One year on, I look back and reflect on the inspiration behind “Inspire Makers”.
BEST LAID PLANS…
Who would have known that when my husband and I decided to relocate permanently to Falmouth in 2019 that the COVID-19 pandemic was around the corner. Potentially not the best time to start a new business, but as Nietzsche once said – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
DEATH OF THE HIGH STREET
During 25 years in high street retail I witnessed first-hand the race to the bottom on price, the rise of disposable and throwaway culture, and the decimation of the high street as we know it. Some of this was driven by a globalisation of product availability, and the rise of internet shopping fuelling instant gratification – get anything you want, when you want it, and at the cheapest price if you’re prepared to shop around. I could go on for hours about my views on all of this!
However, as a buyer for 15 years, I also saw a steady upturn in demand from customers for uniqueness and provenance, an expectation of ethical supply chains, and for consideration to be given to environmental concerns.
The Covid pandemic has affected people in many different ways and made us all re-evaluate what is important to us. For my part, I strongly believe the way back for physical retail is to focus on local communities, local businesses, and well-made, long lasting goods – mindful and sustainable shopping if you will.
I opened my doors in June 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and have been heartened by the sea change in people’s attitude to spending. It is wonderful to see the connection customers make with locally made, handcrafted product, either through appreciating the workmanship, as a memento of Cornwall, or the story of the artist. I know that most purchases will be treasured for a long time.
WHY DO I DO THIS?
Inspire Makers is a small business supporting and championing small creative businesses. Each artist or maker represents a different style or technique within their craft to highlight the vast diversity of creative expression possible through the individual application of skills or use of materials, and is fully promoted with their story so people can understand their journey and what goes into their craft. Over the first year that group of creatives has grown from 30 to well over 50.
The goals of Inspire Makers are simple: shop small, shop local, shop mindfully. Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey in the first year.
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