Its Innovation Month at AGT and on one of Annabel’s Adventures, we recently took a little trip down to the extremely innovative Bristol Upholstery Collective, tucked away in the St. Phillips area of Bristol. The beautiful little shop window is stuffed full of furniture which has been restored and given a new lease of life by the artists in residence. We met Leigh-Anne, the founder of this fabulous collective, and she gave us a little tour, showing us around the workshop. It’s a space bustling with activity that allows independent upholsters to have, at a marginal price, access to the tools and materials needed to create individual, hand crafted pieces. New Materialism is a concept close to Leigh-Anne’s heart and it basically promotes three things which we also absolutely love. High quality products which are handmade locally, encouraging community resilience. and making items which can last a lifetime through love and care.
But let’s rewind to the beginning, where it all started at the Lloyds and National Lottery funded School for Social Entrepreneurs, and where Leigh-Anne’s dream of delivery upholstery courses grew into a fully fledged business. The success of her business meant that on top of this, her social enterprise project ‘Make It Work’ and the creation of the collective were able to flourish. ‘Make It Work’ aims to offer a fantastic support system for people to change their lives by providing creative employment opportunities. The project aims to give people in long term unemployment the chance to learn new skills, build self confidence and develop their portfolio of work experience. There is always something going on the collective be it evening upholstering classes and even getting to print your own fabric, it really is a gold mine of activity! We had such a lovely time with Leigh-Anne and we cannot wait to share with our next little adventure at AGT.
You can find out more about the collective and the courses which are held there at http://www.bristolupholsterycollective.com/