I started selling alternative modern postcards by Bunch of Artists, John Stalin, Biff, Gathered Images, Acme, Cath Tate and Chic Pix.
In 1980 I asked Paul and Tessa Jones if I could stock some of the unusual gifts that they were making for their small shop called Nifty Gifts at 102, Hornsey High Street. They agreed and we were soon selling sets of flying ducks, flying pickets, flying pigs and many other flying sets, and taking orders for their fake blue Historic Building plaques.
At Halloween 1980, Paul who had formerly worked for Islington Town Planning Department invited me to a Vampire party at Lam’s West Malaysian Restaurant next door to Nifty Gifts at 100, Hornsey High Street. I was introduced to Chris Gittings who was handing out free sets of Dracula teeth which he had brought along from his shop Knutz at 1, Russell Street, Covent Garden.
Chris also had a wholesale business the Bananaz Warehouse in Fulham Road and when he heard that I had a developing shop in Upper Street Islington with a large Victorian window display he offered to fill it up with humorous gifts for Christmas 1980, all on a sale or return basis with no payment until they were sold. We sold out of almost everything and it soon became clear that Islington wanted a shop like this and that this was the direction in which the shop should develop.
To be continued
& HUMOROUS GIFTS
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