Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Day 17 - My all-time favourite shop!

By chance, the following BBC News article popped up in my newsfeed this morning.....

My Shop: Kristin Baybars' toy shop in London
17 January 2017 Last updated at 00:19 GMT
Kristin Baybars has been making and selling toys for the past four decades from her self-named shop in Gospel Oak, London.
Money has never been her motive but with more people shopping online, times are getting harder - and a housing development next door is adding to her woes.
Video journalist Dougal Shaw went to visit her to find out what she makes of modern toys.

To view the short video, click HERE!

I have been to Kristin's wonderful shop several times and it never fails to amaze.  Many shops are labelled Alladin's caves, but hers takes it to the next level and beyond.

Tucked away in an unprepossessing part of Gospel Oak, in north west London, at first glance it may look closed for business.  This isn't a place to which you can just bowl up and expect to find open.  

No. You have to make an appointment.  In advance. 

But, trust me, if you love doll's houses and miniatures you'll be very, VERY glad you did.


I still remember the very first miniature I ever bought there... over 30 years ago.  It was a little dressed doll in a hand-painted box.  Perfect and exquisite.

Kristin herself is a truly wonderful eccentric, and what she doesn't know about the doll's house hobby isn't worth knowing.  

It is so sad to hear that this wonderful shop may have to close, due to the rise of online shopping and the threat of development next door.

I would strongly urge anyone who has the chance, to visit this unique shop, which has a special place in doll's house history.

It can be found at 7 Mansfield Road, London NW3 2JD.... but don't forget to ring for to make an appointment first!  Tel 020 7267 0934


Contrastes-Rosa Mª said...

!Impresionante¡más que una tienda es transportarte a un mundo mágico, las horas pueden pasar sin enterarse viendo tanta maravilla; abrir cada cajón será una sorpresa. Esa tienda tenía que estar protegida como un bien cultural.Gracias por mostrarlo

Megan Wallace said...

At the risk of becoming a blog stalker, I feel that I have to comment on this post as well.
Thank you for the Kristen Baybars video link. I tried twenty years ago to visit the shop when I was in the UK, and could not find it. It will be one of my lifelong regrets.
On that trip I did manage to visit The Singing Tree, and the dollshouse shop in Covent Garden, both of which I believe have closed down.
So sad. The world needs more miniaturists!
If I was living anywhere near Kirsten, I would get in there with my laptop and camera and start an online shop for her.

rosanna rolla said...

I never visited the shop but I was so lucky to meet Ms Barbara at KDF in 2012 and share tea with her and a young friend of her who quoted poetry rhimes.
I wasn't aware who she was, realized it only afterwards, but I keep the memory of a lovely, fun filled encounter.
I hope I shall be able to visit her mythological shop as well

Alexandra Martinez said...

I lived in London for 3 years and did not know about this shop. But when I moved to Spain, and I was going to visit London, I did an on-line search to find dolls house shops in London and luckily I found a post in some miniature lover´s blog. She described the shop as to enter into another world. Of course I had to go, so I did. Since, every time I visit London I visit this place, it is just wonderful, it´s as visiting another dimension, a magical land. It´s like going back in time. I could spend hours in this place happily. It is sad to hear that they may have to close, very sad indeed. I hope it doesn't happen.
Thank you for sharing the article and video.