Carole Morgan wants to help artists and makers grow their business
As a resident of Walthamstow for the past 19 years, I was and still am really impressed by the amazing talent, passion and energy of the artists, artisans and local businesses around me.
I wanted to create a unique space for such people to showcase and sell their work online and when I spoke about the idea, I had a great response from local artists and businesses in the area as well as those who wanted to buy locally-produced goods but couldn’t see how they could do it that easily.
As someone who had worked in marketing for over 20 years and who has run her own marketing business for the past six years, setting up a new business with an e-commerce site was something I could do quite easily. So I got started in the spring with some research into how I could position the company, the brand and what web platform to use.
I commissioned local branding experts, Elbow Creative, and I was also very inspired by the words of one of Walthamstow’s most iconic former residents, William Morris: “I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.”
I realised we could provide everyone with a chance to choose the things they believe to be useful or beautiful, regardless of their background or income. And so I set up Stow Inspired in June, an online store for creatives in Waltham Forest. It brings together artists, artisans, creators and small businesses – and pledges to put some of its profits back into the community. This is something that’s really important to me personally, and I am keen to reflect my values in what we do and how we operate.
Because of the interest we had over the summer from sellers we have been able to open our virtual store with an amazing range of gifts, art and prints, homewares, clothing, accessories, jewellery and children’s products.
This includes photographic prints from Walthamstow photographer Stuart Moore, book Yellow Man – A Walthamstory! from celebrated local illustrator Chris Walker, gifts from E17 coffee roasters Perky Blenders, and reclaimed wood furniture from Sutherland Road’s La Maison De Furniture.
What really excites me is that Stow Inspired can offer opportunities for local artists and small producers in the area who make amazing products but don’t necessarily have the budget or know-how to take them to market themselves. It gives artists and creators a real opportunity to grow their collections, increase their income and to gain commercial experience.
In time, I hope that start-ups and established small businesses in the area, community organisations, and even perhaps local retailers and service companies will see Stow Inspired as a valuable platform for their products and services.
I would love to spread the word in the community, encourage people to buy their Christmas presents on the site and also to hear from more artists, creators and businesses from Walthamstow, Leyton, Leytonstone, Highams Park and Chingford who might want to come on board as sellers.
If you are interested in becoming a seller with Stow Inspired or would like to browse the online shop: