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The most remarkable online selection of the best items from independent shops and interior design the world has to offer.

‘’The Shopkeepers is an ongoing study on the evolution of retail, on how we shop, but also a celebration of all the creative and inspiring shops and shopkeepers.’’

When we see images of stores and shops in social media, an urge that is almost as a reflex to know more about the brand, the treasures it hides, and the way it all comes together in its interior design concept -a creative form of expression that is drawing people’s attention lately- awakes inside us. On the most recent Forbes list of Top Influencers, interior designers occupied high positions with a total of 7,370,000 among followers, subscriptions and like clicks; some of the new players that have been attracting worldwide costumers in this field are Portugal, Austria and Turkey.

‘’The Shopkeepers brand first started as an Instagram account featuring inspiring shops. The website began as a way to build a community and share the stories behind the shop fronts and shops displays. The latest addition to the blog, ‘Going Places’ local guides, is very popular.’’

Paula Flynn, who has a printed textiles career at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin under her belt, moved to Paris and worked as a design assistant at the international fashion brands, Chloe and Karl Lagerfeld. Later on, she arrived to New York City where she began working with Liz Claiborne to later be part of the GAP group for ten years, a high reach, massively known and worn she established what is now known as GAP Kids and baby GAP.

‘’The Shopkeepers is a culmination of all of my experiences. I have had many diverse roles – design, merchandising, wholesale, sourcing, operations, and retail have been the common thread connecting them all.’’

How do you define a shopkeeper?

‘’A shopkeeper wears many hats and requires many skills. A unique vision, merchandising abilities, visual display skills to be able to execute their own vision, and good business acumen.’’

The 2018 has been a year were costumers’ motivation has not been precisely driven by a shopping craving: instead, the experiences that brands can offer them have become their number one goal; this has led the market to the creation of new ways of satisfying this need in order to regain costumers in physical shops.

‘’In the last decade, our shopping behaviors have changed dramatically: people shop more and more online. I think people visit actual brick & mortar shops if they either are in their neighborhood or if people are visiting a destination and have the time to wander. The shops are part of the travel experience.’’

Why did you decided to focus on shops?

“I have always been passionate about discovering lovely shops. I used to travel to Europe and Asia for new trends in fashion and retail research, and I loved it. There are lots of guidance sources to restaurants, hotels and coffee shops, but no one had ever focused just on shops.”

Which was the first ‘’The Shopkeepers’’ shop?

‘’Michele Varian in NY. I had seen the opening of the Orla Kiely Flagship store in Soho, and we were neighbors with Michele. We collaborated on various neighborhood initiatives and Michele was very supportive of my project.’’

The Flower Shopkeepers

‘’The flower shopkeepers began when I noticed that every time I posted a Flower Shop on TSK it got an amazing response. I also noticed that there was no account focused just on Flower Shops, so I did a survey on IG Stories and the response was 79% for a Flower Shopkeeper account! Plus, flowers and plants add beauty and joy to our everyday lives, and there’re plenty of beautiful aesthetics sources to choose from right now!

‘’I visited Lisbon for the first time last February and absolutely loved A Vida Portuguesa shop. John Derian Company has just opened a new outpost in the West Village, which is so charming. RW Guild also opened in Soho in December and is a stunning concept and space.’’

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