Monday, 30 September 2013

French Grey Tales, Bedlington

Last week we found ourselves in the north east of England. Not by accident, you understand – we meant to go there. We didn’t just wake up there in a state of confusion, wondering what had just happened. That would be most unusual.
No, we drove up the A1 for three hours to stay in a yurt near Newcastle upon Tyne. This was far too much like camping for Laura, who was lost without a telly, wifi or a hairdryer. Girls, eh?

Ahead of our visit, we’d had a look for any interesting vintage or painted furniture shops to visit  - and one really stood out: French Grey Tales in Bedlington.

French Grey Tales, Bedlington

Layla: "I've got no make-up on!" Laura: "I haven't done my hair!"

We found FGT because it’s listed as a stockist of Miss Mustard Seed milk paint and Laura’s really keen to try it out (we particularly liked some of A Cupboard Less Ordinary’s recent milk paint pieces).
French Grey Tales is run by Layla, whose enthusiasm is infectious and inspiring. The shop’s only been up and running for a few weeks now but it looks gorgeous. From her workshop at the back of the shop, Layla paints furniture to sell and also takes on customer commissions.

This beautiful chest with owl handles sold in a heartbeat

I love the chippy paint on this cupboard

There's just too much to look at...

Owl + bureau = win

Great mirror at a bargain price

More owls...

Chalkboard wall gives details of workshops

Painted steps with glass bottles are a nice touch

You just can't have too many owls...

These were brought in by two lovely ladies while we were visiting

She supports local artisans and craftspeople by selling their products in store and, upstairs, French Grey Tales runs a variety of workshops, which are being well supported.
As well as MMS, FGT now also stocks Autentico chalk paint

It was great to meet Layla, because she’s a terrific example of how grit, determination and a big dollop of talent can make all the difference in starting up your own business. She gave us loads of great ideas and advice on how to take a little of the pain and stress out of opening up a bricks and mortar shop and even gave us a beautiful crate to take away with us, because it came from a farm just down the road from where we were staying – a great little memento of our mini holiday.

Our great crate!

If you’re anywhere near Bedlington (or even if you’re not) we’d recommend a visit to French Grey Tales. If you can’t get there, you’ll have to make do with following Layla on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook