Phew. What a year 2014 was. I can't believe Outdoor People is now over seven months old! I must admit on stepping down from Play England back in March, and leaving the NCB in May, setting up my own company was a very scary step to take. And to try to build it as a 'social enterprise' an even scarier one. Most people don't even know what a social enterprise is, and frankly even those that do have many different definitions! Could I cope with the drastic change in income? Could my husband? Could I cope without a great team around me? Where on earth would I get stuff to sell and could I cope with not just giving stuff away??? How could I keep ensuring what I do benefits children? So anyway after a very blustery launch in May
I set out with a clear mission:
To Make the Outdoors Easy - especially for families and children
And with a lot of hard work, building on existing networks and backing from friends and family, and the many fabulous customers, it does indeed seem to be working! So I want to use this first blog of 2015 to say
To so many folks...
- Everyone we've worked with over the last year:
- The lovely people who have commissioned work from us;
- all the wonderful customers and folks that have come to the stall;
- the folks behind Exhale festival;
- and most definitely the families that came camping!
Big thanks too to the great folks at the Tornado Boiler Company
(the Storm Kettles), Kairaasi
(the tiffins), Cake Club Clothing (
the hats) and Whitby & Co
(who distribute Klean Kanteen and Niteize) for being the first to back the rather weird idea of a high-end design-led outdoor gear market stall! So what next?
The Board of the 'social' bit of the 'Social Enterprise has just expanded and I'll be introducing you to the new board members soon. Fingers crossed we'll have some projects to make a practical difference locally and further afield soon. Nationally I'll continue to be supporting The Wild Network
as a board member, to lobby, campaign and shout about the critical importance of kids being outdoors, not just for their own sake (and the sanity of their parents/teachers/families!) but for the future of the planet... I'll also be doing what I can to support the London wide campaign to get us named 'Greater London National Park
', as well as continuing to help other locally based organisations that get kids outdoors. We've just completed the first phase of Hackney Wild Walks
and I'll be discussing with the new board - and the council - where to next on that. And what about the 'Shop'?
I'll be spending part of the next four weeks revamping the website a bit and thinking about where the 'shop' will go as the seriously 'enterprise' bit of the social enterprise. We'll be back in the Schoolyard of Broadway Market on Saturday January 17th, and folks can order online, first post out will be Monday 5th. The 'shop' has really done as well as I could have hoped - and far, far better than my mum expected!! - so what next?? Do I just consolidate and build up the stall and online? Or do I look for a concession or a shop? Or do some pop up shops? Thoughts from you as Outdoor Peeps are very welcome! So here's wishing you many fantastic Outdoors Adventures for 2015, and hoping they are good ones!
- Happy Outdoors New Year 2015!