Modern Hero: Andrea Bates of Future and Found

Future and Found

Alongside the design stores of Islington that we profiled in our Idealist Finds feature, we couldn’t cover Islington without mentioning a hidden gem to be found in a cobbled courtyard across from the Tube station in leafy Tufnell Park which goes by the name of Future and Found. We caught up with the store’s founder and director, Andrea Bates, to find out more. 

Andrea Bates, owner/director of Future and Found
Andrea Bates, owner/director of Future and Found

IDEALIST: So, what first brought you to Tufnell Park and how did you choose this unusual space for your store?

AB: I had lived in the area for a number of years before we opened and always wanted a few good retail stores to open up here. The pubs and restaurants had all started to improve but retail was still behind. So we opened in a small high street shop round the corner in April 2012. Then I stumbled across the building we’re in now in late 2013 and fell in love. It’s a lovely old factory building set back from the street in a courtyard. It felt right for us and our brand so I went for it and we relocated in Spring 2014 and haven’t looked back since

IDEALIST: And what took you into the design space originally? Was there a key moment when you thought: I’d love to own my own design store?

AB: I had worked in buying and product development for over ten years before starting Future and Found, working for bigger brands such as Heal’s, Paperchase and Jamie Oliver. So I was already in the design industry. 

Future and Found interior
Future and Found interior

IDEALIST: What’s your own personal style? The look of the store is beautifully calm with muted colours. Is your own home the same?

AB: Yes that’s the best bit about my job – is that I generally buy product I personally love for the collection. The aesthetic of the brand came from my taste and way of living originally. We aim to be modern, pared back, relaxed and we don’t take ourselves too seriously so there’s always slightly more light-hearted things in the range to make you smile. 

IDEALIST: What’s a typical day for you guys at Future and Found?

AB: There are no typical days. The only constant is that the store is open seven days a week so we know that needs staffing! My workload varies from store displays, unpacking boxes, paying bills, chatting to customers to doing photo shoots and planning the next season’s collection. We’re currently working on our first own-brand collection to launch in 2017 so that’s exciting…

IDEALIST: And what’s your most popular range or product? 

AB: Our star sellers of the moment are our Beat Mugs from a Danish type foundry called Playtype. They feature different music genres from hip hop to house. At £15 they’re a great pick up gift. 

IDEALIST: If you were to start over, is there anything you would do differently?

AB: I possibly wouldn’t have a fluoro in our branding – everyone loves it but it is costly to print and tricky to replicate on screen so we’ve had a few headaches over it!

IDEALIST: And if there was some terrible storm and you had to save one piece from imminent destruction? 

AB: My new colour plaid throw which I am completely smitten with!

Future and Found are just across the road from the Tube station (Northern line) in north London’s Tufnell Park.

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