Marcus Crane and Gareth McCully moved from East London to Rye with their family of rescued dogs over ten years ago. Thank goodness they did, as we are lucky enough to see the fruits of their creativity with their excellent shop, McCully & Crane. It's clear to all it's a Top Shop and another reason to visit Rye.
Thank you to Davy Pittoors for the photographs!
When did you open McCully & Crane?
We opened in the spring of 2009. Originally in a tiny little shop just around the corner. But quickly outgrew it and moved to one half of the current location.
What made you want to open a shop?
To be honest, it was an experiment really. Having moved from London the year before, I found myself looking for something to do. It originally had a very vintage homeware and antique art feel. But that evolved over the years and in 2015, when we expanded into the shop next door, we started showing art from contemporary artists amongst the lighting and furniture we were creating. Art has really taken over and is now the driving force of the business.
What do you love about being a shopkeeper?
I love putting things together and sourcing/discovering. Our approach has always been eclectic, so hanging and displaying pieces is the best part. It’s that magic of creating combinations and helping people to view in that way. Whilst the art and ceramics are now the primary focus, we will always source furniture and lighting to compliment and create a more interiors atmosphere than a traditional gallery would.
And that moment someone falls in love with a piece is really special, I love that. And we work with many of our artists permanently- so it feels like a little family these days. I’m very proud of them all.
Anything you hate?
Not really, I just wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. The business has evolved to compliment the way we want to live here in Rye which I think is really important. It’s about the balance.
Favourite piece in the shop at the moment?
I wouldn’t want to single out any one of our artists over another, So I would have to say the taxidermy unicorn is pretty epic! (And ethically sourced)
Any good tips for Rye?
You have to go up the bell tower at the church, St Mary’s - the views are spectacular!
I think it’s worth doing a bit of research before you come, not everything is immediately obvious. It’s why we put together a little list of recommendations and links on our website, to highlight places we think people visiting us would also like. And book ahead!