Eclectic Gift Shop in east Bristol thrives off of supporting other small businesses. An outlet for the very best of Bristol’s creatives to sell their work, co-owners Nicola Bartlett and Maggie Cousins are proud to support over 60 makers.
With a range of gifts to purchase such as natural soaps, embroidered jewellery, skincare and baby clothes, Eclectic Gift Shop has been named as one of the UK’s best small businesses by Small Business Saturday.
A hundred small businesses have been drawn from every corner of the UK to reflect the variety and high standard of the sector in 2019.
“We’re thrilled to be nationally recognised as one of the UK’s best small businesses,” says Nicola. “It’s great for Hanham in east Bristol, it really puts us on the map.”
As well as selling products from local arts and crafts people, the shop also support four young people who are part of The Prince’s Trust, other makers run their business fulltime, and others are retired, or juggling family life and part-time work.
They also host workshops run by their makers. The workshops are a chance for the public to learn new skills and for the makers stocked in the shop to teach their art to others.
“I love that we are a part of the community and that no two days are the same,” says Nicola.
Nicola grew up in Kingswood and previously worked full time in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. Having always enjoyed photograph, she was encouraged by friends to sell her work at markets, including at the Harbourside.
As she continued to pursue this passion, she made the decision to hand in her notice at her paid work and opened the Eclectic Gift Shop.
After a just nine months, the shop was doing so well that Nicola asked Maggie Cousins to co-run the store with her.
Maggie Cousins was the first artist Nicola worked with and the two of them developed a strong friendship. Nicola describes Maggie being “at the forefront of designing things”, making her the perfect partner to co-run the shop.
“Business is only going up and up,” says Nicola. Big things are on the horizon for this independent store.
Eclectic Gift Shop, 51c High Street, Hanham, Bristol, BS15 3DQ
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