Introducing: Rockafella Industries
Rockafella Industries are a tiny department store stocking ethically sourced, kitsch, colourful and conscious products. From handmade clothing to Papel Picado. Kashmiri enamelware to brand new vinyl. A gift shop with a difference. They launched in 2016 making bespoke lampshades and their business has grown organically since then, and they now stock an amazing array of wares. Whether you’re buying dinosaur print dungarees for your 90th birthday or you’re purchasing your first vinyl record, we definitely recommend popping in next time you’re in Ipswich town – there really is something for everyone!
If you hadn’t noticed the bright orange shop already, Annabella an Johnny have recently had an amazing mural painted on the shop wall by the brilliant illustrator, Catalina Carvajal. You can find Catalina’s work on her Instagram page @catalinacarvajalr – we love it!
When talking to the Rockafella family about their customers, and how they spread the word about their business, Annabella says, “We don’t rely on repeat business as such but we have developed an amazing community around us. Social media advertising is our main way of getting ourselves out there, however we could always do more! We have been in World of Interiors magazine and we would absolutely love to be in more print – something tangible is always exciting!”
The dreaded lockdown has definitely had quite an impact on many local independent businesses including Rockafella, however it’s not all bad news. “The impact has been incredible, both positive and negative. On the positive side, we’ve had to be innovative with our online strategy, so we’ve launched a website and figured out Instagram shopping. Additionally, the wider public seem more aware of shopping locally and supporting independent businesses, which is fabulous! On the negative side, obviously being closed for three months had a massive impact on cash flow. However, being a small shop we can react a lot quicker and working alongside small suppliers who we are in close contact with means we can come up with new ideas and help each other out.
“Business is certainly picking up, and it’s really nice to see some of our regular faces coming through the door again. In terms of boosting our business, we’ve been creating and sourcing exciting new products, engaging in social media and trying to find more artists/designers/makers to work with. We also have something super exciting happening to the shop which will be revealed in due course…” We at Vanilla can’t wait to find out what it is!
Annabella admits to feeling like there’s always something they can improve on (don’t we all!) and after a year of being open, sometimes feels a little disheartened when hearing people didn’t know they were there. However they’re very aware that doing what they’re doing in terms of getting their brand more recognised through social media platforms, word of mouth and in print (check them out in our September re-launch edition of Vanilla mag, out next week!) is definitely the way forward. It’s definitely a full time job, but we think it’s 100% worth it.
We absolutely love Rockafella Industries and we think you will too. You’ll find them here:
8 Eagle Street
Open Tuesday – Saturday 10am- 4pm or by appointment through the website.