New Quintessential pop-up opens in Cambridge
Quintessential, a new pop-up shop in Cambridge city centre, specialises in scarves, bags, gloves and socks.
Paul Astbury and Carlos Quinteiro originally ran a stall on Cambridge market from 1999 to 2001, selling original pashminas, antique silk saris, cushions and rugs. They design their products in their studio in Trumpington.
Paul, who is originally from the North East, said: “Carlos and I met in 1999 when I had a plan to import things that I’d seen in India and Thailand when I was travelling.
“So Carlos ran the market stall while I went from town to town looking for shops to buy our products and over the years we learned our trade and built our customer base.”
After a few years on the market, Quintessential was born and the couple then did their first trade show.
“That first show in London, Selfridge’s came along and bought some products we had designed so we knew we were doing something right and so just kept going,” recalls Paul, “so after years of trade shows we now sell to hundreds of independent shops around the country and design a new collection twice a year.”
Paul notes that now all of the products they sell are organic, natural or recycled. Their pop-up in Cambridge is located at 62 Sidney Street, next to Boots, opposite the Marks & Spencer women's department.
“We’ve lived here for 25 years and our kids are growing up here,” explained Paul. “We knew we had a brilliant collection for autumn/winter this year. We just thought we need to find a good spot to show it locally and bring it home.”
The shop opened its doors last Friday (October 6). “What was lovely was that ladies came in and said, ‘Oh, I remember you from the market’,” said Carlos. “Was that really over 20 years ago?!”
Paul and Carlos’ shop is open now until December 31, seven days a week, 9.30-5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 11-4pm on Sundays.
For more information, visit thequintessentialtrade.co.uk.