We sent one of our interns, Adam Flood, to check out the Bristol Pound Business of the Month, Workshop 22.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Use TXT2PAY at Workshop 22 to be in with a chance of winning this necklace
Opening times: from 10am ’til 5pm Tuesday to Friday / 11 ’til 4pm on Saturdays
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!