A Different Kind of Summer
A Different Kind of Summer
No one knows our stock as well as our founders. For everyone involved with setting up Different Kind, there’s nothing on the site we wouldn’t happily have in our own lives. Over the last months, many of our products have crept into our own homes. Now that we finally have a little bit of time to relax and enjoy the weather, here are our founders recommendations for a different kind of summer.
Give with love
For Gail Sulkes, summer is about reconnecting with friends. “This is my ‘take it with you’ travel set,” she says of her self-assembled package including a make-up bag from Studio 306 Collective (£15), a Bee Heeled Foot Treatment (£20), Flower Power First Aid Healing Balm (£15), one of Arthouse Unlimited’s beautiful organic soaps (£12) and Hackney Herbal’s Pick Me Up Tea (£7).
“It’s a luxurious pressie of mini proportions you can pop in your suitcase or carry-on for a gracious host at the other end or for a visit to someone special,” says Gail, who’s really hoping to make it back to her American homeland. “I’ll be giving this to one of my besties back in Detroit. She’s had a particularly tough year and deserves some pampering - it’s unique as these are all very special UK products made by the best people with love.”
For Charlotte Hillenbrand, summer means the school holidays. “The EUROS have kicked off football mania with my kids, there will be a lot of kickabouts this summer in the park, at the beach, in bored moments in the garden… but as a parent, I always seem to be the one carrying the ball.” Inspired by one of our pilot customers, Family Hillenbrand have started using one of Turtle Bags (£7) string totes to carry their Alive and Kicking ball (£30).
“Balls don't fit in a rucksack, are often too muddy to be held in the hands and generally a bit of a faff. So the Turtle Bag solves the problem brilliantly,” she says. “Plus the A+K ball is solid quality, handstitched leather that's slightly heavier than the size 5 balls I've bought from major sports retailers (let's not get into their ethics...) and comes with a geometric design that I love. Carrying it gives a sense of satisfying lightness, knowing that the balls have contributed so much to the economies and families of Ghana, Kenya and Zambia. And other kids always want to join in the kickabout because it looks cool!”
We try not to envy Vik Anderson her proximity to the coast, but out of all of us, Vik certainly has the best place to watch the sunset. “I like to spend the evenings watching the sun go down, with love and hope for the next day,” she says. She’s also found another use for the Love Welcomes mat (£40). “I use it as a beach mat,” she says. “It’s super strong, a thing of beauty and represents a welcome for people seeking refuge. I have a Hopeful sweatshirt (£40) for when the heat goes out of the day, which is so beautifully made and brings hope for both the new day and to people at risk of homelessness. Then I have a Wasabed beach clean bag (£20) to do the practical thing and pick up stuff left behind on the beach and on the streets by the beach.”
A night for a picnic
We’re following Liz Warner’s lead in embracing the evening picnic as a great reason to escape a stuffy house and to bring a sense of occasion to a standard working weekday. “I use the large and stylish black striped Maison Bengal bag (£70), which holds everything you could ever need for a weekend, let alone a picnic,” she says. “Strong, useful and it creates employment for women in Bangladesh.”
“I tried to make Earl Grey martinis using Good & Proper Tea (£6) - you can see the pretty little purple flowers in the leaves. I added gin to the tea and all was going well. And then came the egg white - not so good - and a twist of lemon. They weren’t bad, for a first attempt. But they were certainly more of an Earl Grey-grey than yellow like the ones in the recipe book. Tasted good though, in spite of the hue and all poured chilled out of the dark blue Ocean Bottle (£40).
The Clink’s prison catering standard tea towels (£7.50) have utilitarian appeal and are totally brilliant to wrap cheese, frittata and other things. I’ve started using them as big napkins, so I need one for everyone next time and they are priced reasonably enough to go for more. The Dalit candles (£20) are great for a romantic early evening glow and to keep the midges and mosquitoes away, the pots are beautifully shaped like the water pots carried by Dalit women in India where they are crafted. Lavender Pavani candles are a thing of beauty and fast becoming a DK bestseller.”