A Festival of Ideas

On Thursday we welcomed over 150 people into the beautiful setting of the Sensory Garden. What made this day even more special, was that it was the culmination of a fantastic project we’ve been working on over the past year, combined with an opportunity for us to thank our organisations’ members with a summer party.

A Festival of Ideas is a project funded by Sovereign Housing that explored and supported the entrepreneurial ideas from those aged 18-25 in Trowbridge. Showcasing concepts such as jewellery-making, a mental health cafe, children’s clothing lines, starting groups for young parents and much more.

David Lockwood said: “This project has been a revelation. It has uncovered 15 fantastic ideas, all of which we’re able to support through the Town Hall. It has shown the remarkable talent of the next generation of creatives in Trowbridge and I can’t wait to see how they – and their ideas – flourish.”

Here you can find more about just a few of the ideas that were presented…

Leo – Silversmith

My Idea: I am trying to start a jewellery business selling handmade silver, gold and platinum jewellery from a local shop or stall. I have been making jewellery for myself and my partner for almost a year now and have fallen in love with the process and methodical craft of silversmithing. it would be a dream come true to make a living from doing what I love to do the most; create.

How you can help: Honestly all that could be of use and value to me is the basic means of getting my business off the ground. Business advice and advice on getting a shopfront or stall would be brilliant, as well as the funding to buy the silver which would allow me to make the jewellery to sell in the first place.

Contact the Town Hall if you’d like to get in touch!

Charlie – Mental Health Café & Learning Disability Club Night

Charlie spent some time working in care and has seen how significant the opportunity for those with learning disabilities to have access to the same activities as others is. Charlie’s idea is for a club night for those with learning disabilities. The idea of providing a safe environment accommodating to different needs is something she’d like to explore further.

“Poor mental wellbeing can be a barrier to people rebuilding their lives.” Run by professionals and trained volunteers, this group would be open to all, including talking therapy, art and other activities, Charlie knows of similar Mental Heath Cafes running across the country and believes this would hugely benefit the local area.

Contact the Town Hall if you’d like to get in touch!

Made by Emilia – Handmade Clothing & Accessories

My idea: I make scrunchies, baby and toddler blankets, and clothing items.

How you can help: I am grateful for any advice, every day is a learning day!

“Here’s the reason I started this business, it was all down to the memory blanket I wanted to make my daughter! After some research I’d found a few people that made them but couldn’t justify the high prices! I brought myself a sewing machine and went for it, taught myself how to sew and made my first blanket. The blanket filled me with so much joy and brought back so many lovely memories that I wanted to share that joy by making them for others…”

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and my Website.

Daisy Chains by M – Jewellery Inspired by Musical Theatre

My idea: Handmade jewellery inspired by musical theatre.

How you can help: Support me by buying my jewellery so that I can continue exploring new ideas and reaching new audiences.

“I’ve been making jewellery for years, and it kind of got to the point where I was running out of people to gift it to. The theatre angle actually came after I watched the Hamilton pro-shot and realised that I had the perfect beads to make Eliza’s earrings, and I haven’t looked back.”

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Nico Medin Art

My idea: As a young, aspiring artist I work to raise awareness about controversial issues that are often overlooked or misunderstood in society. Furthermore, my work acts as a voice for the younger generation, who’s opinions are often dismissed and or silenced. For example, throughout the Covid pandemic people’s mental health has dramatically deteriorated, thus I took the opportunity to research the symptoms and causes of 11 mental disorders. This enabled my audience to become more informed and more equipped to notice when their loved ones are suffering.

How you can help: I would greatly appreciate the expertise of anyone with contacts in the art industry so that my work can be displayed in more exhibitions. If anybody is interested in commissioning a piece of art please contact me via my Instagram or my email me.

Ciara – Creative Writing Course for Marginalised or Underrepresented Parents

My idea: A creative writing course aimed at marginalised or underrepresented parents designed to create a community where parents can increase confidence and self-advocacy skills.

How you can help: Network – I want to bring my course to as many people as possible, so I need to network with different businesses and charities. Funding – Furthering the reach of my project will lead to costs and I would like to take a number of additional courses (anti-racism, mental health, first aid etc) too ensure I am providing the best support I can.

You can find me on Instagram or email me.

Nicola Davis Crafts

My idea: I am a self-taught artist from Wiltshire and have been painting on silk for 7 years. When I first learnt this technique, I was initially drawn to the therapeutic way the paints flow and blend together without the
use of Gutta or Resist. I have specialised in this medium ever since: creating silk paintings, sun catchers, silk painting kits and wearable art such as silk scarves and ties. I have always used painting to support my mental health, and I hope to inspire joy in others using a bright palette of colours. I hope to develop my business by becoming more eco-friendly and have recently replaced my packaging with biodegradable and recyclable alternatives. I would love to start using vegetarian and vegan silks.

How you can help: I am looking for mentorship from an artist or business who has experience in reducing their carbon footprint, a large part of this includes learning about vegetarian and vegan silks. I require financial support in order to purchase a variety of samples to test, as their characteristics vary widely. I would love to attend eco-dyeing workshops from professionals.

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and my Website.

My idea: Sustainable. Natural. Handmade. Creating quality, handmade, knitted and crocheted textiles, garments and accessories from natural materials.

How you can help: Any marketing training, branding advice or general feedback would be greatly appreciated. Funding would also be appreciated (for a website and domain name and / or a circular sock knitting machine).

You can find me on Instagram, Facebook and Etsy.

Nursery Corner and The Team from Sovereign.

Nursery Corner is a new online shop stocking affordable baby items including clothes, toys and decor. In the range of gorgeous baby clothing and accessories you will find unique, affordably priced items. With affordable styles to suit many tastes , there are plently of pretty vintage pieces that can be beautifully styled alongside neutral & minimalistic items.

“I’m a first time mum to 6 month old Teddy, and I launched this business whilst on maternity leave. I couldn’t have done it without the help of a number of other small businesses…”

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and my Website.