Retail is a key way for creatives to sell their products – but it’s not always easy and there’s lots to think about! Our next Makers’ Club will look at working with permanent retailers as well as the ever popular option of pop-up shops.
Making a living as a sole trader can be a big problem for creatives. One solution is to scale up your business, decreasing your production costs so you can supply larger stores.
At our January meeting, Erica Purvis (right), community manager and expert in sustainable design at the Central Research Laboratory, will talk about the CRL’s approach to scaling up and sustainability considerations associated with this.
Alongside Erica, our friends from the Remakery will be talking about their experience of scaling up their work on a project for Cabana restaurant in Brixton last year. Tips on what to do – and not to do – if you want to scale up your creative business will be given based on their experience.
And of course you will have the chance to network with other creative businesses, exchange ideas and views and catch up on the latest creative gossip! 🙂
When: Wednesday 20 January, 7-9pm
Where: Remakery, 51 Lilford Road, London SE5 9HY
Cost: Free for Makers’ Club members, £5 for others – please book through Eventbrite.
Why not support local creativity by buying your presents from local makers this year? You’ll also have the pleasure of knowing that your gift is likely to be unique and won’t be found anywhere else on the high street! Here are a few ideas..
Jewellery and accessories
Zahara Crystal Earrings
These gorgeous earrings comprise two druzy crystals, electroplated in 24k gold and measure approximately 7cm in length. A druzy is made up of tiny crystals of minerals that form on the surface of a stone.
Available in blue, black and green, please note shape and size of crystals may vary.
Available from Vintage Rose Jewellery
Zahara Long Necklace
This gorgeous long necklace comprises a druzy crystal with a ball chain.This necklace measures approximately 44cm in length. Available in pink, purple, green, blue and black. Please note shape and size of crystals may vary. Price £29
Available from Vintage Rose Jewellery
Emerald green necklace
Gorgeous emerald green hand knitted necklace in green enamelled copper and emerald embroidery thread. This statement piece adds colour to any outfit, looking great with muted shades and brights alike. It really is a one of a kind necklace
Available from www.elenahall.co.uk
Printed geometric leather cuff
Hand printed leather bangle – inspired by geometric fabric patterns. The bangle is light to wear and being leather is strong too. Will fit most common wrist sizes – between 6.5 to 7 inches. Toggle clasp.
Available from www.foxtrotdesigns.co.uk
Umbags are created out of the fabric from discarded umbrellas. Stylish, strong, lightweight and water-resistant, they are designed to be kept with you at all times to avoid the need for a plastic bag.
(Up)cycle seat covers
Re-cycle seat covers are also made from discarded umbrella fabric. They are elasticated with waterproof-taped seams and will fit most bike saddles.
Flextiles’ scarves are hand dyed with indigo using the Japanese shibori technique ( a kind of sophisticated tie dye). Because the scarves are upcycled, each one is unique and you also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your bit for the environment!
Price: From £25
Available from Etsy
Home and children
Jewels / Keys Decorative Holder
Wood covered in a colourful cotton fabric, with a contrasting ric rac braid at the front. Four cup hooks screwed at the bottom of the canvas offer enough space for your keys or necklaces.
Available from www.disbadeth.com
Bedding set for doll’s bed
This pretty soft bedding with an all-over colourful design is made of cotton, and the pillow is stuffed with foam. The perfect gift for your little sweetheart and her dolly.
Available from www.disbadeth.com
The Sea A2 screen print
This is a screen print of an original illustration inspired by Byron. Of course dahhhlllinng – Byron!
Price: £40 plus postage
Available from www.kaylenealder.com
Cat Bowl Canoe – A4 screen print
This is a screen print of an original illustration from the ‘Ships in Small Water’ series.
Price: £25 plus postage
Available from www.kaylenealder.com
Art print ‘considering mermaid’
Intellectual mermaid stops to have a think about what presents to buy her beloved. The Scoop frame is made from solid wood measuring 1.06″ wide x 1.06″ deep. Premium shatterproof acrylic protects the art print, while an acid free dust cover on the back provides a custom finish. Includes wall hanging hardware. Paper size 10″ x 8″. Printed area 7″ x 6″.
Available from society6.com
Art print ‘moondance’
It’s a wonderful night for a moondance 😉 Original art hand cut paper collage on black heavyweight cartridge 14.8 cm x 21cm. Unframed. Packaged inside cellophane envelope with mount board & packaged well enough to reach you in impeccable condition.
Available from www.sarahosarah.com
London neighbourhood tea towels
These colourful and fun illustrated tea towels celebrate London locations from the Barbican and Brixton to Tooting and Walthamstow and make the perfect affordable gift for your London based friends and family.
Available from etsy.com
Acrylic on canvas painting size:25x30cm.
Juliet has been a firm supporter of Makerhood, giving talks on how she made the leap from making poms at her kitchen table to becoming a fully-fledged business providing work for other people. And now she’s an author!
From eye-catching pom-poms to pretty garlands and stunning giant flowers, you’ll want to make every one of these wonderful paper decorations in her book. Begin with the classic pom-poms and make them in different sizes and colours for a real impact. Learn, too, how to make honeycomb balls and rosette snowflakes – all hanging decorations that will look great hung from the ceiling, in a window or on a Christmas tree.
The projects use a variety of paper materials, including tissue, card and crepe paper, as well as recycled magazine pages and wrapping paper – and no specialist craft experience is needed. Projects are quick and easy, especially with step-by-step photos to guide you along the way.
Paper Pom-poms and Other Party Decorations is published by Cico Books on 10 September, price £12.99.
Update 17 May: we’re having a lot of fun trying out different markets as part of #loveyourlocalmarket campaign! So far we’ve been at Lower Marsh, Venn Street, Clapham and Brixton. Check out the dates below and drop by to say hi!
Lambeth Council and market operators are helping local makers take part in Love Your Local Market campaign. We get free stalls to try out different markets over the next two weeks. We’re excited to be part of it and grateful for the opportunity!
Come say hi to our members at your local market:
Tunstall Road Market (opposite Brixton Tube)
Friday 15 May: Nicolette McGowan
Lower Marsh Market (Near Waterloo/Lambeth North)
Friday 15 May: Maggie Winnal of Sewin Studio
Friday 22 May: Louise Kamara of Eco Design Fair
Venn Street Market (Clapham Common)
Thursady 21 May and Sunday 24 May: Nicolette McGowan
Friday 22 May: Nancy Sealy of Foxtrot Designs
Streatham Market (Streatham Green)
Saturdays 23 May: Nicolette McGowan
Sunday 24 May: Kim Winter of Flextiles and Gary Foster of Dopeism Designs
Currently businesses identify a ‘market’, pursue it and serve it. We are ‘consumers’ who sometimes shop local but more often not. But this binary relationship is often not a pleasant or connecting experience. We know when it does work – when we build a relationship with a trader, like the way she does business and the products she supplies. But sometimes these businesses disappear and we never even knew they were having a hard time.
We can do more than just shop local. We can support businesses we want to see stay or get going, not just with money, but our skills, expertise, publicity, moral support, time.
Transition Town Brixton’s REconomy Project has a vision to create a new culture of Community Supported Local Enterprise, which fosters a resilient, future-appropriate, independent local economy that supplies the real needs of local people, builds connections, creates new local livelihoods and keeps wealth local.
To enable this Transition Town Brixton is working to support and incubate 10 ‘Transition enterprises’ from any sector and is holding a Lambeth Local Entrepreneur Forum on Tuesday 2 June where the Community of Dragons (everyone!) will hear enterprises pitch and pledge support. More information here.
If you feel you could be a community investor (not only of money!) please come to our Warm-Up #2 Event on Tuesday 24th February (6.30-9.30pm, Brixton Impact Hub at the Town Hall). Or if you are an expert or an entrepreneur. Warm Up #2 will bring together ‘community investors, experts and enterprises to build the foundations of the Community Supported Local Economy.
Keynote speaker will be Fraser Durham from Totnes who pitched successfully at the 2014 Local Entrepreneur Forum in Totnes and is an expert on finding finance for ‘Transition Enterprises’.
A number of our fledgling enterprises will give 2 minute pitches and we will work in small groups to see what arises out the community interconnections. It was a very positive and productive experience at our Warm Up #1 event. Read an account here.
If you have any questions or offers please contact us: LambethLEF@gmail.com
Delicious locally sourced refreshment will be provided. Tickets free but limited, so please REGISTER HERE.
Getting feedback on your work from shop owners and buyers is invaluable for makers so we were very excited to run a Product Surgery for this month’s Makers’ Club. Makers brought along an example of their work and got feedback from our two fabulous experts – Liz Clamp, owner of Smash Bang Wallop fashion and homewares shop in Crystal Palace and Jane Doxey, retail and product development consultant and ex-buyer for Liberty and Marks and Spencer.
Here are a few photos and some twitter feedback from makers.
A little less than two months ago we advertised an opportunity for our makers to be involved in a community-oriented pop-up shop in West Norwood over the Christmas period. This post describing the shop is by one of the makers involved, Annahita Mansoori, who creates luxury printed stationery under the name of CL.AM Correspondence.
Rock Paper Scissors is a new pop-up retail space, shared by a collective of local creatives looking to showcase their wares, and be a part of the blossoming West Norwood art and design community. The pop-up is a collaborative partnership between Makerhood and West Norwood’s sustainable community project The Openworks, and is kindly hosted by learning disability charity L’arche at No. 9-13 West Norwood High Street.
The pop-up retail space enables local crafters through to new start-ups, to experienced entrepreneurs a chance to sell to the public in a shop environment, gaining invaluable skills and feedback, while feeling supported as part of a collective. From designer/makers, to photographers, to stationery and craft-there is a host of beautiful handmade wares on offer from over 20 local makers. We are also delighted to now be selling West Norwood Feast merchandise, alongside handmade cards and candles by the L’arche community.
There will be creative workshops run from L’arche with ‘The Stitch’ already well underway for all budding sewers. Run by local sewing enthusiast Tara every Saturday 11am-1pm, this is a chance to sew, knit, tailor, upholster or craft at any ability, while having a gossip with fellow stitch fans!
With Christmas now under a month away, the shop will be open from 10am-4pm Thursday-Sunday and is the perfect stop-off for unique and original handmade gifts. So this year please support your local community, boycott corporate retail, and #shoplocal for your nearest and dearest!
We’ll be taking part in Small Business Saturday on 6/7 December and we’re hosting a launch party from 18.30 – 20.30 on Wednesday 3 December so there are plenty of chances for you to pop in, meet some of the makers and do your Christmas shopping – hope you can join us!
All photos ©RunnyCustard