Hoxton Street Private Brand Monster Supplies

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies in London is the fantastical store front for the Ministry of Stories, a pioneering children’s writing workshop. Ministry of Stories is a non-profit creative writing centre in East London that helps children and young people to develop their writing. London-based design agency We Made This helped to set up the project, designed the identity for the shop, as well as the complete selection of magical Private Brand products sold there, and also worked on much of the copywriting.

The story goes that the shop was established in 1818, and ever since then has served the daily needs of London’s extensive monster community. Step inside, and you’ll find a whole range of essential products for monsters: you can pick from a variety of Tinned Fears, a selection of Human Preserves, and a mix of other really rather fine goods, including Neck Bolt Tighteners, and Death Certificates (to prove you really are dead). The shop also features interactive elements, including an invisible purring cat, and a Monster Helpline. But the most important part is that the shop shelves hide a secret – a disguised entrance to the Ministry of Stories, which opens when you say the secret password. The project was an utter joy to work on, letting us flex both our design and our writing muscles in equal measure; as well as letting us work with a fantastic team of collaborators including architects, writers, designers, dramaturgs and others.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.