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Staffy B

Staffy B is a great interiors and lifestyle shop in Baldock, north Herts. On Fri 20 Oct, there's a late night opening to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. Fizz, gorgeous Christmas gifts, and the threat (promise) of snow.

Staffy B is a vibrant lifestyle and interiors shop in the middle of Baldock High Street. It’s run by Hayley and Toni, who swapped the world of fashion for homes and interiors. The shop was inspired by Freddie, their beloved Staffy, who died quite suddenly in August. On Friday 20 October, Staffy B will be staying open late and will be welcoming regulars and hopefully newcomers to the shop, to launch their Christmas range and, most importantly, to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. Everyone is welcome. Tickets cost £5 to include a glass of prosecco and raffle entry. The weather forecast is snow. Browse and buy gorgeous gifts to get ahead for Christmas, and on the night, Toni and Hayley will donate 10% of all sales to the charity. I caught up with Hayley ahead of the event:

What are the similarities and differences between working in fashion and running a shop? Do you feel that you’ve transferred many skills?

Being creative we were able to transfer these skills and passion into running our own business. Our attention to detail and being focused on the shopping experience for our customers ensured we were offering something very different. Many skills have been transferred from the clothing industry, including how we source and range build a unique quirky offer at Staffy B.

I know that the last month or so has been very hard for you without the main character in your business, and that so many of your customers used to come to Staffy B just to see Freddie. But how would you describe the spirit of your shop?

Freddie was definitely the spirit of the shop! He is still very much keeping a watchful eye over us all with his portrait taking pride of place at the shop counter! However, we believe the shop inspires customers for both unique gifts and inspiration for their interior projects however big or small, services include upholstery, curtains and blinds. Sometimes just purchasing a Farrow & Ball sample pot can start a whole new adventure.

Autumn is very much a time to start cosying up at home. But do you think that hygge is over this year? Did we ever really understand it? I think it means more than wearing cashmere socks in front of a log burner?

Since opening 8 years ago we have moved from Shabby Chic to Scandi Chic – and the new going out is staying in for cosy evenings. I think we were practicing hygge without really knowing it….now we are moving into ‘lagom’: not too much, not too little, just the right amount.

What about colours? What’s the next popular colour that we have to look out for? Luxury metals mixed with inky tones is gaining momentum, together they create intimacy and warmth. Recently the Staffy B shop interior has switched from Lamp Room Grey to Stiffkey Blue and customers are loving it and recreating the look in their homes. To complement the warm metals in accessories, especially the rise of copper, we are seeing retro-inspired leather influencing accessories from cushions to lamps. This will build a great base as customers get brave and work with the fastest growing colour tones of yellow and green.

And what about materials? Is it all about velvet this season? Fake fur?

This season Staffy B is about velvet and vinyl for the perfect cocktail experience – we have been sourcing retro European 1950’s cocktail chairs and reupholstering in bright velvets. The last chair only lasted 2 days in the shop window before going to its new home. Cocktail chairs, cocktail candles, and jazz vinyl will be our focus in the run up to Christmas.

I suspect that many of the readers of Muddy Herts might not know Baldock. Can you describe it? Has it changed since you opened Staffy B? 

Baldock is a friendly market town and people really support local businesses. Staffy B has become a real destination to visit but it would be good to see some other high street shops open here – maybe something in a fashion?

Is there one simple thing that we could all do at home to make our own environment better without spending any money?

Consider the use of each room and sometimes just by switching them around it feels like a make-over without the cost. Moving furniture or changing the wall art can create a whole new concept with existing objects.

Do you think that television programmes such as Grand Designs have made us more confident about transforming our own environments? And do you think that before we attempt any of our own interior design projects, it’s essential to start with a mood board? 

Whenever there is a run of interior design programmes we see an increase in bookings for our Mood Board Service. This can be specific to a room or as a project that supports direction from planning stage to completion with soft furnishings. We encourage our customers to prepare more at the beginning so they really consider what they want from a room or space and what they like and don’t like within colour and pattern.

Hayley in the design studio at Staffy B

Can you recommend any other good places that we should know about in Baldock or in north Herts? 

Taste Café in Baldock is a must for a caffeine fix and chat before starting work. We would also recommend joining The Wine Society in Stevenage, which offers an amazing collection of wines including the best of homegrown British sparkling.

Which parts of the country and the world inspire you for ideas for the shop?

Wherever we travel, be it UK or the around the world, our eyes are constantly scanning for inspiration. London always creates a buzz and this year ACE Hotel has become a favourite and inspired us to stock vinyl and stereos. We have also started to source from family street markets in Chennai in India, which enables us to showcase local craftsmanship in terracotta and copper products. For relaxing, Salcombe is our favourite chill out place.

Staffy B  63 High St, Baldock SG7 6BG   Open Tues – Sat.  Go Pink with Staffy B, Fri 20 Oct, 6.30 – 9pm.

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