Fiona & Nina: The power of collaboration in a shared workspace
Fiona and Nina, both operating their businesses from retail units at Queens Parade, meanwhile project in Willesden Green, have found a fruitful way to combine their talents to create beautiful photoshoots together that benefit both.
Fiona (left) is the owner a lovely dress shop in Queens Parade, which was Voted 2018 TimeOut Shop of the Year for Willesden, Sparkle O'Hara. She curates a unique range of party and evening dresses in sumptuous fabrics with exquisite embroidery and beading. All dresses are vintage and new vintage inspired.
Nina Rangoy (right) recently set up a contemporary portrait photo studio “The Portrait Studio” next door after years of experience as a photojournalist.
Using what the other does best has led to a stunning collaboration, and illustrates the power of collaboration when co-located with other passionate creatives. Queens Parade was one of the first Meanwhile Space projects and even ten years later continues to enable positive impact for small local businesses and opportunities to test ideas with limited risk.
"One of the things that attracted me the most to Queens Parade, was that Fiona was next door. To offer a client an amazing dress they can use for the photoshoot is such a plus! And I think we both benefit from it..." (Nina)
"Being next door to a photographer is great for my business! And for Nina, if she ever needs a particular outfit, she knows she can pop next door and we'll find something suitable that is, at the same time, a bit different!" (Fiona)
All aboard Ludo's: Transforming a double-decker bus in Wood Green
You thought comedy, beers and buses don’t go together? Think again. Ludo’s at Blue House Yard in Wood Green, North London, are proof that this combination makes perfect sense.
Charley and James moved into their red double-decker in Spring 2022. Charley’s background is in comedy and James works in the film industry. Their dream was to have a venue where they could do both and sell drinks as they are very much into beers and organic wines, and they certainly found the perfect place to do so!
As Wood Green locals, they had visited Blue House Yard previously and one night they got chatting to the previous tap room operators. It turned out Earth Tap was relocating to Oxford and that the bus would become available. It didn’t need much convincing that this was the perfect opportunity and by March 2022 Charley, James and their Irish Goldendoodle Meg had moved in and turned the bus into a welcoming cozy bar.
Beer on a Bus? Yes, the answer is YES! But don’t be fooled, this bus is not only a pub but also a venue! Charley and James help invigorating Blue House Yard with energy and activity by organising comedy nights with hilarious line-ups, cinema nights in the summer and other events for the local community. Ludo’s has become a new favourite local spot - this unique secret gem keeps getting busier and busier, and summer is only about to come. We can’t wait to see what Charley and James are planning next!
“We knew about Meanwhile Space’s mission and how you support new entrepreneurs and creatives. Even though we never considered a bus as an option, when we learned about the opportunity here, we realised it was perfect for us!” (James)
“This bus is helping us build the foundations and it allows us to grow and make our business bigger and better!” (Charley)
Lottie: Founder of The Midnight Apothecary
Lottie is the founder of The Midnight Apothecary, a wild botanical cocktail garden in Rotherhithe. She took on a workspace at The Hithe in 2022 to use a professional workspace environment to progress the next steps for her business.
“The Hithe has been a fantastic thing for me! I needed a reasonable space where I could focus on work while staying close to the garden and to where I live. The Hithe helped me meet and connect with locals too!”
Midnight Apothecary is located close to The Hithe at the Brunel Museum above Brunel's historic Thames Tunnel. Their menus change frequently based on what's in season and all of their homemade drinks are infused with local brews, foraged ingredients from nearby, and their own garden. Definitely a most unique experience.
Bizzie Bodies: Local engagement to stimulate creative learning
Emilie founded Bizzie Bodies back in 2014 and has since been organising a wide range of creative workshops targeted at encouraging children aged between 6 to 11 years to learn a language by stimulating their creativity.
The company aims to facilitate social inclusion in multi-cultural societies and provide opportunities for children who would otherwise have minimal access to creative learning outside of their school education.
Emilie has been based at The Hithe since May 2022. She says that the space “gives me value as a person and for my businesses” and she appreciates having that space to come and think, communicate and create.