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Meet Our Tenants | Ilé La Wà | Gift shop inspired by Black British culture | Central Parade E17

"Ilé La Wà means "We Are Home" in Yoruba" Ilé La Wà co-founders Chanelle Joseph & Dorcas Magbadelo tell us, "and the concept is to create a gift shop inspired by African Heritage and Black British culture, bringing together a collection of amazing Black-owned brands to provide a unique shopping experience to the local community." Ilé La Wà was created when Dorcas and Chanelle became disillusioned with market life and wanted a space they could call their own.

Our incubator spaces at Central Parade in Walthamstow E17 gave them the perfect opportunity to achieve that wish. Their business now has a temporary home for up to 12 months at below commercial rates, giving them the space to experiment, test ideas and grow their business.

We asked Dorcas and Chanelle a few questions about their start up to find out more:

What do you or your team do?

Dorcas Magbadelo is the creator, artist and extraordinaire behind Dorcas Creates. When not working in the shop she is either curled up in bed or out at the theatre or cinema.

Chanelle Joseph is the one woman band behind Studio Nelle, she handcrafts small leather goods made from reclaimed leather. When not in the shop, she is working part-time 4 days a week or making products. But squeezes in a little social time when she can, usual centered around food, art, dance and film.

What does a typical day look like for you in the shop?

On a Sunday we are both present in the shop. A typical day would involve opening up at 9:30am to replenish stock and a quick tidy-up to ensure the shop is presentable. We generally use Sunday's to go over finance i.e make any payments such as rent or purchase items for the shop. We look over which products are performing well and products that are not performing as well and devise a strategy for the following week to boost sales. We usually end the day by treating ourselves with some delights from the local farmers market!

What are the few must haves at your desk whilst working?

Dorcas: Pencil case full of drawing supplies, sketchbook, laptop, phone and lip balm.

Chanelle: Multiple notebooks, erasable pen, a leather product, laptop, tripod and botanical tea.

Ilé La Wà have a Macrame Plant Hanger workshop coming up on 9th Feb 5:30pm - 7:30pm. Tickets available here:

If you are looking for a retail space to build your business and test your ideas, we currently have spaces available in Blue House Yard and Queens Parade. Contact to find out more.

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