One of our favourite TV scientists once wisely observed - ‘what’s life without whimsy’? (It was Sheldon Cooper for those of you less geekified than ourselves). His mantra is one that we prescribe to wholeheartedly...sometimes ‘for fun’ is the best reason to do anything!
Hoxton Street Monster Supplies in London is a great example of this - and something of a treat for all ye lovers of the ghoulish grim and ghastly. They don't sell monsters, as we had first expected, but rather are purveyors of goods for monsters- or those so inclined to partake of monster targeted products.
Undoubtedly one of the most unusual retail experiences we have featured to date (certainly up there with Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium) patrons who venture therein will be treated to a wide array of dismal wares designed to appeal to their more monstrous inclinations. Featured in their product range are “Salt made from tears of sorrow”, tins of “Escalating Panic” and “Milk Tooth Chocolate”. We were especially curious to discover what putrid manufacturing processes could possibly be involved in the production of ‘Salt from tears of sorrow’- Hoxton Street Monster Supplies explain;
“This delectable salt, made from tears of abject sorrow, is collected only at moments of complete misery. It combines centuries-old craft with the freshest human tears which are gently boiled, released into shallow crystallisation tanks, then harvested by hand and finally rinsed in brine”
‘But what could have spawned such a feat of unusual retail creativity’? we wondered to ourselves as we tucked into a bar of impacted earwax. A little exploration led us to discover that there is more to this story than just tinned ‘colly wobbles’ and ‘escalating panic’.
The Ministry of Stories
We were rather chuffed to learn that Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is actually run by the Ministry of Stories, a volunteering organisation dedicated to helping young people with all manner of writing.
With the tagline “Official Inspiration to the nation” the ministry believe that writing and storytelling is a great way to unleash the imaginations of young people and help to build confidence, self respect and communication skills. Founded in 2010 by author Nick Hornby and art entrepreneurs Ben Payne and Lucy Macnab the ministry works in East london to deliver free writing workshops and mentoring to folks aged 8-18 provided by volunteers: local writers, artists and teachers.
The monster store provides the entrance to the Ministry headquarters and helps to inspire the imagination and creativity of the young people passing through.
Why not take a look at the Ministry of Stories website for more information on the stuff that they are getting up to…or if you are in a monstrous mood, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies probably has something for you!
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