With so many wonderful creatives in Leicester we couldn’t be happier about the opening of We Are; a new shop space that will offer a retail outlet to those designers and makers who don’t have their own shop. They’re opening up in April and we caught up with Kristen Rollinson to find out more.
Tell us about We Are and exactly what the shop aims to do?
“We Are” is a new retail outlet and creative hub that will be opening on the outskirts of Leicester’s Cultural Quarter in April 2019. We are selling art, craft and accessories all handmade to a high quality by local artists. The aim is to bridge the gap for artists staring out in their careers and becoming freelance artists as a profession. We Are will be set up as a community interest company and will provide benefit through exhibitions, workshops and creative mentoring.
Where will people find you in Leicester?
We Are situated between the city centre and Leicester’s Cultural Quarter at 44a Humberstone Gate.
What’s your inspiration behind launching?
I have been selling my jewellery and illustration work in the city over the past 8 years, and have noticed that there is currently nowhere for independent artists and crafts people to sell their work together collectively. With a growing number of artist studios opening within the city, I want to create a place were we can all come together inclusively to sell our work, and bring joy to the community by showcasing the talent Leicester has to offer. Also, when I graduated I found it hard to integrate within the creative community, and it took me a few years to find my feet, I want to bridge the gap, between graduation and becoming a freelance artist as a profession, by giving a platform to sell work from on offer mentoring with established artists within the community.
How can people get involved?
Artists, craft people and designers who wish to sell in the shop can get involved by emailing me on [email protected] I will be keeping my social media pages up to date with all up and coming events, exhibitions and workshops. Find us on Facebook and Instagram.
Who are some of your favourite independent creatives?
It’s hard to pick just a few when there is so much talent within this city at the moment. However some of my favourite local artists at this time must be Tim Fowler and Loz Atkinson, along with Nevermore Boutique. And I’m very happy for them to be among many of the amazing artists that will be stocking their work in We Are.
What do you think of Leicester’s independent and creative scene as a whole?
It’s an exciting time in the city at the moment, there a number of new independent shops opening, along with new studios and plenty of exhibitions. Leicester is making a very good name for itself and its lovely to see that people are shopping more consciously and showing support for independent shops and individuals.
When will you be opening?
The launch event is Saturday 6April, There will be live music form the very talented Sally Hossack and Real State will be playing some tunes to keeps us entertained. There will be an exhibition featuring the members of StudioName, along with a fully stocked shop with all manor of handmade delights such as contemporary jewellery, art prints and fashion items. The day will run from 10am till 8pm. From then on We Are will be open Wednesday to Sunday 11am till 6pm
What are your main goals for the next 12 months?
The main goal for the next 12 months is to gain a large following so people know were we are and what we are about. Build a website so we can sell online as well as in store. Start running regular workshops and complete a number of exhibitions.
We Are will be opening on Saturday 6 April from 10am. Find them at 44a Humberstone Gate, LE1.
Featured image by Loz Atkinson.