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
So great to see @kings_grooming making an impact! They only have 6 days left on their campaign and you can give sup… https://t.co/Cc4lt7HEEVAbout 2 days ago
Thanks to everyone that came down last night, some brilliant stories and topics raised. And a big thanks to our spe… https://t.co/2eko8LSZwFAbout 10 days ago
Who buys their weekly shop from local businesses or veg-boxes which support independent suppliers? Good raise of ha… https://t.co/eHnENz5KxCAbout 11 days ago
Looking forward to tonight's #Startupstories with @Bristolconnect! We have such an inspiring line-up from the peopl… https://t.co/WO1f53vTIRAbout 11 days ago
Looking forward to hosting this fantastic lineup of speakers for @Bristolconnect on Tuesday. We'll be discussing th… https://t.co/VO0mkzQGskAbout 13 days ago
Right we're ready to go 👊🏼 Off to @glugbristol at the @thesquareclub to do a talk on Konichiwa and 'Doing Things Di… https://t.co/lKIZhJ0qXUAbout 16 days ago
Whats the latest with Indies in your city
#ACTLOCALBRISTOLCHAT is new a weekly chat where independents and followers alike can share ideas, tips and problems with the aim to build the indie community. It will take place on Twitter on the last Mondays of every month at 9pm under hashtag
Bristol is a city spoilt with cultural events and unique experiences, but who are the organisers doing it to benefit the community around them, pushing things they love? We've put together our top ten events to look out for this year, so why not
Last year we asked Bristol makers, indies and initiatives in the city why they think it is important to shop local at Christmas #actlocalbristol Featuring: Bristol Pound, Bristol 2015, Wriggle, The Island, Rosie Mc Clay - Bristol Bazaar, Henry
Supporting local makers and artists not only mean your keeping money local but you are supporting artists and makers work (and dreams or jobs for many of them). Not only that, it feels good at Christmas to consider the person you have bought it from
Get in touch!