Updated: Apr 6
In an entrepreneurial sense, the UK is severely trailing behind other western countries, especially when it comes to women. Yet more and more women are starting up their own companies & delving into the exciting world of independent business, setting up shop & going for their dreams. We talk to founder of BAM Bristol, Fran Harkness to see where she got her inspiration, her passion & for her words of business wisdom....
WHEN DID YOUR STORE / COMPANY START?
November 2019 so it’s still very early days!
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR IDEA OR CONCEPT FOR YOUR BUSINESS? WAS THERE A ‘EUREKA’ MOMENT?
It’s an idea I’d been kicking around for about 6 years but the right space finally came up and it seemed like a good time to give it a go. There wasn’t really anywhere to buy gifts or art in our area of Bristol so it’s a chance to support local artists and host creative workshops.
WHAT IS YOUR MISSION?
We’re a not-for-profit shop and space that aims to support local artists and help promote creativity and community.
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION?
I love living in Easton and really wanted to add something to the local community.
HOW DID YOU BUILD YOUR DREAM?
With lots of lists! I have to write everything down or I get a bit lost.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST HURDLE?
I’m learning as I go which means I don’t always get things right. Figuring out what people need in January after the Christmas rush was interesting! Other than that, just letting people know we’re here.
HOW DID YOU HANDLE SELF DOUBT?
I’m not sure I’ve figured that out yet but to be honest, at the moment I’m too busy (and tired!) to pay it too much attention!
WHERE DID THE STORE / COMPANY NAME COME FROM?
BAM was the name I was working under before I opened the shop. I spent ages trying to think of a great name and in the end, everyone just told me to stick with BAM.
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUPPORT?
Everyone has been so enthusiastic and supportive, I feel very lucky. I’m really lucky to be surrounded by amazing workshop facilitators and other small business owners who have been unendingly generous with their time and advice. And I couldn’t have done any of it without my husband’s tech and DIY skills!
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
At the moment I’m hugely proud that I’ve managed to finally get it going. The shop is going well and the workshops are all busy with people coming from as far away as Swindon for them. Hoping for lots more moments to be proud of in 2020.
IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE YOUR STORE / BUSINESS IN 3 WORDS WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Independent, creativity, community.
WHATS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING ‘THE BOSS’?
I shut the shop for a week at the beginning of January to hang out with the kids and that felt pretty good.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS?
To build upon what I’ve started and create a space where people can shop for small gifts and art, support local artists and spend a little time doing something for themselves.
IF YOU COULD TIME TRAVEL BACK, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF?
Don’t wait until January to order diaries and wall planners!!
If your passing by BAM why not pop in, check out the AMAZING gift selection (even pick up a bar of our soap wink! wink!) or for more information check out the social links below & get connected.
Company name & address: BAM Store + Space, 104-108 Belle Vue Road, Bristol BS5 6BX
Social media links: @bambristol