Explore Independent Cambridge - Ark


With the help of Independent Cambridge - the community of ‘real’ Cambridge - Cambridge Network continues its weekly exploration of the best independent shops, cafés, restaurants, people, businesses, venues and events in Cambridge and the surrounding area. This week: Ark.

Ark’s story started in 2001 as a small gift shop on Norfolk Street. Founded by Jane Richards and now located on Peas Hill, its ‘gifts for interesting people’ are sourced from all over the world with an emphasis on colour, great design, fun and always with a mind to outwit the department stores to offer something different.

Yet over the years, Jane found it increasingly hard to purchase interesting items, particularly ones made in Britain. So, in 2015, with the help of shop buyer Amy Lindsay, they founded Ark Colour Design. Based in a studio just outside Cambridge, they design and sell their own range of truly unique and colourful leather goods.

Products include bags and purses, and typically (for Ark!), quirky items such as nudist bookmarks and leather jewellery. Manufactured by a family-run company in Scotland, the current collection is stocked at over 200 indie outlets across the UK and Europe (including Ark Cambridge of course), and they’ve also designed bespoke products for the likes of the V&A and National Portrait Gallery.

Always up for finding new creative projects, the Ark team is currently working with a small pottery firm in Devon to create their first range of ceramics. Quite a creative journey for a small gift shop from Cambridge!

1-2 Peas Hill, Cambridge CB2 3PP
Telephone 01223 363372

Discover unique boutiques and boutique hotels mingled with communities of artists and craftspeople. Sample an award-winning restaurant or thriving little café tucked away in a back street – all easy to locate via the comprehensive Independent Cambridge directory.  It features hundreds of local traders, artists, makers, producers, venues and events – all of which play a part in the real life of the city and local area. Run by long-term residents with a true passion for all things indie, the site is packed with valuable insider knowledge of the local scene. And whoever you are - resident or visitor; whatever you search for, read about and choose to visit, you can be sure it’s independent!


A celebration of the city’s best independent traders, venues and events

Indie Cambridge