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’.
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.
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!
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.
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”
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.
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!
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.
96 Chapel Street Market
Possessed has since closed down!