Kerry King is the owner of Pride & Seek, a tiny rainbow shop in Dereham which opened last Autumn. Here she describes the fantastic feedback, six months on – and explains how she juggles running the shop with three other jobs!
I’m Kerry King, I have four jobs: I have a Pride shop, a slightly bonkers interior furnishings business, a curiosity shop – and I’m a dog groomer. I also volunteer at the Dereham Ukraine Aid Centre, I write children’s stories and I sing. I married my wife in September last year and we have two dogs and a cat: Pegasus, George and Plop.
When did you first have the idea for Pride & Seek?
In 2021 myself and Sarah Jane ran a Pride shop of our upcycled rainbow items in the Royal Arcade in Norwich in the week running up to Pride. It was such a great success; it planted a seed in our heads that a Norfolk Pride shop wouldn’t be a bad idea. When Sarah got the opportunity last year to open her haberdashery, she rang me and suggested I take up one of the rooms for a Pride store. I wanted to have local crafters products and recycled items that I had made to sell in there. Since then, we have expanded our range to include official Pride shop merchandise, multiple LGBTQIA crafters and soapstone sales with an African community group.
What do you do alongside?
I write children’s stories about animals, and I sing occasionally in public – although I get very nervous. My primary job is dog grooming, but I am limited with that due to a chronic pain condition. I also run Kerfuffle & Swish – a high end, slightly bonkers interior furnishings company and am currently applying for investment to further that business. I’m also soon to be a director for Buy Local Norfolk.
How would you describe your shop?
The shop is tiny, vibrant and happy! So many colours in such a small space but it’s my little dream and it makes me so happy. The interiors I design are different to my own style although I would integrate them if I had space. I live in a little cottage that was built to look like a Gingerbread House in 1836 – it is homely, cosy and I have lots of pieces around me that hold lots of memories. I’m a sentimental person and hang on to gifts and reminders of life’s events. The common thread that runs through the shop and my home is plain walls and vibrant, colourful furniture, unusual curiosities and conversation starters.
What has the feedback been since opening?
So far the feedback has been fantastic. Adults and children have walked into Pride & Seek and just said ‘wow! This is my favourite shop ever!’ It’s great to hear that people feel welcome and acknowledged. I wasn’t sure if Dereham was ready for a Pride shop but I’m feeling encouraged!
How important is it to you to support the LGBTQ community?
It’s incredibly important to me to support my community, not only because I’m part of it but because they suffer frequent backlash in the media which they neither provoke nor deserve. I’ve always thought it ironic that the LGBTQIA community are one of the most marginalised in society and yet they remain the most welcoming to everyone else. They are presented as highly sexualised and treated with disdain. I find this coverage completely awful and want to show the public what an awesome bunch we are and why they should get behind us, not shun and laugh at us.
Do you know of many other Pride-inspired shops?
I don’t know if any other Pride inspired shops in Norfolk, I know there is a care group that celebrate Pride and lots of businesses that align with Pride values. I’ve found local artists and crafters very open to providing rainbow designs for the shop and have people waiting in the wings to have their stock with us when we have room for them.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
My hope is that one day Pride will not be a ‘special day’ or cause because every day will be welcoming for everyone. No one will be stared or sniggered at, and the world will be a kinder place for all. Gay marriage and transitioning will be part of normal society and ‘conversion therapy’ will be an unpleasant memory of the past. Every flag and identity are respected, and people can go about their daily lives all over world without fear of threat or persecution. Until then, Pride & Seek is here for all who wish to visit.