Indies in Bristol is a new platform for celebrating and promoting Bristol’s diverse and vibrant array of independent businesses. Created in 2016 by Ursula Hutchinson, founder of creative communications agency Konichiwa, Indies in Bristol aims to make Bristol an even better place for independent businesses to thrive by helping Bristolians discover new indies and creating closer connections between indies, customers and the city.
Konichiwa is a creative communications agency that helps start-ups and independents tell their stories through creative, PR and marketing support. Konichiwa launched the #actlocalbristol campaign in 2015 with the aim of uncovering and illustrating the passion and dedication behind local businesses. The campaign was shared in the form of a documentary that highlighted the difference people can make by supporting small businesses, thus creating awareness and encouraging people to ‘actlocal’. This campaign now runs permanently through the Instagram platform Indies in Bristol.
The end of 2016 saw a big landmark for us: the launch of our inaugural event ‘Indies in Bristol’.
The event unfolded from the main hub of The Old Fire Station Courtyard in the city centre, where a central traders’ market of gifts, street food and a bar was based.
We partnered with various Bristol initiatives and organisations to deliver an event featuring up to 60 independent businesses spread across the city. The event was supported by local currency Bristol Pound, local tech startup Ordoo, Bristol food reviewing site mmmyum, which champions independents, and local independent energy provider Bristol Energy, all of whom came together to celebrate independents in the city and create even closer connections between customers, the city and independent businesses of all kinds.
As you walked into The Old Fire Station Courtyard, you could hear ambient beats being played from resident Eat.Drink.Dance DJ’s filling the courtyard with warming vibes – which was needed on such a cold day!
Attendees exchanged Bristol Pounds for sterling, they also enjoyed a very unique atmosphere with a diverse set up of artists, makers, artisans and food stands who created an awesome mix full with support to our local startups, space for creativity and networking and the possibility to discover and explore our independent business community. All of this, whilst enjoying our street-food lineup curated in collaboration with Bristol Eats street-food collective, who provided an amazing array from traders including Ah Mah’s, The Pickled Brisket, Smoke Catering, Moorish, Gopal’s Curry Shack, Scoff & Relish, Sri-Licious & more.
The event also featured a series workshops and talks programme curated by Konichiwa at The Kitchen café. Building on Konichiwa’s recent ‘How To Start’ events, the talks and workshops aimed to create a platform to give prospective entrepreneurs or start-ups a chance to learn from their favourite local businesses first-hand and get behind-the-scenes insights. A panel of five local food businesses came together for the ‘How To Start A Food Business’ event, including Alex from East Bristol Bakery, Navina from Coconut Chilli, and street-food traders Gopals Curry Shack.
To make the event truly city-wide, independent businesses joined together all over Bristol through an interactive trail map that guided people to explore undiscovered businesses in the city (as well as Bristol favourites) through activities, workshops and interactive challenges. Some of the businesses taking part included The Bluebird Tea Co, CoLAB, Pinkmans Bakery and The Bristol Cheesemonger, 25A Old Market and various destinations including Gloucester Road, Old Market, Park Street, St Nicks Market and Bristol Shopping Quarter.
Visitors picked up the Indies in Bristol “passport” at the front gate of the Old Fire Station, which entitled them to special offers from participating businesses on the day. To encourage people to explore the trail, businesses stamped visitors’ passports, allowing them to claim free drinks and food back at The Station courtyard, whilst they explored.
After speaking to the attendees, it was great to hear that some managed to experience the variety of activities that there were on offer, including; discussions, discovering new businesses, eating delicious local street-food and meeting the initiatives who help keep the independent culture thriving.
Thank you to all that came along to help celebrate the beginning of something which we hope will become a central hub for Bristol independents, keeping our city’s culture, diversity and entrepreneurs alive!
Read the full write-up for the event here: http://konichiwa-pr.co.uk/latest-news/the-day-we-brought-bristols-indie-community-together/
Ursula Hutchinson – Partners or Press – firstname.lastname@example.org
Clem Balfour – Workshops, Talks & Traders – email@example.com
Jayne Christie – Volunteers & Proposals – firstname.lastname@example.org
Independents featured in our campaign so far
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