The Chester blog

20 questions : The Second Floor

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Kimberly Anderson and Carrie Hyndman are co owners of The Second Floor (Upper Northgate Street) which opened in 2018. Art by AG Designs

1.How are you? K: Fragile C: Ok I guess, it’s been a weird one hasn’t it!?!

2. What’s new at The Second Floor? K: Beautiful sunsets and fantasizing about jumping in the fountains roundabout. No but…really happy to be back open and we have a shop FULL of new stock 🙂 C: During lockdowns we made the most of having a little free time so we’ve grown our workshops for Junkbox & The Grunge Monkey and they’re awesome! We had a little revamp getting some new fixtures & a shit tonne of plants, plus we invested in loads of ace new stock; vintage clothing, giftware, cards & more. The shop is looking so great right now, we’re so proud!

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3.How have you coped during lockdowns? K: Lockdown 1 = fine, Lockdown 2 = not so good, Lockdown 3 = About to crack! I’ve worked the whole way through really so I am grateful that I have had that to distract me and keep me going! Also had Carrie too so that wasn’t too shabby 😛 haha C: Not my favourite trilogy I’ll be honest! The first one was pretty good, the second one was half arsed & the third one was just crappy. I think being such a social person that hit me the most, although our garden looks lush now!

4.Which person living or dead would you take for an independent coffee or drink? K: Blindboy Boatclub so we can put the world to rights over a giant cup of tea C: I think if it has to be just one then George Michael. Such an incredible human!

5.What would you sing on karaoke night? K: The Shirelles: Will you still love me tomorrow or Candi Station: Young hearts run free C: There’s have to be a few (sorry!)Islands in the stream – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton Ya mo be there – Michael McDonald Macarthur Park – Richard Harris or Donna Summer if I’m feeling the disco vibe

6.What do you love about Chester ? K: Well I’ve not really lived here for that long, about 8 years, I’m originally from Stoke so it is quite an upgrade haha and took me a while to settle in, but it’s so beautiful I feel so lucky to live here now. My favorite place is a little spot on the meadows down by the river. C: I love the community that has built up over the last few years. The feeling of belonging somewhere that’s not my home; North Wales will always have my heart but I feel I’ve found my second family here in Chester.

7.What would you like to see change ? K: Better nightlife for sure, we need some dirty dive bars!!! I LOVE fashion and I feel like Chester has huge potential to be a place with lots of interesting independent shops like Liverpool, Manchester, York etc but sadly lots are closing down and have already gone (Lily Vintage, Cath Kidston etc) this makes me a bit sad, there is us and a few others left but how is anyone expected to open a new independent shop in Chester city centre at the prices they are now? It’s crazy. We are very lucky to have found this space but we have had to work EXTRA hard on getting people down here on the outskirts. C: Less roadworks would be nice.

8.What advice would you give to your younger self? K: Don’t let other peoples opinions of you hold you back from what you want to do or what you want to become, fuck them, because being you and standing on your own two feet however terrifying is far more interesting than being a clone of someone else. C: Someone once told me that it’s best to regret doing something than not doing it. It’s pretty solid advice really, I suppose I’d tell myself that but abit earlier.

9.Favourite album of all time and why? K: That’s like asking me what my favourite form of potato snack/meal is, I can’t answer that with one answer. Probably Raveonettes: Chain Gang of Love/Pretty In Black…Bob Dylan: Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1966…a Christmas gift for you from Phil Spector. C: This answer will always be different, depending on my mood, the time of year, the weather. I’d say I have about 8 on rotation., right now I’m going to say Pale Horses by Me without You. Lyrically & musically it’s perfect!

10.If you could time travel when/where would you go? K: 1950’s probably, I love that era, the fashion, the music, maybe not the politics haha but i’m a bit of a romanticizer anyway…i’m all for that. C: Mid 60’s California in the heyday of The Beach Boys.

11. Who would play you in the movie of your life ? K: ermmmmmmm probably Helena Bonham Carter or Rebel Wilson C: Someone well known for comedies I reckon, maybe someone like Anna Kendrick?

12. Name a famous person you have met? K: Peter Hayes from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, I am not the best at meeting famous people so I just crumbled haha. I did have a massive crush on him at the time too. C: Henry Winkler!!! The actual Fonz!!! I helped him pick out some socks for a Christmas present.

13. What are your favourite places to eat /drink in Chester K: I LOVE FALAFEL EXPRESS YUM YUMMM, and I like drinking at the Bawn Lodge. C: Artichoke for the best Sunday Roast and wine selection in Chester. Telford’s for a post work pint, great pizzas & live music (hopefully soon!)

 14. Should Northgate street be pedestrianised ? K: I don’t really care haha sorry! Just look both ways when you are crossing the road??? It’s no biggie. C: In theory I have no issues with it, I have a real love of the European city vibe; the hustle & bustle of a city centre with alfresco dining and people strolling about their day. Obviously the important thing is that businesses are able to function through this (loading/unloading etc) without it causing unnecessary stresses.

 15. Who/what inspired you in life ? K: Bob Dylan/Patti Smith and moving out of stoke to study my Sociology degree definitely had a huge impact on how I view the world, morally and politically and I will be forever grateful for that. Growing up on a council estate can kind of keep your world quite small and I mean that in the most inoffensive way possible, moving out just broadens your horizons. Music, fashion and art have also inspired me, especially the counterculture of the 1960s, my late nana for teaching me to always have a laugh and be as daft and silly as you bloody well want to be and most importantly my other half for giving me all the encouragement I can ever possibly need, he’s a massive sweetheart. C: Without sounding cheesy, my mum & dad! They’re just ace! Travel & music are huge influences in my life and therefore bring me a lot of inspiration. I love meeting new people & exploring new places!

16. What advice would you give to prospective independent businesses ? K: JUST KEEP GOING, don’t give up but take care of yourself too, your business is nothing without you. C: If you love something enough & are prepared to bust a gut for it then do it!!! It’ll be tough as shit but the reward can make it all worth while.

17. What was the last film you saw and was it any good? K: Quiet Place 2 – t’was GREAT, 10/10 (and no it’s not just because Cillian Murphy was in it) C: Spontaneous. A comedy horror with exploding kids. It’s amazing!!!

18. If you could choose one superpower what would it be ? K: Invisibility, so I can spook people and make people jump. SO MUCH FUN. I just want to be Casper. C: To be invisible. I loved Dungeons & Dragons as a child & Sheila was my favourite.

19. What is the greatest memory of your life ? K: Meeting Sammy at a Spiritualized gig in 2012, it was just magical, I wasn’t going to go and I was late and he just came over to chat to me because I was on my own, too cute, the rest is history. C: It has to be playing with Belle and Sebastian for their Boaty Weekender. Playing music alongside some of our heroes in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea with thousands of amazing like minded folk was just incredible. 

20. How do you feel about the future? K: I’ve actually felt a little bit sick the past couple of weeks, I am quite an anxious person so not knowing what is happening next makes me feel really uneasy. I feel pessimistic and optimistic all at the same time, excited to come out of this and to start planning for the future without a pandemic but also not knowing when it is going to end and what the aftermath is going to be is so fucking weird. I’ve got all these mixed feelings and energy and just don’t know what to do with it all. But I am sure we’ll all be orate, as my dad would say in his super Stokie accent! C: Excited, terrified, cautious, hopeful, weird….I think the immediate future is pretty scary but it’s all part of life’s rich tapestry right? For the distant future I’m hopeful, I think.

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