Last weekend 91 took part in the first ever event hosted by The West Collective. The concept was created by three London girls, Kirsty, Alexia and Christine, who found they were constantly travelling across London to the east end of the city to enjoy the kind of creative, independent markets they loved attending, so they decided to launch their own - but in the west.
Held at quirky venue Duke of London, usually a classic car showroom, the bright warehouse space was peppered with trendy neon signs, taxidermy, plants and striking artwork. The girls had gathered just under 30 independent makers and sellers with a wonderful mix of homewares, jewellery, skincare, stationery and art. There were a few brands that we already know and love, but there were also many new-to-us makers that we were thrilled to meet.
After setting up our stall, 91 photographer Jemma Watts and I braved the sweltering heat in the upstairs space to host our workshop entitled 'Get your indie brand noticed: PR & photography'. We had a group of 16 lovely ladies and we talked solid for 1.5 hours about the importance of great imagery for your brand, approaching editors and bloggers, creating & sending press releases, as well as a mini masterclass in photography.
Following that, I spent some time browsing the stalls, snapping the wares and chatting to all of the lovely sellers. I think this is one of my favourite things about taking part in these kinds of events - everyone is so lovely, and it is great to meet so many kindred spirits in one place. It really was tempting to buy something from everyone, but I managed to restrain myself and bought just three items! Of course, lots of you will not be near enough to have attended the event, so as we don't want you to miss out on discovering all of these lovely independent makers, I wanted to share each and every one with you, so you can go check them out online....
So, there you go, the full line up from the event! Plenty of internet browsing to keep you busy for a while! Do give your faves a follow, some of them are recent graduates and just starting out, so any support we can give these talented folk is going to encourage them that they've made the right choice to go it alone! And do follow The West Collective for future events too - we think these girls have a great eye for curating a lovely collection of makers, so we're sure the next one will be bigger and even better!