Hi! My name is Dani and I am a maker/artist based in Lennoxtown. The area of Kirkintilloch is in serious need of creative regeneration!
It is a beautiful part of the country with the rolling Campsie Hills as a backdrop.
However, at present, there are little creative resources for people to access, and a lack of retail space for makers and artists to sell their work.
I have wanted to set up a creative social enterprise for a number of years now. My life was very different 7 years ago as I lost everything I had worked hard to achieve: my career, my home, my relationships and my mind. Creativity has played such an important part in my rehabilitation from poor mental health to where I am today as a happy and more peaceful, mindful individual. I want to cooperatively establish a creative community within my local area.
MAKE will function as a:
*low cost retail space for makers and artists
*craft supplies (without a trip to Hobbycraft/town or having to shop online)
*community studio/library/tool library
*workshop space for peer-led and specialist creative workshops
*meeting place for local creatives to build networks
*base for The Blackbird Collective (a group of artists and makers looking to start creative conversations/workshops with those who have experienced the criminal justice system).
I found a unit for let at Kirky Arcade about a month ago, and decided to move from a studio space I had at The Barras to be more local. I have a 15 month old son Charlie, with whom I spend most of my time and I use public transport, so staying locally makes much more sense. I also wanted to feel more rooted to the area by working within my local community.
My husband Ali and I have been working hard over the past month as a wee team to turn around the space as it was in pretty poor condition when we let it. I filled in the holes in the walls and ceiling and decorated, and we got some carpet which Ali successfully laid after watching lots of YouTube tutorials. We have used Gumtree as much as possible to keep down costs and maximise re-use of quality furniture.
With Christmas approaching for our little boy, car MOT and tax due and a very tight personal budget, we have come to halt at present financially. We estimate that £500 of funding from very kind people would cover the costs of:
*Decent lighting fixtures (at present we have old, broken lighting/fluorescent strips lights-ugh!-electricians are a costly business)
*Extra plug sockets
*Phone line and Wifi (currently little/no reception for phone calls and no reception for internet-I use Instagram for business marketing, so this is very neccessary)
*Folding table and folding chairs to maximise space for workshops
*Companies House Registration as a Community Interest Company
*Street Signage Licence
*Extra shelf space and hanging fixtures for the gallery
We have had a high level of interest from artists and makers wishing to becoming stockists and workshop facilitators. And members of my local community are very keen to see something like this open as it will be the first of it's kind here in Kirkintilloch.
Creativity is something for the many, not the few. Money,space and time should not be barriers to being creative. And I believe that everyone is really good at something, they maybe just need to find out what that something is with a little help in the right direction.
If this is a project you feel that you'd like to get behind, your help will be greatly appreciated. We really want to open by the start of November at the latest, to give makers and artists a chance to sell their work for Christmas and to start planning for the New Year in terms of workshops and studio space.