Well… what a year it has been! This time last year, the project didn’t exist at all, so it’s pretty cool to look back at all the photos I’ve taken. In that time I’ve photographed some of the best shops in Cardiff, probably the entire of Britain if not the world, so it’s been, on a personal note a really fantastic experience for me.
However, it’s also tinged with sadness, as we’ve also seen some of these beautiful shops get beaten by the world economic state and close down. Of course it’s the nature of things that shops come and go, and it’s certainly not the first year we’ve lost some fantastic businesses, and if we’re being realistic, also not the last.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look back at three wonderful shops that are no more, Looby Loo’s Boutique, Folk Farm and Rouge Boutique. Let’s also celebrate the fact that so many other great businesses are still going, and drink a toast that long may they continue – and also to the continued health of the arcades in general, let’s hope some exciting new shops open up, and we also continue to see cute little pop-up shops, temporary exhibitions and more.
When I originally started this project, I sort of envisaged I’d have it done by now, but I’ve come to realise that it’s more of a long-time thing. Something to take time over, not to rush and stick with for as long as I’m around and shops still want to be photographed. I’m particularly looking forward to photographing the cool looking Mango surf shop which has just opened in the Royal Arcade, as well as Catapult, which has recently moved to new premises in Duke Street Arcade and is looking mighty fine.
That’s it for 2011… Happy New Year!
Looby Loo’s Boutique:
One of my favourite shoots of the year, this was early in the year and I probably could have photographed in here forever. Sadly, in September it closed its doors for the last time. Briefly becoming the Madame Fromage pop-up shop, it’s once again empty – here’s hoping something equally as gorgeous takes over in 2012.
The most popular post on my blog in 2011, the pictures from Folk Farm were incredibly crazy, kooky and downright mad. Much more like an art installation than a shop, it was with a heavy heart when I learned of its closure. Still, as Chris Brick, the owner rightly pointed out, at least we have a record of its existence in the first place.
A cute little French inspired boutique in the High Street Arcade, run by French born Frederique, this was a sweet little boutique that was unfortunately beaten in the recession at the end of the year. Let’s hope the High Street Arcade gets a much needed injection of new shops in 2012 to fill its place.