Summer Forest Fayre at Diverse Gift Shop launches 19th May

Crystal 2A group of 17 Forest Network members, trained and supported by Tree Shepherd, have secured a 10 week installation at Brixton’s independent Diverse Gifts store.

DIVERSE GIFTS, 390 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8LF

The Summer Forest Fayre collection will launch on Thursday 19th May with a wine and nibbles event 5pm – 7pm. All are welcome to join, however please RSVP beforehand to

Fawzia 2This followed a fantastic pitch night in February at The Tulse Hill Hub, where our makers presented to shop-owner Anita Thorpe. Anita has hosted local makers before, e.g. Makerhood, however the difference here is that most have only ever sold at street markets or small events at test-trade level and many (not all) are coming out of long-term unemployment.

Featured traders who will be presenting products exclusive to the Diverse Gifts Forest Fayre include:

  • Fawzia Sajedi-Shaker 109 Ceramics
  • Laura Barnett Armana Stone and Ceramics
  • Tinka Gordon Restoration Brixton Jewellery & Artefacts
  • Nicole Briscoe Handmade Jewellery
  • Sophia Samra Crystaliving Jewellery
  • Laura Orsini Sa(l)vage Art Decoupage Works
  • Irene Hayes Abstract Paintings
  • Lydia Gardner Abstract Paintings
  • Marco Maldonado Photographs
  • Snezana Nikolic Y Kairos Tailored Children’s Clothes
  • Tohuy Tran Sew Unique handsewn Range
  • Sylvia Emodi African Print Furniture
  • Dionne Wright Dee Naturals Natural Afro Merchandise
  • Stephanie Castro Caley’s Apothecary
  • Karen Clarke Urbundant Caribbean Gift Chutneys
  • Hamid Sajedi-Shaker Fine Teas & Honeys
  • Will Kerr Blooming Brixton Plants

Snezana 1Benefits for Diverse Gifts when showcasing local makers are many and varied. It is an act of social responsibility, a way of giving back to the community that supports the business. Customers learn the provenance of products and the story behind local makers. Likewise, makers learn from customer feedback. It helps makers to learn how to become better business people and helps keep everyone in touch with changing trends and needs.  Diverse Gifts acts is a showcase for Lambeth talent and featured makers promote the shop and themselves via social media and press.

Partnering with local people helps to integrate Diverse Gifts in the community and it helps keep money in the local community, Brixton in particular. A key bonus for Anita is that the work is not all over the high street which gives Diverse Gifts something unique. Further, Anita is the lead Tree Shepherd tutor and so this provides a perfect sales opportunity for the new businesses that the team have trained.

Blooming Brixton PlantThe selection and retail contract process will help Forest members get a first taste of shop retail, preparing them for taking their products to other buyers in the future. If some of the traders do well at Diverse Gifts, who knows, they might secure a more permanent spot there.

The Forest Fayre will launch 19th May and is scheduled to end 28th July.

The Tree Shepherd development work supporting these Lambeth Forest Network traders to get into Diverse Giftshop is funded by Lambeth Council’s New Homes Bonus, a fund that aids the incubation of startup businesses. Sales for the collection will be monitored to see how a group retail event of this nature can help these businesses to grow.

Images from top:

Crystaliving pendant; 109 ceramic cup; Y Kairos baby jacket; Blooming Brixton plant pot

Follow progress on @Forestnet123 and @diversegifts

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