"Believe in what you do, and know that everything is going to be allright" - Charlie Gladstone Charlie Gladstone, entrepreneur and creator of the infamous Pedlars - located on Talbot Road - Notting Hill, is a hidden gem full of vintage goods, supplies and delicious coffee, The Ethical Collection team sit down with him for a chat on his...
"Belief in what you do, and know that everything is going to be allright" - Charlie Gladstone
Charlie Gladstone, entrepreneur and creator of the infamous Pedlars - located on Talbot Road - Notting Hill, is a hidden gem full of vintage goods, supplies and delicious coffee, The Ethical Collection team sit down with him for a chat on his key tips for success .
1. Pedlars is so many things - to me, it is a café, a store, a purveyor of quirky and antique / reclaimed items, an organizer of social events, a community center, a second home… as its founder, what is Pedlars and what did you set out to create?
I wasn’t really thinking in that I didn’t have a plan, to be honest. I had just left the music business and had made a little money which I was happy to risk on a new venture. I wanted to create a mail order company that echoed the American ones I so admired (LL Bean in particular). So we started a catalogue business which was, in many ways, an early take on a ‘lifestyle’ business. We followed our instincts and it has evolved endlessly.
2. What was it about Notting Hill that inspired you to start Pedlars there?
We actually started from a stable in the Highlands and ten years later opened a shop. Notting Hill was a logical move for us because that was where our base was in London and the shop would only make sense in an area we understood and loved. It was a good move, though since we launched rents have soared and it has become more and more difficult for independent retailer to survive. We are very happy to be here and to be part of a small community of local retailers.
3. What is the secret to Pedlars success?
I think it’s a mix of three things; great and unique product, great staff and a passion to get better every day.
With our vintage goods -which are mainly sold online- definitely. There is a hunger for lovely, well-priced and quality goods and we
"secret to out success...great and unique products, great staff and a passion to get better every day."
4. Do you think you have filled a gap in the market and if so why?
With our vintage goods -which are mainly sold online- definitely. There is a hunger for lovely, well-priced and quality goods and we seem to have a really good reputation in that area.
"We simply try to be honest. We are who we are and we do what we do,"
5. How important is it to you that Pedlars is sustainable with an ethical and social conscience - how does Pedlars aim to take on this challenge? How have your customers responded to this?
Very! All of our own-brand goods are made in Europe, not China. And we try to really value people. We have around 120 employees in various businesses and we are proud of the way we look after them. We are far from perfect but we are aware and we do care.
6. What brands do you stock who have ethical credentials?
Well, almost everything. I am drawn to small European manufacturers. And we sell loads of Vintage which is -in many ways- ethical, simply because it is recycled and valued and not tossed into landfill.
7. Your All Press coffee is is the best in Notting Hill! Tell us about it and what makes is so delicious?!
I am, as I say, a perfectionist. I searched widely and was most impressed by Allpress, not just because of their coffee (though it is truly excellent) but because of their rigorous training. You can have the best coffee in the world but if you don’t know how to pull the perfect espresso then you might as well have any old coffee.
"At Allpress it’s always about flavour starting at coffee farms and finishing in your cup. Our obsession with the best tasting coffee involves selecting top grade Arabica beans, using innovative roasting technology, training baristas and the expertise of our people.
Enjoy every brew knowing you are in the best possible hands."
8. What do you see in terms of Digital Marketing/Social Media for the future?
Video is the future of online retail. No question. As internet speeds increase people will be able to show products in graphic, theatrical detail and customers will expect more detail than a photo.
9. If you could go back to the past, with all the knowledge you have now, and speak to yourself - what advice would you give?
"Find a partner with different skills; someone who challenges you."