The Final Go Local! Challenge Figures Are In…

After 30 days of summer our Go Local! Challenge is complete. Bristol Pound users, old and new were attempting convert £25,000 sterling into £B25,000 AND YOU DID IT!

In fact, £28,208 was switched into Bristol Pounds. This is no mean feat, especially in the summer months which are notoriously quite on the high street.

We can’t thank you guys enough for getting behind the Bristol Pound, and going out there and supporting your local economy. Without you all, the Bristol Pound would just be an idea. With you, it’s a movement.

The Bristol Pound team have had a busy few months. We’ve had our Tourist Map launch to help show new visitors to Bristol where they can find our independent businesses in the town centre. We’ve had our 30 Treats in 30 Tweets feature which has showcased some of the delicious food and drink Bristol’s independents have to offer. We’ve been on BCfm and Ujima to chat to presenters about the Go Local! Challenge and how the £B works.  And, we’ve been out and about at events like the Harbourside Festival, spreading the word about the Bristol Pound.

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Mike Lloyd-Jones, Bristol Pound Trade Manager, spreading the £B love with the One Love Breakfast Team

It’s an exciting time for us here at the Bristol Pound. As the number of traders with business accounts grow, and the number of individuals opening accounts grows too, we are excited by what’s round the corner, and we hope that you can join us to see what’s next.

WORKSHOP 22 : The Bristol Pound Business of the Month Award

We sent one of our interns, Adam Flood, to check out the Bristol Pound Business of the Month, Workshop 22.

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Artisan jewellers, sculptors and workshop-leaders, Sarah McCallum and Lucy Lyon have been running the charming Workshop 22 for over three-years. Having relocated from a studio space on King’s Square, the pair say they couldn’t imagine being situated anywhere else other than amongst the vibrant sprawl of independent traders on Upper Maudlin Street.‘Having a shopfront has given us a better platform to sell our own work, and the other wonderful pieces we stock made by other artists,’ explains Sarah. ‘Bristol is perfect for us; it’s creative, friendly and quirky.’  I was beginning to see why Workshop 22 and Bristol really are kindred spirits.

Sarah is quick to tell me about how the business actively encourages customers to pay with £Bs. ‘We’ve been accepting the Bristol Pound for almost a year and a half, but TXT2PAY has made it much easier for us.’ This new payment method has made it feasible for them to take entire transactions in £Bs. ‘Instead of just taking £5 or £10, we can now take larger amounts of money using the handy TXT2PAY system.’ Sarah tells me that she even preaches the virtues of the Bristol Pound to some of the students who attend Workshop 22’s jewellery making courses – dedication indeed!

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Sarah McCallum can’t help but grin when she sees those £Bs.

It’s easy to see why customers of Workshop 22 would be compelled to spend more than £5 (or £B5!) when paying a visit to Sarah and Lucy’s shop. The upcycled brooches made from vintage domino pieces, and Bristol-based jeweller, Xana Rodriguez’s ‘interactive’ silver jewellery were two of the many items which caught my eye as I browsed the shop. Behind the shop-floor was a dainty workshop, holding five students working away on their own unique pieces of jewellery. I passed the divide between punter and producer, the music of Buena Vista Social Club playing on the stereo and the smell of freshly baked brownies wafting through the workshop. If I didn’t need to be back at the office within the hour, I would have donned an apron and joined in with the class!

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Lucy Lyon instructing one of Workshop 22’s classes.

The students here were on one of the many courses Sarah and Lucy run throughout the year. The courses range from one-off studio days costing £55, to six week courses for £150 (not including silver). Felicity, a student with Workshop 22 for over a year, shows me in a rather apologetic way a silver necklace of a small girl holding a jewelled balloon. Her more experienced peer chimes in, ‘what Felicity has done here is actually quite difficult. She should be very proud!’ The sense of camaraderie within the group is evident as they laugh and joke together whilst simultaneously honing their craft. It seems that Workshop 22 provide people with a place to forge friendships, as well as precious metals. Sarah and Lucy don’t stop there when it comes to helping their customers connect. They also offer a wedding ring workshop, where brides and grooms-to-be come for the day and make their own rings from scratch. Prices start at £300, with the package including a consultation, tuition and guidance, photographs of the day and, of course, two beautifully unique wedding rings complete with finishing and hallmarks.

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Felicity, putting the final touches to her work .

At Bristol Pound, we love to seek out businesses who are on the £B scheme who we find unique. These businesses have something which adds to the vibrant character of Bristol. Having spent an afternoon in their workshop, its plain to see that Workshop 22’s values permeate throughout their business and on to their customers – not to mention they are having a great time doing what they love!

In celebration of their award as Business of the Month, Workshop 22 are running a competition in conjunction Bristol Pound. Every customer who makes a purchase at Workshop 22 using the TXT2PAY during the month will be entered into a special prize draw. The winner will receive a beautiful laser cut stainless steel necklace on a sterling silver chain, made by Dowse.

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Use TXT2PAY at Workshop 22 to be in with a chance of winning this necklace

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Address: 22 Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol, BS2 8DJ

Opening times: from 10am ’til 5pm Tuesday to Friday / 11 ’til 4pm on Saturdays

Tel.: 0117 3290393
Email: info@workshop22.co.uk
Facebook: workshop22Bristol
Twitter: @workshop_22

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A stunning pair of wedding rings made by a couple at Workshop 22, and a pair of earrings crafted by a student in one of Workshop 22’s classes!

Halfway Through the Go Local! Challenge: drumroll, please…

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Well, haven’t you lot been busy. We’ve seen £18,736 of sterling converted into Bristol Pounds over the past two weeks! We’re more than on track to hit our target in the Go Local! Challenge, which is to convert £25,000 into £B25,000. Last Christmas we managed to convert over £30K, and with Summer being a famously quiet period for retailers, it’s very exciting news.

The Go Local! Challenge was launched on the day of the BIG Green Market – a fantastic day for local traders, and a lot of fun for the £B team. We were out in force talking to the public about the Bristol Pound scheme, recruiting new members and swapping sterling for Bristol Pounds. Our little stall managed to convert over £1,000 to £Bs on the day, so we were chuffed to start the challenge on such a high!

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To give you that little extra push with your challenge, we’ve been running the ‘30 Treats in 30 Tweets’ campaign. We hope that this will help you to spend your £Bs on some of the delicious products which are made by local businesses. We think you’re going to fall in love with some them, just like we have. Click here to have a gander at what we’ve been tweeting so far. There has been great support for this on Twitter, so keep it up!

The Go Local! Challenge is here to turbo-charge the people of Bristol to discover and connect with the huge number of local independent business in our great city. By using Bristol Pounds with a local independent trader, your money is likely to recirculate throughout the local economy five or more times rather than leaking out through national or international supply chains. This means that every £B spent will have a much bigger, positive impact on the local economy, even more so than if you were to shop local with sterling.

The Bristol Pound scheme is also helping to instill a greater sense of community across the city. This came through clearly in research conducted by the University of Brunel, and is affirmed anecdotally by Mark Rind, owner of Cafe Revival: ‘I often use the £B to meet and trade with other businesses who use the currency. What’s more, regular customers and tourists can see the sign on the door and know “this place is truly Bristolian!”.’ Owner of Guy Fawkes Hair and Beauty, Lyn Andres, added, ‘the Bristol Pound is such a great tool for connecting local businesses and the people who are in Bristol that want to support these independent traders. That’s why I offer a 15% discount when people spend in £Bs in my salon  I want to reward them!’.

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As you’ll hopefully be aware, it’s Bristol Independents Day on July 4th. Across the UK, and especially in Bristol, independent businesses will be encouraging you to shop locally by offering special treats and discounts. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed or the Bristol Independents website for a full listing – many of the offers are available exclusively to Bristol Pound spenders!

So there you have it, 2014 is shaping up to be Bristol’s very own Summer of Local Love! Help us to smash the Go Local! Challenge, and keep in touch with us via our Facebook and Twitter to let us know how you’re getting on. Use the hashtag #GoLocalChallenge and say hello on Twitter: @BristolPound – we love recommending places to spend £Bs!

Happy spending with those £Bs!

Best wishes,

The Bristol Pound Team