Connecting People to Places

‘Stuff’ offers hand-made, fair trade goods

Manda Holden and Alison Stephens in their new Stuff store in Community Square, selling hand-made, fair trade textiles and other goods.

Manda Holden and Alison Stephens in their new Stuff store in Community Square, selling hand-made, fair trade textiles and other goods.

By Connie Leinbach; Photos by Peter Vanekvich

A new store in Community Square called “Stuff” is selling more than just stuff.

The merchandise is either hand-made or fair-trade items mostly made from textiles or recycled materials. It’s a new endeavor by Alison Stephens and Manda Holden, who both hail from England, and, more recently, the Raleigh area.

The two business partners made an about face from urban careers to follow what they love to do—working with textiles.Stuff 0326161526a

“It’s an immediate-gratification thing,” said Stephens while showing a visitor the shop’s wares. “With textiles, you can see the thing grow.”

While a painting or pottery can take days, months or longer, weaving strands of old sheets into floor mats, such as those in the shop, can yield a finished piece in short order.

The shop stocks items from around the globe: hammocks from Ecuador, sarongs from Bali, satchels from Guatemala, or members of the “String Doll Gang” from Thailand.

These “doll” keychains come in a myriad of shapes: mermaids, lobsters, fishermen, sailors, turtles, surfers and more.

 “They’re very affordable,” Stephens said about these keychains popular with kids. Adorning the porch and inside walls are “bunting to go.”

These are material triangles strung together on ribbon that she and Holden make. “Bunting is very popular in England,” Stephens said. “

They’re bright; they’re colorful and can switch up a deck without taking everything out.” Stuff is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will stay open longer until 8 p.m. when the summer season kicks in.

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Stuff

Stuff, located in Community Square.