The Indie Oxford Market Place will provide much needed retail space for indie businesses in the heart of Oxford, as well as business support and promotion to help small businesses develop sustainably in a challenging retail environment.
We need your help with initial set up costs, and to help cover the cost of a shop manager to make sure we create a space that will benefit the local community and the businesses involved.
Independent Oxford is a project that encourages people to shop locally by supporting and promoting independent businesses in Oxford and the surrounding county.
We, Rosie Jacobs and Anna Munday, started the project in 2015 with the aim of bringing businesses together to build a supportive and collaborative community of independents. We also wanted to show you the diversity and creativity behind the independents of Oxfordshire - there's far more to discover than you think!
(Image by Philippa James Photography)
This year, we are embarking on our second Indie Oxford Market Place in The Covered Market which will run from September to December 2019. This follows a smaller pilot in December last year which saw thousands of people value the ability to shop locally in the run up the festive season, and support the local economy to make Oxford a more diverse and interesting place to live.
This second Market Place will promote and support at least 20 small innovative indie businesses in Oxfordshire as well as showcasing the Indie Oxford network and its members. It will also host workshops and talks to up-skill business owners, and will be a space for the local indie community to use to promote their businesses through a varied events programme for you, the indie loving public!
Our Key Aims
- To encourage people to shop locally and discover the businesses on their doorstep
- Provide much needed retail space and marketing exposure for local businesses at affordable rates
- Nurture businesses to secure longevity in an evolving retail climate
- Utilise under-performing space in the city
- Create a store that will enhance the historic Covered Market & City Centre
- Draw in people from across the city & county to the centre
- Be a hub for our community & enable collaboration
- Support business owners to be role models for the next generation
Why we need your help
To be able to get the Indie Oxford Market Place off the ground, we need to raise much needed set up funds that includes shop set up and support staff so we can truly make the most out of the pilot and get people seeing the value of shopping locally.
The pilot will support at least 20 different businesses across the four months. If it is successful, we will be able to look at taking on a long term premise which will increase this number and allow us, as Independent Oxford, to continue the work we have done over the last four and a half years supporting and promoting the indies of Oxfordshire.
'The Oxford Indie Market Place was an excellent opportunity for us to extend our brand and service to a prime location in Oxford we would not otherwise be able to afford. It gave us the chance to trial product lines and for our products and services to sit amongst those of other exciting independent businesses in Oxford. We can't wait to be a part of Indie Oxford Marketplace 2.0!'
- Robbie, Oxford Alterations
'Indie Oxford market place was a great project for our small business owners. It helped us to promote our business and also created an excellent shopping experience and retail space for our community.'
- Hilal, Hilly Jo Textiles
'The Indie Oxford Market Place was superb for Custom Made last year. Not only were sales fantastic but I really felt a sense of community from taking part. I got to meet other indie makers from Oxford and local customers. It was great to see how enthusiastic people are to ‘buy local’ and we had lots of follow up orders to our webshop. It was also lovely to see all products from Oxford Indie sit together beautifully in one space. '
- Anna, Custom Made
'We really valued being part of Indie Oxford's pop-up shop in The Covered Market last Christmas. As a new food brand it was a great way for us to test the Oxford market, get valuable customer feedback and raise our profile - as well as make some all-important sales! We also loved being associated with some other great independent producers, artisans and creatives. Independent businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, and Indie Oxford does an amazing job at supporting the thriving independent sector we have here in the county.'
- Ashley, The Wonky Food Co.
"The Indie Oxford Market Place provided me with a fantastic opportunity to showcase and sell my own product range. Having a physical space to sell my products really helped to gain exposure for my brand which converted into sales and commissions. It was also great to be able to engage with customers one-to-one and undertake some market research on the days I spent in the shop. Plus, the marketing and promotional opportunities that are offered alongside the shop itself have been invaluable."
- Rianna, Jampuppy Design Studio
We really appreciate any support you can give us. Through supporting independents you’re supporting the local economy and the money you spend at an independent directly helps support that person’s livelihood, and makes our communities and neighbourhoods better places to live as a result.
Thank you so much for reading.
Rosie & Anna