Knuf – filling a gap in Sheffield’s trendy student zone
Sheffield Unchained contributer Anouchka Santella recently moved to Sheffield from Paris, where she studied journalism. Anouchka first came to Sheffield in 2011 and after two years of going back and forth between the two cities she decided that Sheffield was the city she loved.
Anouchka says that one of the many reasons she loves this city so much is because of all the independent shops, artists and cafes she can find here. This is her story about one of those independents.
The two girls are cool, trendy and to be completely honest, pretty fit. One of them is looking at some version of the Britney Spears ‘Oops I did it again’ red suit. The other is checking her hair in what seems to be Snow White’s evil stepmother’s mirror.
Knuf on Ecclesall road, Sheffield is the kind of place where you can find trendy people browsing items straight from the Brothers Grimm’s tales alongside outfits that 17-year-old pop stars wore in the 90’s.
Like every cool place, you need to pay attention to find Knuf, or to be aware of it in the first place. You can’t see inside if you’re walking down the street and you have to climb a few steps to get to the entrance.
As soon as you walk in the smell of incense gives you the impression you’re entering a hippie cave. A bunch of fairy lights and a few buntings hang from the ceiling, turning the cave into a magical tavern. Then carpets on the floor, tapestry on the walls and burgundy wallpaper turn the magical tavern into a French castle from the 17th century.
Weirdly enough everything mixes and matches, leaving a cosy atmosphere that will make you want to hang out in Knuf for hours, looking at the range of clothes or just talking to lovely Tom Andrews, the owner.
When Tom, 24, dropped out of the two courses he started at Hallam University, he probably didn’t realise he was going to undertake more than he ever did as a student.
Knuf was opened in May 2012 and Tom said that his idea was to create something Ecclesall road was missing.
“I thought Eccy Road needed a place like this. There are loads of students and young creative people around here, but no shops except really expensive ones that these people couldn’t afford.
“I was surprised at the lack of shops like this, considering the type of people who live locally and the general vibe within the area. And the thought of selling funky clothes and second hand records to people everyday sounded like fun.”
You can get a glittery jumper for £14 in Knuf and won’t have to spend more than £5 on cool sunglasses. You’ll also discover items that are hard to find, even from other vintage boutiques.
Tom said that people come to Knuf for the 90’s sports clothes. Indeed, between the 60’s silver jackets and 70’s flower shirts, you’ll spot a few t-shirts that you haven’t seen on anyone since Will Smith wore them in the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you’ll realise that, well, you haven’t. Clothes are cool, hats are nice, mirrors are cute and scarves are ace, but that’s not enough for Tom, who decided to turn the back of the room into a record shop.
“There aren’t any good vinyl shops in Sheffield when it comes to hip hop.”
And his plans for the future?
“I want to make a self service that offers a variety of teas and coffees. People will take their drinks out in the back to read a book and relax. I also want to support local artists by putting their paintings on the walls and selling them.
“And of course, my main goal is to put my own clothing brand in the boutique and by next year have 50% vintage and 50% my brand in the shop.”
Photographs by Ellie Grace Photography.