Postcode Pioneers: Textile Candy, Morecambe, Lancashire

Postcode Pioneers: Textile Candy, Morecambe, Lancashire

In Postcode Pioneers, we celebrate independent shop owners from across the world as they share their neighbourhood haunts. This week, we chat about the power of community, African artisans and waste-free marketplaces with the textile designer behind Morecambe’s hippest homeware store, Textile Candy.

seaside towns are returning to the fore as young creatives
are lured back to their roots by low rent and community spirit.
Founder of Textile Candy, Morecambe’s hippest homeware store,
Becky Lois Burns is leading the way with her plastic-free seafront
store stocked with eclectic wares gathered from craftspeople all
over the world.

After on a trip to Ghana to educate herself on traditional bead-making
and batik printing, Becky returned to her fast-fashion job feeling
frustrated by the murky waters and lack of transparency in

Keen to create a design-led marketplace that supports small
businesses and empowers independent artisans, the Morecambe native
returned home to set up shop. Now, her store stocks woven baskets
from Wolof women in Senegal, jewellery made in the mountainous
villages of Malawi, sculptures built from flips flops that have
washed up on the beach and handcrafted candles from eSwatini.

Here, Becky gives a shout out to her favourite date-night spots,
the other independents she loves and the best place in Morecambe to
watch the sunset.

Conscious choices and rethinking retail: the founder of Textile
Candy shares her Morecambe hotspots

Where are you from and how has that shaped your business?

I was born and raised in Morecambe before venturing further
afield for work. Morecambe isn’t a particularly affluent area, and
because of this, there is such a strong sense of community here.
When I opened a shop in Morecambe I felt the full support and
excitement of the community – people I had never even met got
behind me and became my business ambassadors and champions because
they were so excited to see someone investing in their home.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Ghana on the west coast of
Africa and can draw so many parallels between Morecambe and the
seaside town of Cape Coast. Both have problems with poverty and
both have a truly inspirational sense of community and

What was the inspiration behind starting Textile Candy?

I started Textile Candy as a blog after graduating from
university. I was working night shifts in a textiles factory in
Lancaster and needed to keep adrift of fashion/ textiles trends for
prospective job interviews. I kept that going all the way through
my career as a textile designer before leaving the fast fashion
industry and opening my shop. I wanted to create a marketplace that
was completely transparent, the polar opposite to what I had
experienced working in Europe’s fast-fashion industry. I wanted to
champion small-scale artisans, celebrate traditional craftsmanship
and promote a new type of consumerism in which products are
joyfully made by happy people.

What first drew you to this neighbourhood?

Oddly the main reason I opened a shop in the neighbourhood was
because of the cheap rent. I was looking for a studio space to do
freelance illustration/ textile design from and renting a shop was
cheaper than renting a studio. Talking about money seems to still
be a bit of a taboo in the UK, but I think it’s important that
people know how many great opportunities there are for small
businesses in the north west. My first shop was only £35 per week
with no business rates – you can’t get that anywhere else in the
country. Plus, there are so many empty shops just waiting to be
filled with creativity.

Describe the vibe of the neighbourhood…

One word: gritty. Not in the grimy sense of the word but the
true grit that gives way to real creativity and grassroots
community organisations. Like many Victorian seaside towns,
Morecambe’s “glory days” seem to be long forgotten but recently
it’s being regenerated and invested in. In fact, the Eden Project
in Cornwall is currently developing a new site in
Morecambe which is really generating a buzz in the area. Morecambe
really is on the brink of something amazing and that’s a really
exciting thing to be part of.

Where should we go for our morning coffee?

I have a secret coffee counter in the shop because I need a
24-hour coffee fix but there are some great cafes along Morecambe
Promenade. The Lighthouse Cafe and 13 The
are both great options. If you venture 10 minutes
inland to Lancaster then Atkinsons is a great shout for coffee, it has
two venues: one in an industrial space and one in the castle –
amazing architecture!

… and a hangover breakfast?

My favourites are Journey Social which has the best French toast I’ve
ever had and Brew which does delicious cakes.

What about somewhere for dinner with friends?

There’s a great Indian place just off the promenade called
Saffron, it’s in a hidden basement down a side street.
For nights in, try Chinese takeaway Shengs and for gourmet pub grub I would
recommend checking out The Royal at Heysham.

For date night?

There’s a new wine bar on the promenade called Brittlestar with views across Morecambe Bay, if you go
as the sun is setting it’s a spectacular view. The
Midland Hotel
is also a great date location with great cocktail
options and a fantastic afternoon tea. I love being surrounded by
nature though, so sharing a bottle of wine on the beach and look
across the bay to the Lake District peaks is pretty hard to

Any other independents in the neighbourhood that you love to
buy from?

I love heading into Lancaster and checking out Arteria, it’s
a boutique shop/gallery that has the most beautiful curated
exhibitions. There are also a lot of really great hidden shops in
the surrounding countryside, particularly a lot of fantastic farm
shops. Some of my favourites to go for gifts are Yew Tree Barn,
Sizergh Barn
and Ashton
Hall Garden Centre

Any secret spots only locals know about?

Curiosity Corner is a cute café in Heysham.
It’s just a short walk from the beach and serves the best paninis
and cakes. There’s also the Butterfly House in Lancaster, one of my
favourite places to visit growing up. It’s an Edwardian palm house
that has been turned into an exotic house for butterflies and

Share with us some of the stories behind some of the pieces you

I stock some great brands that are really leaving a positive
impact on our planet, so it’s difficult to choose. Here are four
that I’m really passionate about:

  1. YEWO is a
    small artisan led business in Malawi creating beautiful brass
    jewellery. It also has one of the most beautiful instagram pages I
    have ever seen.
  2. Ocean
    creates quirky, colourful sculptures made entirely from
    recycled flip flops. Kenyan artisans collect, wash and transform
    them into these beautiful creatures. Such an innovative way to
  3. Our range of Moroccan rugs are made by the independent artisans
    working with Anou, the first artisan-led cooperative in Morocco.
    The makers set their own prices and are completely in charge of the
    creative process.
  4. Arthouse Unlimited has the best packaging designs I
    have ever seen and all created by adults with epilepsy and complex
    learning disabilities from their studio in Godalming. A really
    inspirational social enterprise!

How can we make more eco-conscious choices?

Research the ethos behind the brand you’re shopping from, find
out about the makers of the products, how they’re made and how they
are transported from maker to consumer. If you can’t find out, send
an email to the business encouraging them to be more transparent.
Reducing the amount of single-use plastic you’re buying is also a
great way to become more eco-conscious. We stock some great
products from Acala including; bamboo cotton buds, hemp make-up
wipes and bamboo toothbrushes.

Any interiors tips for sprucing up small spaces?

Buy storage containers that look ornamental – our Senegalese
nesting baskets are useful for storing things you don’t want people
to see but they also look fantastically decorative. Wall art is
always a good option too, getting creative with your own gallery
wall can work wonders in transforming a small space. Also getting
furniture from Facebook marketplace to upcycle can be a really fun
way to transform a space. I recently bought some Victorian school
tables to turn into a workspace – with just a bit of sandpaper and
some Annie Sloan chalk space, they look amazing.

Finally, what should we buy from your store?

Am I allowed to say everything? I joke, but all of the products
I stock are made by small, independent artisans and social
enterprises from around the world. The more I sell, the more I can
invest into the amazing, impactful work they’re doing. At the
moment, some of my bestselling items are the hand-crafted animal
candles from eSwatini and luxury matches from the UK – they make really great
gifts and stocking fillers. I also have some gorgeous brass jewellery which comes from Malawi and some
fantastic, recycled-paper jewellery from southern Africa.

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