From old favourites to newly opened venues, take a look at Visit Birmingham’s top picks of independent shops, that bring a unique twist to this vibrant city of ours.
Liquor Store | Colmore Row
Now based in the grandeur of The Grand Hotel (Colmore Row), Liquor Store is your go-to independent retailer if the promise of exclusive brands and durable denim is what really gets you going. Not only do they promise an aura of exclusivity to their chosen brands (with 90 per cent of their stock only being found exclusively in the store), the ethos behind each brand is what compelled the owners to stock each item. With staff who we can comfortably label as denim aficionados, we’re certain the laid-back Liquor Store will help your denim-filled dreams come true. They’re also rumoured to be having a speakeasy coming to their basement quarters soon. Watch this space…
People | Kings Heath
In the heart of Kings Heath, the long-standing People store has become a pillar of the community over the years. Creative shop owners and champions of independent craft, Allison and Christian Sadler have developed their People haven, comprising of all things homeware (the dalit tealights and copper trinkets you’ve always needed) alongside clothes designed in-house by Christian himself. People also runs creative workshops and one-on-one mentoring for those who want to kickstart their own creative business. If a gift for loved ones or a gift from you to you (which is just as important) is what you’re after, be sure to stop by their ever-inviting shop window on Poplar Road – you won’t be disappointed.
JamJar Lights | Bristol Street
A must-see for all interior design enthusiasts, the treasure that is JamJar Lights is hidden away on Bristol Street, where it certainly seems at home in the company of like-minded artisan shops and cafes. The brainchild of three friends whilst travelling Europe in a VW Campervan, this recycle-focused shop sells bespoke lighting in unique fittings such as Kilner jars and cages. Their Kilner-inspired journey has seemingly taken the UK by storm, with interest building from shopping giants Costco and Argos. But, in true independent style, they’re insistent on keeping it niche – we like your style JamJar Lights!
Hard to Find Whiskey | Jewellery Quarter
A shop that solves the problem in its very name, Hard to Find Whiskey is a whiskey lovers dream found in the depths of the Jewellery Quarter. The shop itself is an ode to the finest whiskey, priding itself for filling the gap in the market where people yearned for the ‘try before you buy’ aspect to their liquor shopping. From locally familiar bottles to bottles nearing four figure value, pop down to the store and wet that whiskey whistle.
Swordfish Records | Corporation Street
A cherished gem that first opened on Hurst Street in 1979, Swordfish Records is one of the only remaining independent record stores in Birmingham. They’ve boldly withstood the industry shift to all things digital, and with their home firmly based just off Corporation street, they continue to sell genres both new and old. In-store visitors have included the likes of The Kooks, Razorlight, Mark Ronson & Duran Duran, so we know that good company is guaranteed.
Zen | Moseley
A shop likened to Aladdin’s cave, Zen is a glittering den where you’ll find an array of unique gifts, from handcrafted crystal jewellery to alternative therapies, crystals, essential oils and candles. As well as providing a glistening home for their ‘zen’ inspired gifts, they’re renowned for being the go to spot for psychic and tarot reading, as well as palm reading. Whether you fancy some spiritual insight or you’re in search of something a little off the beaten path, we recommend exploring the treasures Zen has in store.
Ikon Gallery Bookshop | Brindleyplace
Based in the renowned Ikon Gallery, the small yet charming Ikon bookshop lies at the heart of creativity, acknowledging its counterpart with contemporary art and quirky homeware for sale. Despite its size, the bookshop boasts a wide selection of literature from children’s novels and architectural journals to cookery books and fictional novels, and also has a ‘Made in Birmingham’ section, showcasing the very best of Birmingham-born novelists.
Chouchoute Chocolaterie | Great Western Arcade
Chouchoute, translating literally as ‘pampered’, is an indulgent treasure trove found in the Great Western Arcade, where your bespoke chocolate urges, wants and desires can be fulfilled. A tailored, sensory experience from the moment you walk in, you’ll be guided around by the tastes and smells of truffles, salted caramel bites, chocolate coated and candied orange peel, kirsch soaked cherries dipped in delicious dark chocolate… and more. Stroll on down to Chouchoute and become the ultimate cocoa connoisseur.
Honest Skincare | Great Western Arcade
A brand with nature and simplicity at its core, Honest Skincare is a Birmingham based company which prides itself on its ‘honest’ ethos, centred around the use of natural ingredients to create handmade and tailored products. Founded by Katie Fisher, Honest was born on Poplar Road in Kings Heath, with their resulting success allowing another aroma-infused branch to open recently in Great Western Arcade. Housing an array of products from candles, creams, facial oils and shampoo to their bespoke range made specifically for men, a trip to Honest is an unequivocal treat for all the senses, that’ll honestly leave your skin tingling for more.
LinkStreet | City Centre
We’re cheating slightly here, but we had to include LinkSteet so we shout about all its independent residents. A connecting route between Grand Central and the Bullring, LinkStreet is an innovative home to Birmingham’s ever-growing independent scene. It welcomes unique shops you won’t find elsewhere in the region, and the interchanging pop-up stores mean a visit there won’t ever be the same. Vincent Van Doodle is a favourite amongst many, which started as a kiosk but has moved on up (cue Curtis) with permanent LinkStreet residence, making it your go to for niche buys like artistic icon memorabilia.
For more information on where to discover Birmingham’s independent scene, click here to go to the Visit Birmingham website!