THE MAKING OF MAKERHOOD
Catherine Assheton-Stones reports on the online marketplace for neighbourhood locals
ristina Glushkova, founder of Makerhood, is a charming, warm young woman whose eyes light up with enthusiasm as she talks about her big project. Makerhood Brixton first began as a concept several years ago when Kristina was looking for some furniture for her new flat. She decided she couldn’t face the uniform and soulless IKEA furniture she’d used in many moves before, one more time. She really wanted to find pieces of furniture that she felt some emotional link to, preferably made by a local artisan. She did some research and found that there was nowhere advertising local designers, artists and tradesmen. She thought how great it would be to start something up in order to connect local people to local makers. Like many a great project, the idea turned into a reality through Kristina’s chats over a drink in the pub with her friend Karen. The idea kept reoccurring until Kristina and Karen decided a website would be the best way to promote local trade and artists. Funds were a problem, being non-existent, until they happened to meet a web designer socially, who got on board with their idea and gave them a reduced rate. Winning a small grant, which helps with social innovation projects, meant the project was finally able to launch. Today their website, which is developing all the time, features such diverse local entrepreneurs as pet portrait painters, local artists, cakes, Christmas gifts, made to order tee shirts, yoga CDs, restored computers, clothes designers, furniture makers and illustrators. Makerhood Brixton also covers Clapham, Camberwell, Dulwich, Herne Hill and Stockwell. They are also particularly keen for new members in Clapham to join the website. Makerhood Brixton have a total of 43
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Thanks to everyone who’s helping to spread the word. It’s really important in these early stages to establish trust with potential local buyers who are perhaps not used to social projects of this kind ‐ so please continue to help us!
stalls on their site, which is an online mirror of the traditional local marketplace. Makerhood also run the actual market called Makerhood Brixton, (formerly Make it Grow it Sell it) which runs weekly and sells all local produce. As well as encouraging local artists
Provide a link to Makerhood from your website, blog and Facebook page Tweet or post a status update on Facebook with a link when you buy something or see an item you like
If you buy something, tell your friends and family – one of the key things with a new site is gaining trust through word‐of‐mouth recommendations.
Out and about
Despite the rain, we met many of you at the numerous events we attended around Brixton over the summer. These included stalls at the Urban Art Fair, the new Make It Grow It Sell It market and the Windmill Festival, and workshops at the SW Craft Summer Pop‐Up Event and Lambeth Country Show.
and traders, Makerhood also runs many social events and workshops to encourage community and networking, as well as the mingling of the generations, often so rare in today’s society. The social side of the project kicked off with the Christmas Card Workshops, which were a great success and are to be repeated this year. Unusually, these card making workshops tend to feature live, improvised pantomime, which is apparently astonishingly good fun, and lets people lose their inhibitions and makes them laugh. Organisers of a wide range of local workshops can gain excellent advertising on the Makerhood website, with far more exposure than they could generate independently.
Makerhood is also on Facebook and Twitter. For further information visit: www.Brixton.Makerhood.com
This unusual view of Battersea Power Station comes as a mounted, hand printed photo by Rosie Makes. Size:
18.5cm x 12.5cm (28cm x 22cm mounted) Price: £30
This limited edition tee shirt from DK Darlington of Young Fox menswear is bound to raise a smile from
the man in your life. Made from organic cotton, it is available in five sizes: XS, S, M, L and XL Price: £35
For further information or to purchase items, please visit: www.brixton.makerhood.com
Some of you may also have taken part in classes run by Makerhood sellers Viv Moriarty and Elena Blanco of Dreamy me Brixton at the Crafty Fox market on 1 September.
Pearls are the ultimate in elegance, as you can see in this necklace cascade of eight freshwater pearls and
matching sterling silver earrings, from Lucy of Moseley’s Giftware. Length: 16 inches Price: £25
always got the kettle on. Size: 8cm high x 9cm wide Price: £15
on her allotment in Herne Hill. Size: 250ml Price: £3.30
This cheeky, white stoneware mug from Alice Maplesden Ceramics is perfect for someone who has
CREATIVE GIFTS This Christmas, why not
encourage community creativity and help support the local economy by buying presents from local artists and makers?
Barbara of The Jammery makes this deep, purple jelly with a delicate fruity flavour, from blackberries and apples
BACK FROM THE BRINK
Clapham Junction’s infamous Party Superstores proves it’s a survivor
fter being completely destroyed by fire during the London riots in August, Clapham Junction’s Party Superstores has reopened a new store on Lavender Hill, next door to its
former premises, in record time following the incident. The store, which sells 16,000 different party products including costumes, hats, masks, wigs and make-up has also set up a second store inside Debenhams. For Christmas, the Debenhams-based store is offering a large range of Santa costumes, masks and accessories, hats and everything needed for Christmas or New Year parties. Party Superstores also plans to host a charity fundraising evening of contemporary and rock music. The event, held at the Clapham Grand on 22 November, is showcasing musicians from South Africa and Australia to raise money for the children’s charity Street Kids Rescue, which Party Superstores supports and funds. Owned by Duncan Mundell, managing director, the store, which also supplies a vast selection of party novelties, balloons, decorations, party bags, toys and jokes, celebrated its grand reopening in October, exactly two months to the day of the fire. Magicians entertained many locals who attended, along with a face painter and balloon modeller. Customers in Party Superstores’ Debenhams branch on Clapham Junction high street were treated to champagne and cake. The press was also present at the reopening event on Lavender Hill, and the BBC also filmed the event as part of a documentary. The Inside Out programme, which aired in October, covered Duncan’s efforts to rebuild the shop. Having been trading for over 20 years, the store suffered a major
We’ll be having another stall at the next Make It Grow It Sell It market on 8 October, so come and meet some of our makers in person and say hello!
blow, when its original premises burnt to the ground, by losing 5000 hire costumes in the fire. Described as irreplaceable, the collection, which took years to build, contained original costumes from Hammer House of Horror films production, along with from many costumes from major West End productions. Although the store has returned to trading, due to space restrictions, they are unable to reopen the hire department. Following the fire, Duncan was met by an overwhelming support from the local community, businesses and Wandsworth Council. Duncan says: “We have been trading for over 20 years and built up a reputation throughout London for good service; as somewhere that customers could come to with the knowledge that they would find pretty much anything they were looking for, for any event or party. “When the shop was completely destroyed by fire during the riots, one of the most upsetting aspects was the fact that we lost most of
our 5000 hire costumes; a collection that had been built up over years and is irreplaceable.” It is expected to take up to two years to complete rebuilding the former premises, which is why Duncan took the decision to find new premises and continue trading. He admits a moment where he was tempted to walk away, but he was determined to continue as he owned to his staff and charity that he founded. Duncan formed Street Kids Rescue in 2008, following a visit to Southeast Asia. Touched by the sight of the children he saw living in poverty, Duncan then vowed to return and help them. He kept his promise and over the last three years, the charity has opened four clinics, built nine schools and funded over 60 major surgical operations. It also runs a centre for disabled children and the charity directly receives 100% of all money donated to its projects, as Duncan personally covers all the overheads, administration and travel costs. Duncan says: ”Although we have insurance, it will not cover all of the costs involved and also as our loss of profits only covers 12 months trading, it is not possible for us to reopen our old premises in under 18 months. We had to make plans to find alternative premises as soon as possible in order to continue trading. Although I was tempted to walk away and retire, that was out of the question, as there were 30 staff relying on us for their livelihoods as well as 4000 children in Southeast Asia whose education and health are dependent upon our stores.”
Party Superstores Evening Fundraiser is on 22 November 2011 and tickets are priced at £10. For further information please visit: www.streetkidsrescue.org
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