London Life Places Shops


March 7, 2013

Today i’d like to introduce you to a wonderful ‘space’ that is all about creativity and is often on my radar when in shoreditch.





It’s not a shop per se but a space, a creative hub, a community for designers. Instead of me trying to ‘awkwardly’ explain this creative venture, i thought i’ll rope in the lovely jennie, who as the shop and library manager is far more equipped to tell the tale. Handing you right over:


Can you explain a little about YCN and the shop/library?  YCN’s space at 72 Rivington Street is a shop, library, exhibition and events space all rolled into one. It’s a hive of activity upstairs too, with the YCN talent agency, design studio and the YCN awards all operating out of the top two floors. YCN is a company very keen on meeting people and having actual conversations, as opposed to email contact in an enclosed office, so it’s great to have an opportunity to do just that with the shop space on the ground floor. We have a series of talks, workshops, exhibitions and the YCN summer school that all takes place in the shop. You can see more here.

I love your current window display of hot air balloons and golden mountains. How long is it on for? YCN’s current window display of hot air balloons and golden mountains is by the makerie studio. They’re a paper craft duo based across london and milan, aka joyanne horscroft and julie wilkinson. They’re represented by the YCN talent agency that I mentioned earlier. The window display will be up until May and at the moment I’m working with the artists to create a ‘Make Your Own Balloon Kit’. I’m the guinea pig for the instructions! They should be available through YCN by the end of the month.





These city map below is in the latest ideas illustrated issue. What’s the artist called? The artist behind the map series is owen gatley, also on the talent agency. There are four in the series; london, paris, new york and copenhagen.



Everyone loves a herb lester map, right? The herb lester maps are a very popular item in the shop.




How do you decide what to stock for the shop? Everything in the YCN shop should be interesting and inspiring, it is important to us that our products have a story. As YCN is a member-based creative organisation, we curate the shop with a selection of products made by our members, like our slingshots by christopher jarratt or pocket squares by joe cruz.   In addition to this we stock a few magazine titles that we find especially inspiring, like the gourmand and the plant journal. I want every nook and cranny filled with exciting, colourful and design-led items to surprise and delight!











Which issues came before ‘the luck issue’? I believe i also have ‘the money issue’ The current issue is number five – ‘the luck issue’. Previously we’ve had ‘the money issue’, ‘the relocated issue’, ‘the happiness issue’ and the first self-titled issue. They’ve all been successful and a great way for YCN to showcase and support all our artists and collaborators.
And it’s all supported by our ideas illustrated blog, which involves sharing great ideas and creating images to match.


How does membership and lending from the library work? This year YCN has been getting back to its roots and embracing the idea of membership, which is an idea we put at the heart of YCN when it launched in 2001. At the new main website anyone can now become a member of YCN for free. Members can keep in closer contact with YCN, access lots of great creative programmes, content and resources online and get the chance to come to YCN events in the real world if nearby.

The YCN library is what I like to call ‘small but perfectly formed’. Though it only takes up a little corner of the Shop; it is filled with a wide selection of books on subjects ranging from art, design and typography to travel, home-brewing and cats! We invite suggested reading lists from inspirational folks like john hegarty, quentin blake and sir paul smith and we’re always adding to the list of titles. It’s free to join and all you have to do is come into YCN and fill out an application form.


Glad i’m a member then… anything new in the pipeline? We’re soon to be launching a new program of YOU CAN NOW talks, a series designed to inspire and empower creative talent, so keep checking the website!

Jennie, thank you so much. See you soon. Oh, yes, need to return the book i borrowed to your library:-)

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I’ll be enjoying the meettheblogger event! See you monday.

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  • Reply Nicola March 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks Tina, more interesting info. I love this shop space!

    I love the way what’s going on upstairs affects what’s going on downstairs, perhaps this is the way forward for the High Street.

    Take note, Mary P x

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      Pleasure lovely.

      Good point. I also really like that sort of co-working and making use of different spaces and businesses under one umbrella. Thanks. x

  • Reply Chi @ 106 March 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Great interview, Tina – what a brilliant concept and a fab space! I love the way they’ve incorporated wit, humour and illustrations into the display of their wares.

    I’d actually come across YCN online and wanted to join but for some reason I assumed membership was only open to young (i.e. recently graduated) creatives so I slunk back to my oldie hole. 😀

    You’ll be awesome (a word I don’t use lightly!) this weekend at Meet The Blogger – go get ’em, tiger!!! 😀 xoxo

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks Chi… NEVER assume anything and NEVER feel too old for anything. You and old, ha!!!!
      Yes, MTB herding around shops went well x

  • Reply Igor March 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    What a fabulously creative and inspiring space! Love it!!! See you soon Tina:-)

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      It was great to see you.. always a highlight!

  • Reply Emily March 7, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful and interesting place. Will definitely take a trip there soon x

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      Maybe after you dropped??? x

  • Reply Ingrid March 7, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Tina, what a great hub of creative energy – love the mix. Following a lot of the links you have included- I like the look of the plant journal. Heading off into my day inspired… x i

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      Oh, hope you enjoyed the links… yes the Plant Journal is up your street. You made my day… thanks x

  • Reply geraldine March 7, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Such a beautiful and inspiring shop. I was meaning to go to Rivington street on Tuesday, when I went to collect my last minute Moo cards in Boxpark. Will definitely visit when I’m next there. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend x

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      Yes, check it out. I think you will really like it. Also the library is fun x

  • Reply Parisbreakfast March 8, 2013 at 8:49 am

    You find the Best places Tina! This a must-do
    Bonne chance this weekend
    Will you be attending the July bloggers do as well?
    Trying to get on board for that one on time…
    Cheers Carolg

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks! I wasn’t going to attend the Food Blogger event but who knows? I’ve bookmarked it!
      If you’re coming I will certainly pop over to meet… x

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey March 8, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Rivington Street has to be one of the most creative streets in the city. I had no idea that YCN existed. Fantastic concept though. I’m a big fan of creative hubs such as this one. They always have such energy and offer much inspiration. It sounds like Jennie has a lovely job and a nice way about her too.

    That ‘crane light’ is pretty cool but those sling shots (especially the giant one) are scary. Artistic yes, but could be lethal. I feel sorry for the poor wee chalk picture birds 😉

    Anyway I’m off to sign up. So thanks for yet another creative share xx

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      Rivington Street is amazing. I love walking up and down and getting inspired wherever I stop!
      Maybe we’ll meet there next time you’re in town!

      Always a pleasure to inspire you xx

  • Reply We Heart Home March 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Fantstic! Images and content alike 🙂 Places like these seem so inspiring, from what they look like to what they offer. Thanks for sharing this. Hope to visit one day… another on for the to do list, ha!

    The Herb Lester and Owen Gatley maps are so YOU!

    Off to follow all the interesting links here….

    Hava FAB MTB weekend Tina, wish you lots of fun!!!!

    xoxoxo Holly

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Ha. Yes, you know my obsession with maps!!!

  • Reply Doris March 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Hi Tina, what a great space. So creative and original. I’m especially intrigued with events that they hold so will keep in eye out for anything interesting. Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow Tina. xD

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Ha, we’ve met… and it was a delight… like old friends really…. x

  • Reply Michaela March 10, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Cheers for this Tina it looks fab – I’m off to join up now, and I’m tempted to go to one of the talks or classes. I’m working on some illustration at the moment – I haven’t done any of my artwork for about 10 years, and having a Mac now makes things so much easier!!

    There’s some incredible talent represented on their blog too – including an interview with some animators who’ve made a music video out of plasticine (love), so that’s today’s reading sorted then! 🙂 xx

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Glad you signed up… yes, also want to go to some classes/talks.

      WOW! Welcome to Mac World. Your life and creativity will never be the same again!
      Yes, a lot to read on their blog.. xx

  • Reply Alison Sye March 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Tina, I’m totally intrigued by this place and intend to pay it a visit on my next day off. Anybody who organises their books by colour is brilliant in my book. Love the library.

    • Reply tina March 14, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Go on, have a visit. You’ll love it!!! Ha. I know, organising books by colour is such a turn-on:-) x

  • Reply Louise - 30s Magazine March 23, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I read about this shop a few weeks ago, before I came to London. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit but it’s on my to do list for my next trip. I love the balloons.

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