Sunday, 12 July 2015

New award categories added

After spending some time out and about talking to as many of you as possible we have now added some extra award categories.

You can now also ad you business to Best Independent Hair and Beauty and Best Independent Gallery.

We have also extended the deadline for entries until 26 July to give you all a little bit more time!

What it's all about

This week has been our kind of week. This week we had the time to get out and about and meet lots and lots of brilliant Indies, all doing their own thing in their own wonderful ways.

One of the reasons we started the whole Independent Bath project was to shout about the great independent businesses that really make Bath what it is. What would Bath be without it’s thriving indie cafĂ© and restaurant sector? Without the plethora of markets and the passionate retailers bringing Bathonians and tourists alike pretty much everything they could need or desire? Without business owners committed to keeping the money spent in Bath in the city, benefiting us all (we’ve heard it said that if we all spent £100 more per year in indies and extra £3 MILLION would be generated in our economies? It would, we suggest, be much like any other city, just with prettier buildings and lots of bored tourists..

This week we hung out in Maragret’s Buildings at Uber (great chat and AMAZING BOOTS!), The Foodie Bugle (standard fabulousness from Silvana and her team) and Gallery Nine (seriously lovely gallery with everything from fine ceramics to hand crafted jewellery and an owner with a lovely story good enough for it's own blog post); and we chatted to the fabulous indie traders of Walcot street from Meticulous Ink at one end to FigStore and Katherine Fraser at the other. We met tonnes of really passionate indies on Barlett Street and heard about plans for a great street party (more when know). We spent time in Owl in the Ivy hearing about plans for their next supper club and their summer refurbishment and we (of course) had copious cups of wonderful coffee and food courtesy of Society Cafe and The Thoughtful Bread Company.

But this week we also got to do something for someone who isn’t even yet an indie. This week we met with Bath Spa graduate Naomi Stearn who we are hoping to work with over the coming months. Naomi is an illustrator who quite frankly deserves to go places, but, as a recent graduate she has yet to set herself up and was struggling to know where to start. We were delighted to be able to put her in touch with some other amazing illustrators (if you haven’t checked out Ben Rothery yet then get your skates on and bag one of his fantastic anthropomorphized animals). We also got to offer her some work for the awards ceremony which will not only look beautiful but gives a chance to someone at the very beginning of their career.

We are not saying that we are wonderful benevolent people who have the magic ability to further people’s careers. But what we do have in bucket loads is a passion about the independent businesses in Bath and all we can do is hope that a little bit of passion goes a long way.

Sarah, Erica and Naomi Stearn

Bath's 'Artisan Quarter' Walcot Street
Uber on Margaret's Buildings
Beautiful detail at The Fig Store
Meticulous Ink on Walcot Street

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Deadline extension

We have been out and about (we'll get to you soon I promise!) recently and it has become apparent that time is tight for many of you. With this in mind we have decided to extend our deadline for entries!

The deadline for entries is now 26 July

In addition to giving those of you who are already filing in your applications more time it also gives us the chance to reach out to even more indies over the coming two weeks.

Please continue to spread the word about these awards and don't forget to click the link at the bottom of the How to enter the awards page to auto-tweet your support once you have entered!


Sarah & Erica

Friday, 3 July 2015

Guest blog from Society Cafe's Adrian Campbell-Howard

We are delighted that one of our judges has agreed to share with us some of the reasons that Bath is the perfect city for his business. Adrian Campbell-Haward co-owns Society Cafe with his wife Jane and he was one of the first people we asked to be a judges. His first words after a resounding "YES!" were about the incredible community of independents that Bath has to offer so we asked him to write about it for you.

"When we decided to move back from Marrakech in 2011 we could have picked anywhere in the UK to settle. Bath appealed on so many levels – great open spaces, schools, beautiful architecture, rich history – but what really swung it was the positive energy of the place. 

Jane and I spent weeks pounding the streets, striking up conversation with whoever we could, to get a feel for what really made the city tick and the huge sense of pride and positivity that Bathonians exude was overwhelming!  There is much to be proud of but one of the things that people talked about the most was the incredible array of independents which everyone feels very protective of.

Delving deeper, knowing that we would be setting up ourselves, we discovered that there is a real network ‘at work’. All of these independents support and encourage one another in a way that is pretty rare.

When we set up the first Society on Kingsmead Square the warm welcome and surge of support that we had from Bathonians was kind of shocking in a way. We were incredibly nervous and it was so unexpected and wonderful! But what was even more surprising was the encouragement that we had from other local coffee shops and businesses.

We had so many customers coming in that had been sent to us by other indies, encouraging them to try us, other businesses shared normally closely-guarded supplier information and sent us down the right path, listened to our concerns and put a positive spin on them... It was humbling and has really shaped the way we move forward. 

Our whole team feels honoured to be a part of this independent scene and grateful to have learnt that this mutually supportive way of working is the way to do it. It feels good! 

We all now take great pleasure in offering whatever help we can to other businesses too.  This comes in the form of giving free advice, putting people in touch with each other, creating twitter and instagram buzz or sometimes just being there as a shoulder to lean on. It’s something that we will strive to use as a model wherever we open up. Spread a bit of this unique Bath love around!"

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Tickets are now on sale!

We are ever so excited to announce that tickets for our first Independent Bath Awards are now on sale. 

We are still beavering away in the background sorting out the details and trying to make sure that you have the best night celebrating the brilliance of all your wonderful businesses but we can tell you this:

  • The event will be at Komedia on Wednesday 16 September.
  • There are two ticket prices: for £60 you get a welcome drink, three course meal from Komedia's multi-award winning kitchen, the award ceremony itself and Komedia's flagship club Night Motorcity playing the best in soul funk and motown into the early hours. For £20 you can come and have a welcome drink, the award ceremony and Motorcity...all the fun for a fraction of the price so that no one has to miss out on grounds of price
  • The event will be hosted by a soon to be announced Komedia veteran
  • There will be pre-diner entertainment...we are still working on this one but we hope to bring you some awesome music from a local band
  • The evening will not be black tie - come in whatever makes you feel fabulous - we will certainly be in our finery
  • Our secret squirrel go-to photographers will be on hand to take some truly memorable pictures of you all in your finery!
  • AND if you want to give all your staff a big thank you but can't afford lots of tickets then all your staff can come to the club night afterwards ABSOLUTELY FREE. Simply let us know how many and we will add them to the guest list (on a first come first served basis).
To book your tickets click here keep spreading the word to all your indie colleagues about the awards and don't forget to ENTER HERE!