: Marcus Crane .