The Mercantile Blog

  • Eytys - Upgrade Your Converse Now


    It's just too wet for my Converse now, and I'm really pushing it with my ponyskin leopard slippers, be they ever so cool, but I can't just settle down to wearing biker boots every day for the next 9 months.  I think that these fantastic Eytys dark navy sneakers are just the thing for me to switch over to.

    Available online from Eytys and from the Dover Street Market.


    Follow Eytys on Twitter - @eytys

  • Should I Work for Free?

    If you work in design, or are a freelancer or self employed in any capacity, chances are you've been asked to work for free.  This is especially true for journalists, I suspect.  In the last couple of weeks I have been asked to work for free and to give an 80% discount on the price I quoted for a service (because the last person they employed to do this wasn't great, apparently).

    Sometimes working for free isn't working for free, it's relationship building or straightforward reciprocity.  I have on occasion needed a service, found a perfect provider, identified something they needed that I could make, and offered a straight swap.  It's lovely when this happens - everybody wins.

    Sometimes somebody asks you for something for free, honestly believing that they can return the favour, but overestimating their own value and never really delivering for you.  I've been on both sides of that equation, and I know now to avoid the situation (from either side).  Be cynical.  Allow others to be cynical.

    Anyway the reason all this is on my mind today is because I have just come across this wonderful flowchart, Should I Work for Free? by the very clever (and talented) Jessica Hische, a letterer and illustrator from Pennsylvania.

    If you are self employed or any kind of freelancer, you should buy this print and tape it up over your desk.


    Follow Jessica Hische on Twitter - @jessicahische

    Follow us on Twitter too while you're at it - @naturalhistory

  • We're Open!

    Our pop-up store in Oxford is now open for business.  We're sharing with a fantastic coffee roastery called Jericho Coffee Traders, serving their own roasts and an exclusive range of cakes.  Business is booming and we'd love to share the fun with you so come and say hello!

  • Natural History Mercantile Pop-Up in Oxford

    We have very exciting news!  On Monday we are opening our wonderful autumn Pop-Up shop in central Oxford, along with our friends at the Jericho Coffee Traders.  

    Come to our fantastic industrial space, with lighting by Light Vessel Automatic, and feast on the best cakes, the most lovingly brewed coffee and, of course, the best selection of design-led gifts in all of Oxford.

    Visit us at 

    Natural History Mercantile

    3 King Edward Street


    OX1 4HS


    If you're in town tomorrow afternoon, pop by and say hello as we have our "soft" opening to make sure everything is working.

    Sign up for our mailing list below to receive a special VIP invitation to a private lock-in at the shop later in the month.

  • New Product: Dramatic Prints from Good Hope & Luck

    Good Hope & Luck is the Brighton design studio behind this stunning trio of prints, hand printed, numbered, signed and embossed.  Using four and five colours, plus enamel varnish and metallic inks they make a spectacular statement - go all out and order all three.

    We'll have a Q&A with the artist next week to learn more about the collection, so don't forget to put us into your Feedly so that you don't miss out.





    Shop the collection now.

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