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Opening: Bringing Scandi style (and smiles) to Ely

Cow on the Ice, a one-of-a-kind Scandi home and lifestyle brand, is moving to Ely High Street. As Velvet reports, it promises smiles as well as style

If you’re a regular shopper at Ely Market, you’re likely familiar with Cow on the Ice: designer Eva Starzyk started selling her Scandi wares there last year. Having developed a fan following for her one-of-a-kind homewares, stationery and art toys, along with “a galloping affection for The Ship of the Fens area”, she and partner Dean are now upping sticks from their hometown of Coventry to settle in Ely, where they’ll moor their houseboat on the Cam and open a bricks-and-mortar Cow on the Ice store in the High Street.

The business gets its name from an expression in Eva’s native Sweden: “Swedes don’t say ‘no worries’ if everything is alright, they tell you there is ‘no cow on the ice’ - ingen ko på isen,” she explains. Describing her pieces as being “as far from mass production as one can imagine”, Eva says a sense of home, the spirit of hygge, and design that’s both minimalist and meaningful are all core to the brand, which she defines as “a project built around a genuine fascination with Nordic minimalism and sustainable design sprinkled with industrial vibes”. Her HOLO bags, for example, are made out of upcycled ad banners and seatbelts.

“Bestsellers depend on the season but I've noticed that our very special art toys make people smile the most,” continues Eva, who also sells wall art, ceramics, kitchen textiles, T-shirts, slippers and greetings cards.

“I think they embody a lot of the core values I was talking about, and they are so different from the usual pink ponies and plastic teddies that they just grab people's attention - and hearts. Wonky Wally is my latest baby. I call them ‘lockdown teddies’ because that is what gave me inspiration - they’re unperfect toys for unsound times.”

Originally coming to the UK to work in branding for a software company, Eva left to start Cow “without savings, start-up loans or possibly even common sense, but with a great desire to make people smile with long-snouted toys, anti-ordinary thoughtfully crafted clothes, accessories, homeware and paper goods that bring joy to everyday life.”

Cow on the Ice will arrive at 32a High Street, Ely, this spring. For more information and updates visit cowontheice.co.uk and/or instagram.com/cowontheice.co.uk

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