Niko Dafkos and Paul Firmin are bringing a touch of West Coast artisanship to Hackney with their beautifully curated lifestyle store and brand, Earl of East London. The duo first had the idea for the business while travelling through California a couple of years back. They noticed an abundance of independent lifestyle stores in neighbourhoods like Silvertown and Echo Park; something their hometown of London seemed to be lacking.
'When we returned to London we both discussed trying to do something of our own. We loved vintage items and thought that there was a bit of a gap in the market to create a really well curated lifestyle store and brand,' Firmin says. The fledgling brand started off as a single stall at east London's weekly Netil Market. Venture into its now permanent home – an old shipping container also in the market – and you'll find an intriguing mix of vintage carafes, candles from a number of independent American brands, and even the odd succulent.
Aside from curating items by other lifestyle brands, the creative forces behind Earl of East London are also in the midst of developing a couple of side projects. They recently collaborated with local architect and part-time ceramicist, Thidaa Roberts (of Blue Guy Pottery), to create a range of travel-inspired scented candles called 'Wanderlust'. Due to popular demand (the range sold out in under two hours), they have plans to begin holding one-to-one bespoke candle making sessions, and even have a leather goods range in the pipeline.