London Life Events

The Holborn Workshop

November 4, 2013

Whilst at the fabulous best of britannia i met morgan hamilton-griffin, also a visitor to the show. We were chatting about his online magazine the holborn which they’re looking to publish in a printed version very soon. You all know my fascination with printed magazines and i’m delighted that there are more and more springing up, despite the ‘downturn’.

I wanted to know why he visited the show and that’s when morgan told me about the holborn workshop. The official opening was on friday evening, but i got there in the early afternoon to catch up with the man and take some snaps of this most raw and wonderful space. It used to be london’s oldest ironmongers. This is very hot off the press as not all products to be sold have even arrived.


Meet morgan.


Can you talk about your online magazine the holborn? How did it start? Me and my good friend Joshua had spent years at University together sat in the pub talking about everything from woodwork, to craft beer to Northampton-made Shoes. But always with a focus on the provenance of products, good design and a love of things that were made to last for generations. This was always done with a good few pints and a large stack of magazines, from those vital ingredients and ideas it is little surprise we ended up where we are today, celebrating all those who go that extra mile in whatever they do.

You’re looking to move into print and have a Kickstarter campaign lined up? Yes, we started the magazine online as we had just a few pennies to rub together between us and we wanted to build a fan base, but the intention has always been to go to print. We also thought it would be a bit disingenuous to celebrate all these great makers if we didn’t create a beautiful product ourselves. We are working with two great graphic designers, Nico Taylor & Andy Ainger and are launching our Kickstarter next week.


How did the idea for the Workshop come about? The magazine has always had an architectural element to it as we have always imagined the Holborn as a space, hence why our sections are named after rooms ‘The Bar’ ‘The Pantry’ ‘The Dressing Room’. So we have always imagined having a physical space. I have always seen a strong synergy between curating a venue like The Workshop and editing a magazine, it is all celebrating things, people and values you love. Combine this with collaborating with GreenTea Architects who hold many of the same values, and coming across the unique venue at 493 Hackney Road, it was the right time and place to do something we have always dreamt of doing.

This space will be a café/design shop/event space? Can you expand? We are popping up in the venue for four months, but would love to take the venue on long term and all things going well we will. With such a great space there is so much we can do. We will be open everyday with our design shop with 10 great designers, and there will be coffee and beer for you sit back and relax and enjoy the products and the space. We also have a whole host of events planned and new ideas and proposals are coming in all the time. Details will be released soon.



You’re starting this venture with your fiancée Julia who is an architect As I had mentioned, The Workshop is a collaboration between The Holborn Magazine & Green Tea Architects. My fiancée Julia is a partner of Green Tea Architects. Green Tea and Julia share many of the values of The Holborn and are a practice that put good design, ethical practice and responsible action at the heart of what they do. On a more personal note as a couple this sort of project is something we have talked endlessly about doing and it is great to now be business partners as well.



How did you source the products for the shop. What attributes were important to you? The products for the shop come from many of the companies we have previously interviewed and featured. They are all companies that make quality products, that source their materials responsibly and with a great attention to detail. Be it knowing the exact flock of sheep the wool came from, or having a strong relationship with the people that make the product, sourcing locally and sustainably. These values bind our Artisans Collective and all our work at The Holborn.



As you have barely launched, tell us what products we’ll find here? Currently in store we have bags from Irish brand Stighlorgen; Men’s accessories from Monsieur London, Stationary from Quill London, Furniture & Prints from Baines & Fricker, Menswear & Womenswear from Evocha and Footwear from Mudlark. We have another four designers moving in this week so keep your eyes peeled for even more.






Where’s the coffee from and what drinks will you be serving? Coffee is going to come from local roasters Ozone from Old Street and our bottled beer range is a celebration of London Craft Beer, with a particular focus on East London. We currently have beer from Five Points, Partizan, Beavertown, and Wildcard Breweries, we shall soon be stocking both Crate Brewery and Redchurch Brewery beers. So come on down, sit back, relax and have a drink.


No doubt this fabulous space will take on a life of it’s own and i’m excited to hear about the events details. I’m already missing a really interesting talk on the 14th november. I wish you guys lots of luck, will see you soon and can’t wait for the printed magazine. Good luck with kickstarter.

Don’t you love how dreams can turn into reality? Never stop dreaming!

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  • Reply Lindsey November 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    This sounds amazing! Of course I’m a sucker for anything involving quality, specialty coffee 🙂

    • Reply tina November 8, 2013 at 1:58 am

      It’s a great concept. very much looking forward to the printed magazine.

  • Reply Carole Poirot November 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I can really relate to how important it is to have alternatives to all the mass-produced stuff out there. I like the fact that everything is carefully sourced and look forward to seeing the magazine – it sounds like it will be a great and inspirational read. Despite everything that’s going on online, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to completely replace actually printed works – holding a great magazine cannot be beaten by a computer screen.

    All that aside, the space looks great! 🙂

    • Reply tina November 8, 2013 at 2:05 am

      I so agree…I love the smell of the paper and ink and holding a magazine. As much as I love the online ones, they will never replace printed ones:-)

      Yes, I always welcome carefully sourced products. This world is too full of mediocre, badly made and unethically manufactured stuff.
      Glad you like the Space x

  • Reply Igor November 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I love the creative power that is part of London’s DNA. Such projects should pop up more often and in different places, but we always need a starting point, right? I really like the idea to think cross-media – a magazine is not necessarily just a printed publication but it can evolve into a creative outpost in a city, it can feature a digital community and more. Ok, nuff said, I need to come to London soon!

    • Reply tina November 8, 2013 at 2:06 am

      Hahaha. Best part of your comment???
      “Ok, nuff said, I need to come to London soon!”

  • Reply Mark Griffin November 4, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Having been to the unofficial opening and seen the space in its raw form, it is exciting to see the vision developing with the artisans’ products in situ.
    Will be back in London this weekend with hand knitted garments from Dorset and two 1950 radios.

    • Reply tina November 8, 2013 at 2:07 am

      It’s difficult to show a space like that in photos. It looks so much better in real life.
      I look forward to seeing more products in there and the place taking on its own DNA.
      Thank you for stopping by Mark.

  • Reply Judith November 5, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Holborn’s can-do spirit is invigorating! An e-mag, a workshop, a paper mag… I’m looking forward to seeing where their Kickstarter campaign will bring them!

    • Reply tina November 8, 2013 at 2:08 am

      Yes, be interesting to see the Kickstarter campaign. An ambition project. but so inspiring.
      I wish them all the best of luck!

  • Reply Alison Sye November 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    That is a great space, love the rawness of it. Wouldn’t mind that shelving myself. Wishing them loads of luck with this, it’s great to see people going against the grain.

    • Reply tina November 8, 2013 at 2:10 am

      Hey, Alison, why don’t you approach them with your cards? Have you thought of that??

  • Reply Peter Cooper November 6, 2013 at 11:19 am

    What an amazing space and concept. Its always inspiring to see the coming together of creativity and business. It takes serious effort, hard work, risk taking and the all important pub discussions to turn those initial ideas into a reality. I wish you every success with this.

    • Reply tina November 8, 2013 at 2:12 am

      You’re so right. I also always love it when a seed sown in a pub? or elsewhere, comes to fruition. I have no doubt they’ll do well and will attract a community.
      Another magazine for you to put on your list!

  • Reply Chi@106 November 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I actually got goosebumps reading this, Tina! Dreams are great but without getting out there and finding a way to make them happen, that’s all they’ll ever be.

    I love beginnings as you know and it’s thrilling to witness The Holborn’s. Love, love, LOVE the concept AND execution. 😀

    • Reply tina November 8, 2013 at 2:14 am

      Yep, we both know that, right? That’s why it’s so important to make our dreams happen. I do it with baby steps:-)
      Glad you like x

  • Reply Doris November 6, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Hi Tina, what a wonderful concept! I love this and I am going to make a note to visit when it’s open, the space looks great also. I also love it when an idea comes becomes a reality – it’s so inspiring ;). xD

    • Reply tina November 8, 2013 at 2:15 am

      Doris, it is open! It opened last Friday when I went to take the photographs.
      We could always meet for coffee there:-) xx

  • Reply Catherine November 8, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Yes what a wonderful concept. It’s so inspiring to see people making their dreams a reality. Wishing them much success.

    • Reply tina November 10, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      It truly is inspiring! Thanks Catherine x

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey November 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    A fantastic ‘raw’ space & great concept. And it’s wonderful to see Baines & Fricker there too. Would love to be able to visit 🙁 xx

    • Reply tina November 10, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Don’t worry, they’ll still be there when you next arrive. I’m sure they’ll go beyond the 4 months pop-up:-)
      Yes, nice to see Baines & Fricker xx

  • Reply Holly November 10, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    SO INSPIRING! Thanks for the introduction. This sounds like it’s going to be a wonderful project and I wish them the best!

    I like the idea of the different ‘rooms’ in their magazine. And the fact that they are so selective and passionate about what they choose to feature (and soon sell) evokes trust and admiration. And I just love when partners partner up. Although I can imagine it can be crazy challenging, it’s romance at its best in my eyes.

    Never stop dreaming. So right. Nice story here Tina!


    • Reply tina November 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      Glad you think so too.

      Yes, I also thought that… also looking forward to the printed magazine.
      Ha! ‘Romance at it’s best’.. well, I think if it works it must be magic! Good Luck to them xx

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