Unite & Type
Gloria Daniel (pictured) opened Unite & Type at 341 Portobello Road in September 2012, adding another independent and quirky business to the thriving stretch of Portobello Road between Golborne and Bonchurch roads.
At its heart, unite and Type is a ceramics outlet that specialises in all things typographical. The ceramics come in all shapes and sizes, from pieces printed with I ❤ Golborne to mugs with graphics of bicycles.
"I was born and brought up in this neighbourhood and I used to work in the antiques trade on Portobello Road," says Gloria, "so it was completely natural for me to come and open a shop on the Golborne end of Portobello.
"This is definitely the most interesting - and friendly - end of Portobello nowadays. Most high streets are so homogenous today, but all the independent businesses here offer a real breath of fresh air."
There's an antique press in the middle of the shop, and rows of mugs, teapots and jugs, all with witty and original messages or images, cover the walls. Everywhere you look, there's something to catch the attention: an old chess set; vintage dominoes; wooden type cases; a set of draughtsman's instruments.
You can also have a lot of fun on the Unite and Type website, where you can design your own items including mugs, jugs and piggy banks on screen, with messages in a variety of fonts and colours. Once you've completed your design, you can order it online.
As well as selling all kinds of ceramics, Unite & Type run two one-day courses each month offering an introduction to letterpress and printing with metal and wood type.
Gloria started her first business in 1999, The Big Tomato, still going strong today. It makes genuine English bone china and creamware pieces in Stoke-on-Trent and decorates them in unique style. They supply retailers around the country including Heals, Selfridges and John Lewis.
"We're proud to be continuing the rich English heritage of making and decorating ceramics," says Gloria, "and it's been great fun to bring that to Golborne."
Unite & Type
341 Portobello Road
London W10 5SA
020 8964 4599
Open Thursday to Saturday, 10AM to 5PM
Big Tomato Company