Wednesday, 24 September 2014

I'm opening a shop! It's going to be called The Shop and I'm really excited.


I'm opening a shop!

So you remember that last week I shared my Pinterest board - The Shop and it had lots of ideas for retail and display? Well, you guessed right. My new project is working with a fabulous team to transform an empty shop into The Shop.

The Shop is going to be a creative and social space where people can relax, browse, be inspired and bring the children along too. It will have elements of retail, cafe space, studio space, space to trial business ideas, space for little ones to play and some activities inside the shop, including some Arts on Prescription classes. Our current plans are to open in December. I'd like to tell you about these plans here today.

Here are some pictures of the empty shop we are hoping to secure, which will, I think give some idea of the scope of the project I am taking on! This space has been empty for 5 years.


Can you guess what it used to be? ;-)

It's a place of contrasts too with a small very bright area, but the majority of the space feels quite dark. I think that's something we're going to embrace and have both dark and light spaces inside.

The Shop itself is in a really prominent location as you drive into Nelson itself. I am working with a creative team to come up with ideas to really transform the outside of the space too, so a better welcome for all those travelling into Nelson will be coming soon.  

Today was a site visit and team meeting with the key people involved. I am going to be working very closely with Helen Oxley ( her website is here) as she is going to be our Artist in Residence for the project, Paul Hartley from In Situ (their blog & website can be found here ), who are a locally based artist collective who will be commissioning some ground breaking artists to help have more going on inside or around The Shop. Carmela, my lovely assistant (often feel a bit like Paul Daniels saying that but hey ho!) will be leading on customer service and experience for The Shop-ers. Carmela has recently worked in a luxury boutique in Canada and will be bringing an international flavour to the way we look after our customers. Then we have a bit more creative input from our designer Darren Boldy who is going to be working on branding, and overall design ethos. Paul Collins and Hanna Latty from Pendle Council are providing invaluable support in terms of business planning, lease negotiating and not-at-all-least fundraising.

This project team will grow and change as the project moves, but I wanted to share how talented the bunch are! I'm so lucky to be working with them all. As a team we'll also be looking for some independant artists, designers and makers to share our space, so keep checking on this blog if that sounds like something you might be interested in, comment below or drop us an email for more details.

So back to today. We had a meeting on site, but The Shop has nothing in it at all! Carmela and I took some takeaway coffee and some picnic blankets and I brought along a 10 foot handmade mood board/ inspiration board to show the team what has been in my head.

Do you want to see? I hope you do, because I'm going to show you anyway...




I actually think this is beautiful in it's own right! I have always adored collage.
Here are a few close ups so you can get a bit of a feel for what I'm trying to show you.

I'll keep sharing ideas and developments on here so you can see how a project evolves and develops. It can be a journey we take together.
And let's finish with this fabulous panoramic shot that Paul Hartley took. That's me in action taking the photo's by the way!

I'm so pleased to finally be able to share some of these plans. I've had this project in my head for a long time and now it's finally real. It's going to happen.

Thanks for reading,


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