Carla Grima, Designer & Creator of Carla Grima Atelier

“It’s a great place to discover gifts for loved ones (and yourself, of course!). Plus, all the proceeds go to charity, so you’re always shopping safe in the knowledge that your money is going to a good cause.”

Carla Grima is the designer behind local fashion studio, Carla Grima Atelier. Her gorgeous collections are heavily inspired by nature, organic silhouettes, and the colours of the Mediterranean – check them out right here! Today, however, she’s taking a break from her design duties to sit down with us and talk all things We Are Not A Shop and why it is the perfect place to buy unusual gifts online. Find out what she selected from our online store, below.

Carla, we’re so glad you could join us today. Can you tell us what inspired your We Are Not A Shop selections?

Certainly! To kick things off, I selected this book because it reminded me of some research I had done on stained glass and its many forms. It’s an ideal coffee table piece, too.

Then, I just love looking at vintage interior design and/or fashion magazines, so I was excited to see that you had this magazine on your website! These kinds of publications are pretty hard to come by in Malta, so I was pleasantly surprised to find one.

The next book I selected was ‘British Designers at Home’. I think British home décor is really exciting and eclectic – it definitely enjoys a bold pattern and colour combination. I’ll probably flick through its pages and add some of the images to one of my many mood boards; that’s one of my favourite ways to source inspiration for my work.

As for this book, I gravitated towards it because I am a big fan of botanical illustrations. I love copying to study them, recreating them, and, ultimately, painting them. This book also does a great job of explaining the illustrations to younger children. I thought it would be a good idea to go through it with my daughter, Olivia, and teach her about different flowers and foliage.

Then, I selected this belt buckle because of its lovely art nouveau design. I can already picture it on a bold velvet ribbon, styled on silk caftan. It’s just the perfect statement piece to transform any basic silhouette.

I also picked this anklet because, frankly, you will always find me wearing one in the summer months. For me, they’re reminiscent of lazy, sunny days. This one feels particularly elegant, though, which is why I selected it. It’ll nicely transition from day to night.

This evening purse is a total find, too. There are plenty of similar pieces on the website, but this one has so much detail, even on the inside, that I just had to have it. It would be perfect for a wedding or other formal occasion.

The last piece I selected might actually be my favourite. I went for this oyster shell salt cellar for two reasons; firstly, because I’m always drawn to items made from natural materials, and, secondly, because I love entertaining, and I can imagine using this to decorate my table at my next dinner party.

What was your most surprising selection?

That would have to be the oyster shell salt cellar. It’s a very simple piece, but I just love the statement it would make at a dinner table. I’ve never seen anything quite like it in person.

How would you describe We Are Not A Shop to someone who doesn’t know about it?

As an online platform that lists a wide range of rare vintage pieces and is also very user friendly.

Did you have a favourite section of the website?

The book section was probably my favourite because you can really find anything on there! From magazines to illustrated books, coffee table publications, and more. I also thought that section on the website was especially easy to navigate.

What do you like about the We Are Not A Shop concept?

I love how unique all the items are – nothing is mass-produced. It’s a great place to discover gifts for loved ones (and yourself, of course). Plus, all the proceeds go to charity, so you’re always shopping safe in the knowledge that your money is going towards a good cause.

Would you recommend We Are Not A Shop to a friend?

Oh, I’ll definitely be recommending it to my friends and family!

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