& PARTNERS, located at 46 Par-la-Ville road (just off Front Street) is a hidden gem. With distinctive yellow lamps in the window and the signature ampersand (&) logo on the flag, & PARTNERS makes it clear that it is not your average gift shop. Specialising in contemporary and classic items for the home, as well as jewellery and accessories for him and her, & PARTNERS features items that come from a well curated selection of Bermudian, Scandinavian and US designers.
The simple, clean design of the shop reflects the aesthetic taste of the owners, husband and wife Peter Lapsley and Andrea Sundt. Andrea, from Oslo, Norway, met her Bermudian husband, Peter, at Parsons School of Design in New York, a city they love, having both studied and worked there. The two artists/designers decided to return to Bermuda in 2015 and brought with them a germ of an idea, which in 2016 was realised as & PARTNERS. The boutique gift shop combines the owners’ love for art, design and functionality, showcasing beautiful, elegant and well made everyday items, from candlesticks to vases, bottle openers to bracelets; the variety of the display is exciting to explore and should come with a warning: it’s addictive! The shop has built a base of return customers, who say that it is their new ‘go to’ place for finding that unique gift for a birthday, wedding, holiday or even themselves. And now & PARTNERS also has a wedding registry service!
When you arrive at & PARTNERS, not only is there a lot to discover in the products they carry, but Andrea and Peter have also created a specific atmosphere that is warm and inviting, from the delightful smell to the custom made cabinetry they designed and built themselves. The layout of the shop encourages this journey of discovery, with open, modular cabinets that invite you to look over and under; and with each visit or turn around the store, you usually unearth something that you didn’t notice the first time. It is really fun to explore!
As Andrea said, “In New York and Norway, we fell in love with shops that allow you to discover things…that create an atmosphere where you realise that the owners are excited about what they have to show you, and where each piece has a story. For us, choosing each brand or designer is our own adventure, and each item is a result of our discoveries, which keeps it very personal to us. Just ask us about our relationship with Beelovers Beekeeping, and how we came to have their lovely beeswax candles in the store. Here’s a hint: it involved the bathroom in our home and 100,000 unwanted visitors!”
Peter’s enthusiasm is also clear as he describes his thoughts about their products, “One uses many of these ‘things’ everyday, whether it is a watch or a cutting board or a coffee mug, so why not have versions of those things that add beauty to your daily experience?”
With all that said, when people hear “New York inspired”, “art”, and “design”, they believe that this means the items are out of their budget, but this isn’t the case at & PARTNERS. There are some items which, due to the materials, are going to be more expensive (silver candlesticks, for example), but the wonderful thing about & PARTNERS is that the owners want good design to be accessible and prove that ‘high design’ does not have to mean ‘high price’. There are items that cost as little as $9 (HAY notebooks), and customers are thrilled to find they can put together a gift bag for a friend that is fun and beautiful and doesn’t break the bank. As one happy customer remarked, “I will definitely be back to tick things off my Christmas list, from stocking stuffers to larger presents for my loved ones!”
The other great surprise at & PARTNERS is the owners love for Bermudian brands and designers, which more than hold their own against the international brands on offer. Rebecca Little Jewellery, Beelovers Beekeeping, Catherine White limited edition prints, Laura Elizabeth Glass Studio, Alex Davidson Woodworking and ConcreteWorks are their local designers, which are displayed alongside global brands such as Skultuna, Bean & Bailey, Aiayu, HAY and Stillhouse Jewellry.
The ‘Buy Bermuda’ campaign just got a boost, thanks to this exciting new retail space, and everyone is encouraged to check out & PARTNERS. They are open from 10am until 6pm daily and until 5pm on Saturdays, and you can find them on Par-la-Ville Road, on the corner across from International Imports, next to Orchid Nail Spa. Follow them on facebook and instagram: @andpartnersbermuda, and online at www.andpartnersbermuda.com Tel: 296.5250