Choosing Keeping is located on East London’s (famous for its flower market) Columbia Road. It’s been around a few years but until a couple of weeks ago, I somehow hadn’t made it inside (probably because I’m usually on Columbia Road during the flower market and it’s so hectic that I just get my flowers and leave)! I’d seen Worship Blues mention it a few times recently, and knowing that I’m moving from the area soon, I made sure I popped in on a quiet Saturday.

Copyright Liz Seabrooke for Port Magazine 2

Photo by Liz Seabrooke

It is such a lovely shop. A treasure trove of things you’ve never seen before. Perfect for those with a curious nature. And extra points for it’s neatness too! Unfortunately, you can’t take pictures in the shop, but they were nice enough to send me some to include in this post.

Copyright Liz Seabrooke for Port MAgazine 1

Photo by Liz Seabrooke

So, I know what you’re wondering… What did I buy?! This little lot:

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My aim was to choose things I hadn’t seen/heard of/tried before, and this was a pretty easy task to be honest.

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First up a Magic Pen, in blue. Apparently named as Magic when felt tipped pens were a new technology! You can get these in packs of 10 on the website for £25, or singles in the shop for £2.50.

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This is just a basic legal pad really, but it made me curious enough to buy it. And this one is really mysterious… Internet trawling hasn’t revealed much, especially given my lack of Japanese language. Although when I turned the pad over, the super cool logo on the label gave me a bit more information.

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From what I can gather, through terrible google translate (if I’m wrong and anyone wants to correct me the Thinking Power Project website is here for your translation), it’s a collaboration between Thinking Power Project and Japanese notebook brand Swallow, and is intended as a university notebook. They want people to think before they google, use your brain to remember/work something out before searching for the answer. I may have understood that completely wrongly, but I like the sentiment all the same!

This doesn’t seem to be available online, but I got it in store for £7.50.

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On the left here, Yamato Nori Starch Glue, £3.50 per tube. I have actually heard of this one before, but not seen it in the flesh. Having heard that it’s pretty much the best paper glue, I had to give it a go. And on the right, the CP-10 Eraser, £2.50 each (only available in store) which apparently erases colour pencils. I’ll have a go and report back.

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Next up, these incredible looking pencils which are Choosing Keeping’s own! I saw these on their Instagram before and was desperate to get some. I haven’t seen silver and gold pencils like this before – does anyone know of any others? I love them! The silver is HB, for writing, and the gold is 2B, for drawing. I’m really looking forward to giving them ago! They don’t seem to have these online either, but they’re £2.50 each in store.

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And finally… And this was a last minute addition at the till – A MINI PENCIL! The other pencil is for scale. These come in 4 colours, £1 each in store, or £4 for all 4 colours online. I just love mini things.

I feel like this barely scratched the surface of Choosing Keeping, I’ll definitely be heading back to find more mysterious stationery goodies!

You can find Choosing Keeping at:
128 Columbia Road
London E2 7RG

And online here.