London: a buzzing hub for shopping that millions of people visit each year to buy a variety of products including designer clothes, perfumes and bags. With the likes of Oxford Street, Westfield and Covent Garden, there is no shortage of amazing shopping destinations to visit for a day out in London.
Scores of brilliant restaurants, cafés and bars also attract thousands of tourists to London’s best shopping districts, making the experience more memorable than simply buying different products. But tourists aside, what about us Londoners – specifically the modern day empowered woman? Where are the best places for us to shop and spend a day out?
As a female-founded and independently owned business, female empowerment is very dear to our heart here at Beija. As part of the female community, we believe in supporting other women and lifting them up, in whatever way we can; this article was written to help you do the same! We will explore some of the best places to go in London for a day out shopping, where you’ll also be supporting female-owned companies.
So, where are the best shopping locations in London for women? If you are looking for clothes, gifts, home décor or self-care alongside some of London’s best cafés and restaurants, look no further! Whether you’re after perfume, clothes or designer bags, we have something for everyone. Here is the empowered female’s cheat sheet to shopping in London!
Fashion – Meet D.A.Y
As a sister-founded business ourselves, the first brand we have to mention is D.A.Y Boutique, a Peckham-based boutique offering Scandi-inspired clothing and accessories from around the world. Founded by sisters Disha, Apee and Yukti in 2018, D.A.Y was born to create a space to curate the brands these sisters love, as well as support the local community and independent designers in Peckham and South East London, where they live and work.
Built from the sisters’ love for independent retail, the shop is home to a broad range of brands, each of which have been handpicked by one of the trio. You’ll find a well-curated collection that reflects a broad mix of the more well-known international brands (Samsoe Samsoe, Rains, etc.) as well as smaller independent labels (Wax, Conditions Apply, etc).
Fun fact, these three sisters grew up in a shop environment with their parents who ran a store for 40+ years. Growing up in the family lingerie manufacturing business ourselves and going on to create Beija, we love to read these wonderful stories of legacy.
Books and Bar – Meet BookBar
Of course, shopping doesn’t have to just include clothes or fashion, so the next business on our list offers a very interesting and unique proposal. Have you ever imagined a bookshop where readers can enjoy reading their favourite book with one hand while they sip their favourite wine with the other? Well imagine no more, because BookBar in North London offers readers this opportunity!
BookBar was founded and is owned by the incredible Chrissy Ryan – providing readers with a welcoming space to enjoy both books and wine simultaneously. Based on Blackstock Road in Islington, North London, BookBar is a social space that aims to be inclusive for all visitors.
BookBar isn’t just for bookworms who are used to visiting bookshops or book clubs regularly. In fact, Chrissy’s philosophy is to create a fun, warm and welcoming space that anyone can use to discover their love of books. It doesn’t matter how much existing knowledge you have or how many books you have read recently, it’s about bringing people together to create an inclusive community.
Aside from selling books, BookBar also has many open events such as live music, readings, wine tastings and even their unique ‘read-dating’ – their own personal spin on speed-taking for booklovers. So if reading is something you are looking to get into, or you already enjoy the idea of books and wine, check out Chrissy’s BookBar in Islington on Blackstock Road in North London!
Gifts/Homeware – ALKEMI Store
Next on our checklist is a beautiful selection of products from the ALKEMI store. With their flagship store based in Nunhead Lane in South East London, ALKEMI store is an independent lifestyle shop providing timeless, practical and long-lasting products. Wanting to introduce Londonders to the best in contemporary Korean and Japanese design, Jeane Chung decided to open ALKEMI Store in the creative community of Nunhead.
Following the success of the first store and with the support of South East London’s local communities, ALKEMI opened a second store in Forest Hill in April of 2021.
One thing we love about ALKEMI stores is that they work with local artists and product makers to introduce and sell their works in the store. Jeane travels regularly to Asia to source products for her boutique, taking great care to unearth items that she knows her customers will truly love. Hair Care – Hairlounge
Finally, let’s talk about Hairlounge, owned by award-winning hairstylist Charlotte Mensah Manketti. This brilliant woman is the owner of the Hairlounge salon and also founder of the Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil product range for afro hair.
Crowned ‘Afro Hairdresser of the Year’ three times at the British Hairdressing Awards, Charlotte trained at the London College of Fashion in the late 1980s under the guidance of the late Winston Isaacs, regarded as ‘The Godfather of British Afro Hairdressing’. In fact, Charlotte has been at the forefront of the ‘natural haircare movement’ since 2000, dating back over 20 years.
Based in Portobello Road in West London, Charlotte’s salon caters specifically to women who have afro/mixed and all curly hair types. Using organic, ethical and sustainably-sourced oils, her products deliver incredible results and smell heavenly.
Due to the nature of their hair, some women of colour have, on occasion, traditionally found it more difficult to manage their hair. Hairlounge offers a solution to these women, welcoming a constant stream of devoted clients – those from the world of business and politics to people walking through the door off the street. So if you’re in need of haircare, why not try the Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil product range? Better yet, make a day out of it and visit the Hairlounge salon in Portobello Road, West London!London’s Best Lingerie – Beija London
While we’re on the topic of shopping in London, let’s not waste an opportunity to talk about Beija! Our beautiful flagship store is based in Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross St Pancras, just off Granary Square. A buzzing social hub, Kings Cross offers the perfect day out for the empowered female in London. Join us for a free in-store bra fitting to make sure that your bra offers the right comfort and support!
Aside from Beija, the surrounding location has a multitude of businesses to enjoy as a woman. Whether you want to eat, drink, shop or a combination of all three, there is no shortage of amazing restaurants, bars and stores in Kings Cross. If you’d like to hear more about what Coal Drops Yard has to offer, you can read this article here.
We'd love you to book in for an online bra fitting with us via Zoom from the comfort of your own home, or an in person bra fitting at our lingerie store in Coal Drops Yard, King's Cross. Treat it as part of your breast health routine and learn something new about yourself! We welcome you to use our bra fit finder as well, where you can double check your size yourself - no tape measure required. At Beija we aim to deliver you a really important women's service in a modern way that is useful and easy. No fuss.