Daily Archives: 4 October 2010

Drink Shop & Do – a new kind of consumer experience

Many thanks to a colleague for recommending this newly opened venue, located just around the corner from my office. I popped over last week for a nose around and ended up buying lunch and having a long chat with co-founder Kristie.

She explained how the idea for Drink Shop & Do came from wanting a place like this for Kristie and Coralie and their friends. As with so many entrepreneurs when confronted with the frustration of the lack of a product or service, the light-bulb went on in their heads and they saw a business opportunity.

The potential they spotted was for a destination for what I would describe as maturing mid-twenties young people. Those who have become bored by the late nights, heavy-drinking and loud music –  nightclub lifestyle. As the father of a 20 year old young woman, I am very much looking forward to the time she reaches this calmer stage of life.

Kristie and Coralie have chosen a beautifully light and airy building, which was a Victorian bathhouse in a former life. This is a delightfully surprising find, located close to what was previously one of the grottier part of Kings Cross.

The founders can explain their thinking better than I can:

We are Kristie and Coralie. We met 13 years ago on our first day of secondary school and have been friends ever since. About a year ago we discussed what would really make us happy…

Kristie hoped for a place where tea was served in beautiful teapots, cakes were sticky, and where if she felt like it she could play a game of scrabble!

Coralie wished for all of those things too, but she also wanted to be able to display local designers crafts and products so that people coming into the shop had the chance to see not only pieces of art but handmade designs that they could buy there and then to take home.

We wanted to create a fantastical looking place, that was open to the community where everyone could feel free to come and make crafty things at any time of the day, and perhaps drink a delicious cocktail at the same time!

After having been open for only eight weeks they are still on a steep learning curve, and suffering from the traditional startup’s lack of sleep. They have a long to do list they are starting to work through, including putting a location map on their website and starting a blog. Although they do have a presence on Facebook with over 500 friends. And have had some excellent reviews from bloggers (Drink, Shop and Do Reviewhandnamade)

More importantly, they are both relishing the experience of developing a unique service.

It was interesting to hear the positive impact of their idea to make everything in the shop for sale. On a slow day recently for food and drinks sales, a customer wandered in and ended up buying a £600 sofa, which made for a good day’s income overall.

I like the way they are having fun with what they do. Kristie explained how she had always wanted to run a traditional sweetshop as a child (in common with many), and had created something of a mini sweet emporium in her bedroom at home. Needless to say the opening of Drink Shop & Do gave her the opportunity to fulfil this dream, with a corner of the building dedicated to Flying Saucers and the like.

On a final note I want to say how delicious the Salmon, Dill & Creme Fraiche tart  I bought was, and to wish Kristie and Coralie the best of luck with their innovative  venture.

Update 12 October
Great to see an excellent article on the shop in last night’s Evening Standard.

Electronic Christmas greetings card images from Rachel Piper

Although I am in daily in contact with existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, and hopefully have helped in some small way on to success, I wasn’t aware of inspiring a new venture until today.

Some time ago I wrote a post about Rachel Piper a librarian and an amazing nature photographer, and her brave decision to blog about her experience of living with Obsessive–compulsive disorder (To Blog or not to Blog? That is the question).

I asked her permission to use one of her amazing winter photos in an electronic Season’s Greetings card. And in exchange offered to give a sum of money to charity.

This has inspired Rachel to create a Christmas 2010 web page for electronic Christmas greetings, encouraging people who use the images to donate to either their own charity, or to one Rachel’s choices.

Christmas 2010

Please feel free to use any of the following photographs for your electronic Christmas greetings. They can be saved by right-clicking on an image.

A voluntary donation to one of the charities below would be very much appreciated, although it is not essential.

If you are able to give (or if you prefer to donate to your own favourite charity), don’t forget to tell your family and friends who their Christmas greeting has helped.

Please remember that gift aid can be claimed for freewill gifts.

Keech Hospice Care for Children supports families from across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes with a child or young person diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. Its staff offers medical and social care, emotional support and friendship to the whole family, throughout the child’s illness and after their death, for as long as it is needed. This care is available in-house at the charity’s bright and comfortable children’s hospice near Luton, or via their community nursing team at the family home. Their aim is to help families make the most of the precious time they have left with their child. While many of the children will have only a short life, they all still have plenty of living to do.
To donate please visit www.justgiving.com/rachel-piper2

The World Land Trust works to preserve the world’s most biologically important and threatened lands, and has helped purchase and protect over 400,000 acres of habitats rich in wildlife. In many of their project areas a donation of £50 is enough to save one acre of rainforest, and the many trees and endangered species that live there. Remember, we can only take beautiful photographs if we look after our beautiful world.
To donate please visit www.justgiving.com/rachel-piper

Thank you for your donation; I hope you enjoy the photographs.