Introduce yourself and your store.
Lucy is passionate about art and people. In 2016, she founded in klöver with her sister Claire. Based in Northern Ireland, in klöver is a truly local shop which showcases the work of artists and independent makers from across Northern Ireland and beyond.
Is there a story behind the name?
The name in klöver is derived from the Swedish word for ‘clover’ and the expression ‘in clover’ which alludes to living a carefree life of ease, comfort, or prosperity. We believe that life is enriched by relationships, experiences and the arts. Our shop interior also has the feel of a Scandinavian design shop which is why we chose to have a Swedish name.
How long have you been doing this?
We opened in klöver in Hillsborough in October 2016 and then in Moira in February 2020. Retail is tough but we truly love and believe in what we do. It is our passion which sustains us.
Best moment of store life so far?
We love the buzz of Christmas followed by customers popping in to tell us how much everyone loved the gifts they bought from our shop! Supporting independent makers and making our customers happy is so rewarding and makes all of the hard work worthwhile.
How did you come across Text From A Friend?
At Top Drawer in London.
What's your favourite Text From A Friend product?
There are too many to list… We love the humorous cards like ‘I can’t wait to sniff your new baby’ but equally cards like ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ as they manage to find the words that people struggle to find themselves.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A vet, an astronaut, a weather girl… the list goes on. I tried a few careers before arriving at retail. Running a shop or any small business is so varied that it gives you the chance to do a little bit of everything. It really is the perfect fit for anyone who hasn’t had a lifelong dream.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take every opportunity and don’t be afraid to fail. Nobody can predict what the future holds so embrace today and don’t fret about the years to come. It’s a bit of a cliché but life really is a journey, not a destination.
When you get time off, what do you do?
What is time off?… Running a shop really is a labour of love! When not working, I love the simple things like gardening, going to my local coffee shop and travelling to discover new artists and makers.
Favourite city/destination to visit?
I love to see new places so I don’t have a place that I go back to time and time again. I love Amsterdam as it has so much to offer. It is so picturesque and has great cafes. In the Summer, you can take the train to Zandvoort, visit the beach and cycle through the sand dunes.
What inspires you to buy a maker's product?
When the maker exudes passion as it is reflected in their product. We love people who are as enthusiastic about what they do as we are.
What do you love most about having the store?
The people. Discovering new talent and meeting artists and customers is so fulfilling. We especially love to be able support makers who are starting out and it is exciting to follow their journey and see how their work evolves.
We have a new project called klöver haus which will offer a combination of free and paid arts events, demonstrations and workshops designed to bring people together and foster a greater sense of community. The idea is to create a space to bridge the gap between our makers and customers. It will be a collaborative space for people to enjoy, experience and express themselves openly through art. As a social enterprise, klöver haus will be a small space with big ideas and all profits will be reinvested to further the social mission.
Dream product to have in store?
We find dream products all of the time! We really are so lucky to have so much talent on our doorstep.
Top tips for visitors to your city?
Hillsborough, County Down is a great village for a weekend break. We have Hillsborough Castle, a forest park and great restaurants and pubs all within walking distance of our very picturesque village (and shop!). There are lots of great air bnbs to stay in and it is only a short drive from Belfast which is great for a night out. For a longer trip, Northern Ireland has a beautiful coastline and lots of places to see. After Hillsborough, the Giant’s Causeway and Titanic museum are at the top of the list of places to see.