There are many reasons why visitors come to Rye, they love to learn about its history and to witness the amazing architecture and beautiful buildings. They also love the harbour, the historic monuments and the quirkiness but they also come here to shop.
One thing the town is renowned for is its fabulous selection of independently owned shops and businesses, not a Costa nor McDonald’s in sight, no Subway, Pizza Express, Starbucks or Sports Direct to be seen, just individual, interesting and unique shops with an array of tempting window displays rarely found together in one place.
Some windows stand out from the crowd, they make you stop and stare and the goods on offer are often different from the norm and a life saver if looking for that special gift for someone who has everything.
Lola and SiDney at 29A High Street is a window to watch, they (Phil Austin and Kevin Cheesman) specialise in kitsch, one off quirky and vintage items for people and their homes. After opening in London in 2015 they decided to relocate to Sussex and were attracted to an empty shop where they knew their dream could be realised. At lightning speed they signed the lease, collected the keys and started work refurbishing the building.
Phil has a passion for all things different, here was the chance to turn a hobby into a business and share their eclectic taste with anyone looking for inspiration.
During the pandemic their ever changing widow display featured their hallmark rabbits, complete with facemasks. No longer were facemasks deemed just a necessary precaution, they soon began to appear in all shapes and sizes, style and colours, in a way they became an acceptable fashion accessory.
Moving to Rye was the right decision, on a busy Saturday it is not unusual to see up to 500 customers, and to cope with demand, the lull in footfall during the pandemic gave them the opportunity to develop their business online, now with over 1,000 items available at the push of a button.
Their success hasn’t gone un noticed, they have just been voted winners of the “Best Vintage Homeware Supplier 2021” by the panel of judges at the “Great British Entrepreneur Awards”. When you get a chance do look in their window, it’s like no other in town and if you are looking for a special pressie for someone with a sense of humour, look no further.
If you want inspiration see their website at www.lolaandsidney.com or drop by and see the shop at 29A High Street, Rye, it will bring a smile to your face.
Image Credits: Lola and SiDney , Nick Forman .