Walking into Paper Plane is to step into handmade heaven. With an eclectic range of products on offer, this is a shop that manages to showcase an array of independently designed products whilst maintaining a clean and contemporary aesthetic.
The shop is run by designer and maker Alice, whose own creations – Rolfe & Wills and Alice Rolfe Illustration – sit proudly in amongst some 40 other emerging designers, makers and artists in around Bristol. With products such as screenprinted goods and illustrated china mugs amongst Alice’s talents, this is certainly the place for someone looking for a special gift that someone will love.
“The shop is what we call a ‘creative cooperative’,” Alice says. “The shop was set up almost four years ago under the collaborative vision of seven designers and makers. As time went on, some people moved away to pursue other projects, so last year responsibility of the shop fell to me.”
“Most of our products here are locally sourced from here in Bristol and across the South West,” Alice continues. “Paper Plane now stocks around 40 makers and we love finding new and exciting talent and sharing them with our customers. We want to house locally, handmade products and make them easily accessible to Bristol.”
And that’s exactly what Alice has managed to achieve. From handmade cards, tea towels and jewellery, to statement light shades, these local designs aren’t just your usual bunch of knickknacks. Split into two rooms, the small path that leads into the back is painted bright with the innovative designs of a number of skilled card-makers – it almost feels like a tunnel pulling you deeper into the shop’s creative depths.
Not just limited to crafts, Paper Plane’s scope also reaches into sustainable clothing, with a number of organic and ethical t-shirts dotted about the shop from designers such as Boodle, Sight Hound and Aly Dalrymple.
Located on a stretch of Gloucester Road alive with the vibrant buzz of independence, Paper Plane is living proof that local designers are still at the heart of Bristol’s creative scene, and that big high street chains can’t replace the knowledge and expertise of small business owners.
Paper Plane, 196 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8NU