‘A beautiful emporium of delightfully gorgeous gifts’ – it’s York’s new curiosity shop

Rachel Stott with some of her cornucopia of delights at Thora & The Princess. Photographs: Janina Egler
15 Feb 2018 @ 8.19 pm
| Business, Shopping

York has an unusual new addition – a tiny vintage emporium situated just opposite the Little Apple bookshop.

Although seemingly small, Thora and The Princess is deceptive. The High Petergate shop is filled to the rafters with unusual and quirky items.

Owner Rachel Stott is a York girl through and through – in fact her family have been in the city since the 16th century.

She began her retailing business selling from a stall on Shambles Market. Rachel then expanded to a shop in Haxby as demand grew.

Now she’s brought her “eclectic mix of scarves, vintage and jewellery” to Petergate for a 12-month pop-up.

Vintage and quirky

There’s all sorts of gifts and items for the home

“I’ve always had an interest in vintage and quirky things,” Rachel told YorkMix. “But I like to think this is affordable vintage.

“Generally you can buy something for under £20 in here.”

What’s for sale? What one customer described as “a beautiful emporium of delightfully gorgeous gifts” – everything from Stoneglow diffusers to colourful cushions, from bangles to quirky dog prints.

Not only is this tiny store full of affordable curiosities, but Rachel is keen to keep as many as her products as locally and ethically sourced as possible.

“I support a lot of other York-based businesses, such as Pure Pallets,” she says, gesturing to her wooden beautiful counter.

Other local products include handmade children’s dresses and knitted booties by What’s To Be Done With Her’ as well as a range of handmade crafty cards.

The small shop packs a lot in
The pop-up shop is on Low Petergate for the next 12 months

The interior is certainly cosy, but Rachel’s biggest challenge, the shop’s limited space, may well have turned out to be its biggest charm.

Everywhere you look is filled with interesting and unique items arranged in unexpected ways.

“What people like about the shop is there’s always something new to look at,” said Rachel.

“I don’t buy huge amounts of one product so it’s always changing.” Those popping in to buy a gift can expect beautiful wrapping and packaging along with a warm and friendly customer service.

“I’m excited for the adventure and to see where 12 months takes me,” she said.