With England plunging into ‘Lockdown 2.0’ – this time with wet weather and darker evenings – feeling cosy and comfortable at home is more important than ever.
Thankfully, there’s a little company over in Ancoats that’s committed to keep the entire city of Manchester comfortable: Benji’s.
A homeware brand specialising in quirky and creative decorations, Benji’s was launched after the two founders Ben and Jamie received countless compliments from friends and family on their unusual homeware pieces that couldn’t be found on the high street.
The duo realised that there may be a wider market for offbeat homeware – and decided to leap head first into their work.
Earlier in the year, Ben and Jamie both lost their hospitality jobs as Manchester moved into Tier 3, but being made redundant proved to be a blessing in disguise.
It encouraged them to take their venture full time.
Speaking to The Manc, the owners said: “This was a big leap and a big risk, but […] it wasn’t ever a hesitation…”
“It was fight or flight – so we took an idea and ran with it.
“By no means are we graphic designers, interior designers or even marketers. We’re just two boys with a passion for home comforts, and we’re making a go of something we enjoy.”
Operating Benji’s from their Ancoats home, Ben and Jamie are all-too-aware of the struggles of living in a place that can’t be customised and doesn’t truly feel like home.
Their adorable home accessories offer small but important additions to help people transform a particular space.
“Benji’s has always been about loving the space that you’re in”, the owners tell us.
“We’re renters, and we know that small finishing touches really can make you appreciate your home more.”
The unique designs of Benji’s combine the pair’s inspirations to create a quirky yet cosy collection.
Ben offers the more ‘out there’, eclectic pieces like the zebra vase and bold planters, whereas Jamie’s frequent visits to Norway have added more of a Scandi vibe to the collection with throws, cushions and candles.
Although their inspiration has taken them far afield, Benji’s’ homeware collection is very much rooted in Manchester – with the brand keen to pay “homage to the city and all its greatness.”
Ben is a born-and-bred Mancunian; Jamie has been an adopted northerner for six years.
Their passion for the city is reflected in their range of worker bee products: The emblem of Manchester.
Moving ahead, the main priority for Benji’s is to stay true to themselves and their undeniable love for homeware.
“We started this as a passion, sourcing things we would actually have in our home,” they said.
“A lot of products don’t make the cut, because we only want to bring pieces that we genuinely enjoy.”
It’s this genuine spirit that really makes their collection stand out.
Whether you know the perfect person to gift a wild Zebra vase or you want a cosy throw to snuggle under while watching some festive films, you will be spoilt for choice this Christmas with Benji’s range of cute and creative products.
Although the future is daunting for many small businesses during the pandemic, Ben and Jamie remain upbeat.
“We’re taking every day as it comes, and love what we’re doing.
“We’re constantly thinking about the next step, whilst being realistic.”
We’re confident that they’ll be one to watch in the new year.
You can shop Benji’s collection on their website.