You know the feeling. You have to buy a gift for someone and you’ve been mulling it over and over in your mind for ages and frustratingly come up with…nothing. Infuriating isn’t it? Yes, you could resort to surfing the net for inspiration, but there really is no need when the newest shop to open in Abergavenny – FORTYSIX – has the answer to all your gift giving problems. In fact, I challenge you to leave without buying something (gift or not!)
What you’ll notice when you enter FORTYSIX is that this is no ordinary gift shop. Indeed not. With its polished concrete floors, dove grey interior and display shelves in bright acid colours, it goes without saying that chintz, fripperies and tack have no place here. The products are beautifully displayed and have been carefully selected (nay, curated) to chime with the store’s ethos that ‘everything has a use.’ Functionality is the key, but owners Arlene Clare and Angela Evans have combined functionality with stylish design (I’m thinking of their bright Patrick Caulfield style tea towels featuring images of modern buildings) to create something on trend and entirely irresistible.
FORTYSIX stocks an eclectic mix of sophisticated and fun design items – like Vitra’s Vegetal chair, Swedish glassware and Philippe Starck designed homewares, which will lift an interior from drab to contemporary and chic in an instant. You can also find a quirky and stylish array of clothing and jewellery, as well as funky cushions, magazine racks, radios and an impressive selection of cards and gift wrapping. Look out for the gnomes! There’s even a corner dedicated to children, with shelves and boxes brimming with pocket money toys and curios – certain to keep them entertained while you enjoy a thorough browse.
Owners Arlene and Angela are delighted to have opened their new shop here in Abergavenny. They love the town and describe it as a ‘true mix of people, leading interesting and varied lives’. Both Arlene and Angela live locally and have families of their own, with seven children between them. Arlene moved here to get her hands dirty restoring a 15th century farmhouse – quite a departure from her old life in London, where she worked in advertising and then ran a gift shop for ten years. Eagle-eyed readers may recognise Angela, as she used to run Manic Ceramics, just across the road from FORTYSIX and previously ran Longtown’s Preschool for many years. FORTYSIX represents a new project for the business partners, but they are full of excitement at the prospect of carving out a home for their gift shop with a modern twist here in Abergavenny.
FORTYSIX is located at 46 Cross Street, and is open Mon-Sat 9.30-5.30. Make sure you go along and visit. Arlene, Angela and the team are friendly and welcoming and knowledgeable about their products. On my recent visit, I left with a gorgeous scarf wrapped beautifully in tissue paper and a fabulous bespoke gift bag. Perfect.
FORTYSIX, 46 Cross Street, Abergavenny.
Tel 01873 851 629