Present Days opened in October 1977 as a small ‘two-room’ shop selling mainly cards & stationery.
Over the years we have expanded backwards and upwards – and now we are full!
The shop is housed in a Georgian fronted three-storey building that dates back to before the Great Fire of Warwick. It is old and wonky with nooks and crannies and odd little corners, beams and spiders (they don’t come out during the day!) and is loved by us, our staff and our many loyal customers (from far and wide).
Gill and David manage and buy for the shop. We both worked in the theatre before realising that working seven days a week was not much fun – we now know that there really isn’t much difference! Gill is responsible for all the buying, all the shop displays and the window displays. She is the dynamo. David spends his time paying the bills, deals with the endless ‘red-tape’ and is therefore mainly grumpy.
We travel many hundreds of miles a year, and to several countries, to find the unusual and different. Some things will be found in other shops and on other web sites but many others will not.
We always try to promote small companies and hand-made products when we can (many of them local) and we also try hard, not always totally successfully, to buy ethically from companies using sustainable or renewable materials and we always check, through our suppliers, the working conditions of the people making items purchased from abroad.
We introduced eco-friendly bags and a ‘loyalty card’ long before the multiples. In fact it is a little known fact that independent shops often lead the way for others to follow.
We have great staff, have a wealth of products and offer unfailing customer service.
We are a ‘hands-on’ experience and hope you will be able to visit us soon.
Apart from coming to see our wonderful shop please visit Warwick in the heart of England where you will find specialist shopping at its best, fantastic places to eat and drink, cosy places to stay and so many things to do and explore.
There are weekly events; summer concerts, the world famous Victorian Evening, the literary festival Warwick Words, regular race meetings, the Folk Festival and of course Warwick Castle. For tourists there is wealth of accomodation, hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfasts waiting to welcome you.
During your visit to Warwick you can dine at fine restaurants, cafes and tea rooms and award winning pubs.
Warwickshire’s county town is also the perfect location from which to explore the local area with Stratford upon Avon, Leamington Spa and Birmingham all close by and we are on the edge of the Cotswolds.
Stuart Fermor, a great friend who spent many unpaid hours fitting out the shop and now runs a terrific ethical advertising agency called TEA.
Sue Dingley was a wonderful, very long-serving (suffering) manager and now works with her husband, Laurence, at Dingley Prints.
Jenn was another long serving (and long suffering) manager who has now embarked on her own jewellery business. Beautiful things to buy AND she also undertakes repairs. Have a a look at her work.
Jeff Jones, who designed our logo all those years ago and is still doing great work at The Drawing Room and Richard Marshall-Hardy who was so helpful with the logistics of print, layout and promotion as we opened the shop – now working at Fitzgeraldmarshall-Hardy.
Our sanctuary in the UK – total peace and quiet at The Blakeney Hotel.
And an hotel in Cephalonia, where we have been many times, that is difficult to beat for a relaxing heaven – The Trapezaki Bay Hotel.
Another haven of tranquility is Whichford Pottery, set in beautiful countryside and with a lovely garden.
Four of our favourite restaurants (outside Warwick!), two in beautiful Cumbria at Ambleside, Zefferelli’s and Fellinis and two in London, The Gate and Mildreds. All offer wonderful, exciting (and affordable!) food.
One of the most amazing and delightful shops and tea rooms in Keswick. Visit Temporary Measure if you can.
Emma Hagan worked with us in the shop and is now an illustrator, graphic designer and champion biscuit eater!