James Lear of Arundel
Muddy says: A treasure trove of gifts for him and a feast for the eyes too, this Nailsworth favourite hits all the right notes when it comes to style and substance, with its great line in menswear with a twist.
There’s a rather lovely history to how this Muddy Awards Best Men’s Shop winner got its name. James Lear was a cabinet maker, upholsterer and Sussex ironmonger whose family owned the Tortington Iron Works. He struck out on his own to become a threshing machine contractor, setting up a transport company in Barnham which later became Penfold’s Ready Mix. He was the grandfather of James Lear of Arundel owner Harriette and it was his life story that inspired her to set up shop with her daughter Polly in Nailsworth, with a focus on selling goods from local artisans with a sense of rural, British tradition. And, as we Muddy readers know, it also does a great line in menswear with a twist.
There’s a lot to get excited about in this shop with its retro, country charm. From the natty waistcoats (get your man to try them with jeans – they look great!) and country-cool waxed canvas messenger bags, weekend bags, washbags and wallets to the locally hand-blended male grooming products (beard oil anyone?) and stainless-steel, pocket-sized hip flasks etched with country pursuits, it’s an emporium of gifts for him. And thanks to its old-school masculine vibe, you’re likely to get him through the door with you. And while he’s got his hand in his pocket, there are plenty of treats for you too, including fabulous ranges of aromatherapy body care products, Rupert Blamire handmade pottery from Bristol and St Eval Candles, which hail from Cornwall.