Meet the young entrepreneurs behind St Nick's Makers MarketPosted on: 13 Dec 2019
If you’ve been to St Nick's Market recently, you might have come across the brand-new Makers Market.
A temporary set-up located in the covered market, the bright and busy unit is filled with a range of interesting prints, clothing and gift ideas. Every item in the space is the work of a local artist, maker or creator; previously enrolled on the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Scheme. A three-year programme of workshops, mentorship and financial support, Enterprise supports people aged 18 to 30 to start their own business. Since its launch, the scheme has helped over 86,000 young people.
Rosie moved to Bristol in 2011 to study a mixed media arts degree.
Rosie McLay [pictured above] and Danielle Neill are two Enterprise graduates currently selling their creations at the Makers Market. Rosie is an artist specialising in etchings, while Danielle is a former fast fashion designer, now creating hand-painted scarves and notebooks. The pair both credit the course as being a significant factor in their progression as young entrepreneurs.
“For me, [the course] was really good in helping me feel like my living was legitimatised,” Rosie says. “I’d already been selling my artwork for a short while before joining, but not very much. Through my time with the Prince’s Trust, and having a mentor, it allowed me to get much more professional about how I approached everything.”
The Enterprise course covers everything from budgeting and tax to branding and marketing strategy; which Danielle agrees has been “really useful.” Admitting that applying to the Enterprise course was one of the first things she did upon moving to Bristol, Danielle’s previous career was in fast fashion. She was responsible for creating prints for brands such as Topshop but yearned to get back into painting.
“It wasn’t about how good the design was, it was more about money,” Danielle explains. “So, I set this up to slow things down again and focus more on the print itself rather than following trends or seasons.”
To create her scarves, Danielle paints huge canvasses, scans her designs then digitally prints them onto silk. Things get "quite messy" in her studio.
Open until 22 December, the Makers Market is managed by Enterprise graduates, who coordinate shifts, stock checks and general up-keep. The first pop-up shop the Trust has been able to run, the Makers Market retail space was provided by Bristol City Council.
But has it been worth it? Absolutely. The Trust’s Operations Manager, Sarah Bowman, describes the Makers Market pop-shop as being a “success”, and a “real collaboration” between the charity’s staff, volunteers and the young entrepreneurs. One artist, Sarah says, has nearly sold out of their stock.
Inside, you’ll find Rosie’s intricate, black line etchings line the walls, which feature subjects from nature; and Danielle’s colourful scarves draped in the window. I chat with Rosie about her creative process.
“I like to draw as a method of study. I’ll draw something because I don’t feel like I understand that thing very well. Especially with the process of etching, you have to be really careful and patient, and you get very involved with what you’re looking at.”
Despite differences in their artistic medium, one thing clearly unites Rosie and Danielle: the Enterprise scheme has afforded them both incredible opportunities. While Rosie is now working on more experimental projects, “more comfortable” with the way she earns a living, Danielle has become a young ambassador for the scheme. Recently, she took part in a panel discussion for Facebook.
You can visit the Prince's Trust Makers Market pop-up shop until Saturday 21 December 2019 inside St Nick's covered Market. The pop-up is open every day, from 09:30 to 17:00. Find out more on Facebook.
Find out more about the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Scheme here.
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