London Life Shops

possessed n1

May 23, 2013

When i go to the islington farmers market on a sunday morning i always pass this cute little vintage shop. I take a peek through the window and am always disappointed it’s still closed at that time of the morning.

A couple of weeks ago i got to the market late, in fact just before closing time and low and behold, the gorgeous shop was open! Result! Upon entering, i was immediately smitten. I was greeted by the lovely owner, tania rowling, who lives above the shop and immediately asked whether i could come back, take photos and do a little interview. Phew, she said ‘yes’.

Meet tania.

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Why did you open possessed n1 and why? I decided to open a shop and live above it when i was planning to move out of my live/work sugar warehouse in bow. It took much persuading by my sister cindy who is my business partner.

96 Chapel was the first property we looked at and we were both excited that it was in chapel market as this street had been an enormous part of our childhood. I had always wanted a shop and have collected and worn vintage clothes since my teenage years, forever trawling camden market and charity shops for some treasure. I have a big collection of 1930 -1950s clothes especially dresses and 40s suits and my flat has always resembled a mixture of a museum/mad vintage shop!

Cindy persuaded me to take the plunge in early 2011 to create a live/work space where i could sell my art and create an eclectic environment to sell vintage/design/fancy goods in a home, hence the big decision to incorporate my english rose kitchen into the shop.

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Your place is very unique as you live upstairs! When we took on 96 chapel market we decided to create a home first and the shop would fit in around it – years ago i visited an artist house in NYC, a beautiful space where every thing was for sale and since then i’ve always harped on that i would like to create my own style shop/home!

Upstairs is smaller than i would have liked but as we ripped the existing flat out it has become a blank canvas for me to create my own world – hence the bath area is a main feature as that has always been my favourite room in my house!

It’s a constant work in progress and will be ever changing. We have plans to expand upwards in the next 3 years to create a larger living space!

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Tell us about life before possessed n1  I have been a self employed artist for over 15 years supplementing my income with managing and working in restaurants. The last restaurant i worked in was moro where i managed the office and PR on a part time basis working closely with sam and sam clark. I always put my own artwork first and have been represented by a paris based gallery since 2007.

Having been an avid traveller from south america to asia and with london, paris an NYC being my favourite cities,  my inspiration for my work has come from those trips. I love bustling mad cities’ typography, architecture and transport and those elements are reflected in my work.

I was born in archway, north london, and have always loved this city with its buildings, mad unusual shops and cafes. I love the furrier costume shops on chapel market, the pie and mash shops, and any vintage shop front window holds excitement for me  and features heavily in my work.

Apart from selling in paris and doing art fairs such as the affordable art fairs in London and NYC , i do personalized commissions.

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Can you describe possessed n1 in a sentence? A collection of all things beautiful, eclectic, where design and glamour rule.  Our moto: ” more is more”

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Tell us about the theatrical telephone dress (here below) This beautiful dress & hat was made in 1956 for a fancy dress party for a mrs douglas m mickel from edinburgh. It came in a beautiful 1950s panettoni box. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful and unusual pieces i have ever owned.

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How often does new stock come in? I am always looking for new things so i shop constantly. I also have a few dealers that i’ve bought from for years. They know my taste, so bring in new treats for me. The shop is ever changing!

So your wonderful kitchen is actually in the shop! You were telling me of dinner parties soirees…I’ve always loved hosting dinner parties and cocktail soirees so this is the next step.

Having worked in restaurants for years i have a big network of chefs and catering friends to draw on, moro taught me to arrange and organize private functions and sam & sam clark and other chefs from moro are going to come and cook here, so that’s really exciting! I want my dinner parties not only to be styled with vintage crockery and glasses but also music and film. My brother owns a film event company onedotzero and he wants to curate short films to work with the menu to make our dinner parties go to another level.

As for the soirees -I’ve got various events lined up for the summer – northern soul DJ’S – burlesque dance evenings – vintage hair and make up evenings. Each event will be styled!

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possessed n1 is available for photo shoots and filming!

Thank you tania. It’s been fascinating and you surely put a stamp onto chapel market! See you soon.

Possessed N1
96 Chapel Street Market
London
N1 9EY

Possessed has since closed down!

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24 Comments

  • Reply Louise - 30s Magazine May 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Oh those sunglasses are so cool! Looks like a fun shop. Just wondering what to do if you need a magazine from the bottom of the pile 🙂

    • Reply tina May 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      hahaha. I had the same thought! What if I needed a magazine right at the bottom??? hahaha

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey May 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    What a colourful and eclectic melange this is. From the perspective of Ms Colourliving, I can see why you were keen to step inside.

    My favourite piece is the telephone dress – incredible. I’m surprised it hasn’t been snapped up by a drag queen yet. Now that is what I call making an effort for a fancy dress party.

    Tania’s ideas for soirees and dinner parties are quite conceptual. Certainly some great summer evenings on the cards. I particularly love the idea of welcoming people into a shop that is a home that is a shop. The whole thing is madcap (to me) and fun and obviously curated with love and affection. Good on Tania.

    Gxx

    • Reply tina May 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      “Eclectic Melange’ is good!

      Yeah, that telephone dress is something else! You’re right, can see a drag queen in it:-)

      I also thought the soirees et cetera were interesting. I like when an idea that’s already out there gets a twist. It always make me curious..
      The hom eis out of bounds to customers, but I don’t know whether that would change for the soirees.

      Thanks G, Tania is extremely passionate and her home is full of her personality.
      xx

    • Reply Simon Hamilton May 30, 2013 at 12:38 am

      Gerard
      I’m an avid follower of your Blog so it’s really good to see your comments on Tania’s shop. Now the Telephone Dress is out there, maybe it will be snapped up by Miss Demeanor or some other colourful character.
      Regards

      Simon

  • Reply James Balston May 25, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I’m with Gerard. Love the telephone dress! I think a visit to N1 is on the cards

    • Reply tina May 27, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      You boys, trying to visulise both of you in that dress. Well, James, you were not far off that in your moon walk.
      Still waiting for proper pics:-)

      When are you hitting my shores?? x

    • Reply Simon Hamilton May 30, 2013 at 12:32 am

      James
      It’s definitely worth it, maybe catch up with you there at one of Tania’s events as well?

  • Reply Elena + deco May 25, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Dear Tina, I am glad you were late that morning and you had the chance to enter Tania and Cindy’s world. I am based in Rome these days but I will definitely pay them a visit next time I will be back in London. I like the idea of including the kitchen in the shop (or the shop in the kitchen!) and hosting parties there. I like the wall paint, it is well done,brush strokes can be horrid or beautiful it depends on how well you do it. I like the attractive disorder. I am an interior designer and I have a blog myself,I would love to publish your photos, Tina, in my blog quoting of course your name and putting a link to your blog. Please send me an email if I can. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply tina May 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Hi Elena,

      Thank you for stopping by and benvenuta:-)

      Oh, how much I love Rome!! It’s actually my favourite city (except for London).
      Yes, you’re right about the brush strokes. They can be horrible. This is all nice and full of personality. I particularly like the bath and dressing table. Tania has a very good eye!

      “attractive disorder’ is a good term. I never know how to describe it…

      Of course, feel free to use my photos. I will email you.
      Glad you enjoyed this.

  • Reply Elena + deco May 25, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Tina and Tania, keep in mind that if you need a guide when in Rome, I am pretty good at unveiling the secrets of the city 😉

    • Reply tina May 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      I will take you up on this… can’t wait to return to Rome and am always looking for secret haunts.
      Thank you so much!

  • Reply leah of sang the bird May 26, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Love her home. The magazine stack is awesome! This has been another one of Tina’s Fab Finds. Really honey I feel like I go on such an adventure with you. xx

    • Reply tina May 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Knew you would like the magazine stack!!!

      Pleasure love.. you know always happy when I inspire xxx

  • Reply Chi@106 May 26, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    What a brilliant twist on working from home! Her plans for future events sound so exciting.

    It’s always refreshing and inspiring to see retailers do business in such fun and innovative ways – take that, High Street!

    P.S LOVE the telephone hat, by the way! 😀 x

    • Reply tina May 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      I wholeheartedly agree!!!

      It’s exciting and encouraging to see Entrepreneurs like Tania do her thing and innovate. That’s what’s missing in the High Street. It’s all boring and formulaic!!

      Ha. Ms Fashion Designer… thought you might like the telephone hat. xx

  • Reply Nicola May 27, 2013 at 12:34 am

    What a fascinating place, person, shop and life!

    I’m seriously in love with that circular black and white rug – and as for the telephone hat and dress, get me to a fancy dress party now. The soirées sound sensational, food, film, an all-round wrap of an event.

    • Reply tina May 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      Tania told me about the rug and now I forgot. Was it 50’s Heals??? I’m going to find out for you.. but I LOVED it too. Stunning piece!

      Haha. I can actually see you in that dress and hat. Think would suit you a treat!
      Yes, would be keen to have Sam and Sam from Moro cook on one of these..

      Thanks love x

  • Reply Catherine Bedson May 27, 2013 at 10:18 am

    What an interesting family. There isn’t enough exciting retail stores around like Tania’s these days. It’s wonderful and I love the sound of all the events she’s got planned. The shop that is her home reminds me of the first time my mother took me to Belfast and people were running milk bars from their homes. xx

    • Reply tina May 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Well spotted Catherine. I think all 3 of them are true Entrepreneurs. I also know they all get on and see each other which is delightful in itself.

      Can I be stupid and ask: what are Milk Bars???
      I’m often surprised to hear how much of the UK/Ireland you have seen/experienced.

      Love Tania’s concepts and have no doubt they’ll be a success! Thanks xx

      • Reply Catherine July 31, 2013 at 10:56 am

        I thought I’d re-read this post after reading your current post about Tania’s german brunch and noticed you asked what milk bars are. They’re your version of the corner shop, the place where you get your paper, milk etc. although they are dying out here as we have lots of supermarkets near us or the 7/11 convenience store. xx

  • Reply Simon Hamilton May 30, 2013 at 12:31 am

    This is a little gem which is worth seeking out. Tania’s managed to balance the stylish with the practical, the weird with the wonderful.

    I make a point of going to Possessed as it’s great great for inspiration, especially when some clients are being less adventurous.

    I love the idea of soirées in such an original setting. I’ll have to sweet talk Tania into holding some of my concept sessions there.

    • Reply Tania May 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Ooh la la looking forward to the sweet talking Simon x

  • Reply Elisa May 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    What an awesome shop! Love all her eclectic and quirky the selections! She sounds like a true creative soul.

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