We spoke to Ian Morris, one of the two proprietors of local institution - MAP gift shop.
I was born in an idyllic village near Worcester. It might have been called Grimly but the name couldn't have been more inappropriate. My school was in a tiny building down a country lane.
I decided to follow a career in design at the very last moment. I already had a place at university to read Town & Country Planning but changed my mind to pursue my interest in textiles. I went to Loughborough University and got a first in textile design. Only two years later, I was back at Loughborough to lecture (and ended up doing this part time for 15 years). One of the people I taught was Kathryn Phalp who is my business partner in MAP (the name stands for Morris And Phalp). At the same time I worked for David Fielden, making set designs for fashion shows in Milan, Paris and London but printed fabric was my main thing.
When Catherine and I formed a partnership in 1991, our first studio was in Tottenham Lane. After a while we decided to specialise in printed ceramics because these needed less space to produce than printed fabric. We next moved to 135 Junction Road where we had three kilns making our ceramics. It was a huge success, from a prestige point of view. We went on selling trips to New York - you could find our work in Sacks Fifth Avenue and Nieman Marcus. Back in London, Liberty and Heals stocked our designs. But it is very tough to make money out of small-scale production. Even though our shop at 135 was very popular, we decided to move here (to 93 Junction Road) for better retail space and the rest is history.
Someone said to me recently "Oh you're part of the new regeneration of Archway but we've been here 22 years! We like to think we were in the lead."
MAP giftshop is at 93 Junction Rd and specialises in beautiful and unusual gifts to suit all pockets