Q&A: Colours May Vary - ‘There’s nowhere quite like us’

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Colours May Vary is not just an arts and crafts store. The shop’s owner Becky Palfery tells Ricky Charlesworth that it has become a creative hub, with a niche product range and an ever-changing schedule of exhibitions

HOW DID THE IDEA FOR THE STORE COME ABOUT?

I was a jewellery designer previously and my partner was a librarian.

We felt there was nothing in Leeds like this. We used to travel to other cities to buy the things that we now sell.

We’ve grown from a shop, taking on an exhibition space and that is now a main part of our identity bringing different artists and crowds to the shop.

WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU STOCK?

We wanted good quality at good value, something you might not be able to get elsewhere and also to bring interesting bits and pieces to the city.

We stock magazines, stationery and books but also have ceramics from Denmark and locally-made cards.

We know the high street is having a hard time at the moment and so the best retailers are those offering an experience when you shop.

WHAT SORT OF CUSTOMERS DO YOU GET?

We have a huge demographic. We get people in their 70s and 80s coming in to buy their print magazines.

We also have kids coming in to get a magic pencil.

We try really hard to make sure our events expand across the demographics.

WHAT MAKES LEEDS UNIQUE?

What makes it work for us is that there’s nowhere quite like us.

The only competition is our location because we’re not in the middle of town.

There’s a brilliant student population and Leeds is a creative city so when independent retailers do pop up they tend to do okay because they offer something different.

Colours May Vary is located on Duke Street and is open seven days a week.