Object is co-founded by husband and wife team, Alex and Rachael Otterwell. Since 2009 the couple have been travelling the world together to create a unique neighbourhood shop for the local people of Manchester and an online destination store for visitors worldwide. Working with directional brands built on craftsmanship, quality and simplicity, Object’s carefully curated collection of menswear, womenswear and objects for the home, have been personally hand-sourced by the owners. The couple’s favourite thing about their job is being able to meet so many new and interesting people on a daily basis.
They said: "We only ever choose pieces to be a part of our Object family because we genuinely love them, would wear them ourselves and would be proud to have them in our home. Supporting small, independent businesses like us is at the heart of Object’s ethos."
Alex feels optimistic about the future of Manchester’s high streets, commenting: "I think we are seeing an increase in indie businesses who are passionate about what they do and also have an in-depth knowledge of what they do. We are very fortunate to run a shop in an area which really supports and has a passion for independent business and culture. What’s nice about Chorlton is the mix of new and old businesses. When we first opened the store we were completely overwhelmed by the welcome and support of our fellow shopkeepers who really couldn't do enough for us. Little things like lending each other milk or coffee really goes a long way.
"We have a really loyal customer base who shop with us on a regular basis both physically and through our social media channels, as well as customers who travel from afar to specifically visit the shop. The reaction we get from customers coming into the store for the first time is really positive. Object is the shop that means you don’t have to go into the city centre to purchase good design for the house or as a gift. We always describe ourselves as a neighbourhood store."
On the presence of larger chains on the high street, Alex continued: "I think the major worry is that when the larger chains arrive, certain landlords soon catch on that they can charge much more for rent which soon prices the indies out. We’ve unfortunately started to see a few larger chains pop up locally and it will be interesting to see how they fair in an area which supports its independents so much. I think the Great British High Street competition is fantastic and much needed if we want to get consumers shopping locally again."