The past few years have been difficult times for charities in the UK, particularly those that relied on Government grants to provide essential services.
Our client Brandon Trust are a leading voice calling for people with learning disabilities to be able to live the lives they choose. Where possible, Brandon Trust clients live independently in their own accommodation rather than living in institutions. Although Government policy has become more aligned with what Brandon Trust's approach, funding has become increasingly tight in recent years. Brandon Trust has been proactive in seeking other ways to fund their work.
Charities are well known for their place in retail. The best charity shops are adored by curious and adventurous bargain hunters and add vitality to local shopping areas. Cotham Hill is a busy shopping area in Bristol. Its charity shops are an integral part of the areas vibrancy. When a prime shop became available on the street, Brandon Trust jumped at the chance enter the retail market.
Eatcake Design were initially asked to look at how Brandon Trust's brand identity could be applied to the facade. Our role soon developed into leading the vision for the interior design of the shop itself.
The layout of the shop was a gift. Light and airy, the shop has plenty of floor space at street leveland storage and sorting space downstairs. The longest wall had been stripped to reveal generations of plaster, wallpaper and paint in peeling layers. We decided that had to stay! Taking the beautifully distressed wall as the starting point, we began to build a utilitarian interior using scaffold poles for the racks, wood for the floor and clean white lines everywhere else. The branding was applied with a light touch using stencils on the windows, bold colour stripes for the changing room curtain, a large lightbox 'B' behind the counter and branded swing tickets. The end result is as much vintage boutique as charity shop.
Lou, the charismatic shop manager, dressed the displays with aplomb. On opening day the shop was declared a triumph! This is a view that has been echoed by a growing band of loyal treasure hunters over the subsequent weeks. The success of the shop has hastened the arrival of shop number two, in the heart of Bristol's charity shop Nirvana, Gloucester Road. Watch this space...