eastern biological fascinatingly unique gifts

Eastern Biological fascinatingly unique gifts

Shop spotlight on Eastern Biological.  This online gift shop sells unique gifts with a focus on the natural world and modern living.  This captivating contemporary collection will enthral those with a penchant for cabinets of curiosity.  You’ll find unusual presents from quirky home accessories to natural history books, cute stationery and educational toys for children.  It’s most certainly the online Wunderkammer for the modern home where you’ll find beautiful botanical objects rather than taxidermy or mounted insects.  I caught up with the owner to find out more about the fascinating world of Eastern Biological.

eastern biological product selection

Product Selection

Meet the Eastern Biological Owner

Alfred Addis owns this unique business.  He established Eastern Biological with a close friend in 2014 (who left in early 2015), so Addis is currently the sole director and owner.  Alfred went to Brighton University, and he tells me, “I attended the arts faculty, which perhaps is where my enthusiasm for ‘design-led’ products and illustration probably comes from.  Since then, I have a hodgepodge of working experience that ranges from events management, working in Human Rights, to Media – nothing strictly relevant to my business pursuit.”

eastern biological alfred addis

Alfred Addis

Alfred admits to being a dreamer, he reveals, “during and after University, I always had the pipedream of opening a business of sorts, maybe a restaurant or bar.  But after a few years of accumulating different work experience, along with some cash, I brainstormed again and tried to conceive something more original.  I immediately thought of unusual shops in different countries I’d visited over the years.  These stores were completely inspired by natural history and biology, but what made them unique was that they were not museum gift shops.  After researching whether or not there was something that resembled such places in London, I discovered there wasn’t.  This inspired me to create something completely new and different.”

eastern biological whale products

Whale and Nautical Products

Now the Eastern Biological is up and running, Alfred is pleased with the progress.  He enthuses, “it’s satisfying knowing that you have a unique idea and watching it gradually become a reality is second to none.  I set out to create my ideal store and its gratifying hearing positive feedback from customers.  When I tell people that there is no independent natural history shop as such in London, they often seem surprised.  There is ‘cabinet of curiosity’ type places but nothing that can call themselves a gift and lifestyle store. I then direct them to my website and get such fantastic comments.”

eastern biological anatomy model

Body Anatomy Model

Being an e-tailer suited Alfred’s needs, he tells me, “starting online first is a good option as there are fewer overheads to worry about.  It allows me to lead more of a flexible lifestyle.  It’s also a good way of building a foundation if there are plans to open a physical store.  I’m planning a physical store later this year in the form of pop-ups which will likely be in collaboration with other small businesses.”

eastern biological white crocodile

White Crocodile

As for that quirky business name, Alfred explains, “Eastern Biological is a reference to my favourite author John Steinbeck and the book Cannery Row.  A character in the novel works in a place called the Western Biological Laboratory, which is a place that sells scientific curiosities.  I amended the name to suit my location in London.”

Eastern Biological Collection

Alfred talks me through his product selection, “we sell modern design-led gifts, home accessories, kitchenware, glassware, stationery, books and educational toys for children.  Our curiosities originate from an array of countries including Spain, America, Madagascar, Indonesia, Morocco and Brazil.  About 80% of the products come from suppliers based in the UK, and the rest are from overseas.  The natural world inspires all of our products.  We don’t sell designer brands as such, rather products of great interest.  Although having said that, you will find a couple of coveted designers like Serax glassware and Kith and Kin stationery notebooks and cushions. I’ll soon be selling art prints and am currently commissioning illustrators to develop these which will be exclusive limited edition screen prints.”  To give you an idea about the exciting products currently available online, Alfred has selected five items for you to marvel over.

eastern biological assorted shells

Resin Shells

Artificial White Owl: This owl is just too cute.  It’s an artificial bird which is made from real chicken feathers and polystyrene.  It has a flexible wire on the feet so you can perch your owl somewhere interesting.  This isn’t a toy; it’s more of a curiosity item so is better suited to adults.  There are two sizes, the large is 14cm high and retails for £12.50.  The large is 34cm tall and is priced at £33.50.

eastern biological african white owl

Artificial White Owl

Leafy Monstera Cushion: I wrote about the tropical plant print trend last year and loved this bold design.  This cushion features an illustrated leafy exposition of tropical plants which has been digitally printed onto the fabric.  It comes with a luxury 100% cushion insert pad so is super comfortable.  This product has been made by Kith and Kin, an ethical lifestyle company with a focus on sustainability and community.  The measurements are 43cm square, and it is priced at £56.

eastern biological tropical palm leaf cushion

Leafy Monstera Cushion

Greenhouse Pot: This little greenhouse is from Serax and is just perfect for anyone without any outside space. With its white-painted cement base and removable glass top, this will look stylish on your windowsill or bookcase.  Just add a plant and watch it grow.  Glass plant terrariums are trending right now, so this little pot is such a lovely gift idea for a friend’s birthday or someone who has just moved into a new home.  The measurements are 26cm high and 22cm in diameter.  The price is £55.

eastern biological mini greenbouse plant pot

Greenhouse Pot

Walrus Animal Box: This trinket box come sculpture and ornament has been crafted from sustainably harvested beech wood.  It’s undoubtedly a lovely object to admire and a great place to hide valuable objects. The measurements are 8.89cm high, 16.51cm long and 7.5cm in depth.  The price is £45.

tropical biological walrus decorative box

Walrus Animal Box

Scientific Candle: This is a delightful tiny scented candle which has been made from vegetable wax. It comes packaged in a pretty porcelain pot with scientific style markings for added interest.  The scents available are Garden, Jasmine and Desert Flower.  The measurements are 6.2cm high and 6.3cm wide with a retail price of £14.50.

eastern biological scientific candle

Scientific Candle

Alfred describes his customers, “they are curious people, enthused by the natural world and adventurous living.  They love to learn and constantly question the world they live in.  They like to travel and gain new experiences.  We also see our customers as creative types who have a keen interest in the arts and are taken in by aesthetics above all else.”

Buy Eastern Biological Products

If you have a curious mind or want to find a unique gift for a friend you can buy the products from Eastern Biological.  To give you an idea about price points – glassware is £4.00-55.00, stationery notebooks are £3.00-10.50, books are £10.00-38.00, and educational toys for children are £4.00-34.00.  At the moment they only ship within the UK and the EU.

Author: Homegirl London.  Photographs: Eastern Biological.  Thanks: Alfred Addis.