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Our Highlights of 2020!

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Happy New Year everyone! We have made it into 2021 in one piece and we just wanted to take the time to recap our highlights of 2020. In this current climate, things are not easy and it can feel like there is no progress being made because we are all stuck inside with a ton of restrictions. Trust us, we are on the same boat and slowly finding our feet on how to navigate the constant changes that have been ongoing for the last while.

We do this exercise every year where we look back at all the projects and events we have done that year, as a way of celebrating the work we have done, but also to gain some perspective. It is important to look back and reflect to recognize those achievements no matter how big and small.

As we all know, 2020 was a hard year that thrust the entire world into unknown chaos and a new way of living.  We were faced with the decision to stay the same or to adjust and adapt to the new circumstances. It was a year of slowing down, sitting in discomfort, analyzing our ways of working, adjusting our ways of working, figuring out how to cope with uncertainty, and try to forge a new path on which we can still exist as a business and a creative industry.

We have put together some of the big projects that we launched this year and we look forward to what we can create in 2021.

The Great Creators Podcast

Our first main project of 2020 was The Great Creators Podcast in collaboration with Small Town Big Dreams and the Graduate School at Queens University. 

The podcast series shared the diverse stories of design and entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland. They featured start-ups, community-led projects, and established businesses that together make up the rich innovation ecosystem.

They wanted to highlight that opportunity is all around, if you know where to look for it and to delve deeper into understanding how a product or service comes about from those “in the know” – the designers and entrepreneurs themselves!

The podcast shared different business models and approaches, the challenges, and pivots of entrepreneurial journeys, and contain useful and easy-to-implement advice and resources.

The World Turned Upside Down – 4 Part Audio Documentary Series

Funded by Future Screens NI and Northern Ireland Screen as part of their ‘Rewriting the Narrative’ project, Small Town Big Dreams presents a 4-part audio documentary exploring personal stories of how the Covid-19 crisis has impacted the work, communities, networks, and health of creative entrepreneurs, freelancers and workers within the creative industry sector in Northern Ireland.

DIG DEEP 

 

 

Dig Deep is Womenfolk’s new creative enterprise support program that brings women from different backgrounds together in a supportive and nurturing environment over a 9 month period to help them build successful and sustainable creative industry businesses.

We believe that it is important to take a holistic view of starting a creative business, combining self-care and creativity alongside business skills and knowledge.

We wanted to make our resources available to our wider Womenfolk Community so that everyone can access and have the opportunity to develop themselves further. Each week we will be uploading exercises and resources to help you start your creative industry business. The resources are here to help you grow your creative business to meet your values, goals, and ambitions.

This project is in collaboration with Creating A Space and is kindly funded by Ulster Bank.

Belfast Design Week 2020

Belfast Design Week took place from 2nd-8th November 2020 and included a Pop-Up Design Museum in venues across Belfast city center with work by commissioned designers.

We had the pleasure of curating the Pop Up Design Museum which is the second time in a row it has been running.

The exhibit showcased the work of contemporary designers as well as highlighting the rich design heritage of Belfast. We were persistent in creating this project despite everything going on with the restrictions and the pandemic, we had to think differently on how we would execute the Pop Up Design Museum.

Our theme for the year was “Environment” and the exhibitions showed the many variations and interpretations of this theme, from sustainability to political environment and urban design.

With the changing scenario around the Covid-19 pandemic and concerns around health and safety, we ensured our museum was socially distanced, using venues’ outside facing windows and outdoor spaces.

It was great to see the designers and local businesses collaborate to make this happen, but most of all, coming together as a community to get through this hard time.

To see all of the artwork and design collaborations, please visit: www.belfastdesignpopup.com/designersvenues

This project was supported by the Department for Communities, Future Screens NI, Northern Ireland Screen & University of Ulster Belfast School of Art

 

#blickstudios on
A DIY GUIDE ON SALES & SELLING

WED 5th MAY

6.30 - 8.00pm

This workshop will be facilitated by Emma Johnston of @hunterpaperco  and Lisa Smyth of @shesaid_design . Two women from different creative business backgrounds, with very different business models sharing their story and offering advice and guidance on how they generate sales within their business followed by a Q&A session at the end.

What we will be covering:

Getting your business in front of potential customers

How to present yourself & business

How to sell your business products/services

Techniques on building confidence

Communication as a business

Navigating money & payment

Building relationships with clients

Sign up the link in our bio
Creatives During Coronavirus One Year On, Upcoming Sales & Selling Workshop & Private Studio Space
CREATIVES DURING CORONAVIRUS: ONE YEAR ON 

Join us online with @theblackboxbelfast  next Monday 26th April at 8pm for “Creatives During Coronavirus: One Year On” with a selection of our fabulous guests from 2020!

During the summer of 2020, the team behind the Small Town Big Dreams podcast made a 4-part audio documentary called The World Turned Upside Down, profiling how creative entrepreneurs from across the creative industries had been impacted by the first unimaginable months of the Covid-19 lockdown in Northern Ireland.

One year on from the start of the pandemic, Small Town Big Dreams returns with an online event to catch-up with some of those who participated in the documentary, and to see how they now feel about the experiences of the past year, and what they are hoping for in the months and years ahead.

Join podcast hosts Karishma Kusurkar and Graeme Watson for what will be a fascinating discussion about the creative industries as we move in to a ‘new normal’, featuring special guests:
– Patricia McGinnis ( Maven - @wearemaven_) 
– Shannon Delores O’Neill ( Sister Ghost
/ Girls Rock School Northern Ireland - @sister_ghost) 
– Tessa Ann ( Sound Healing Spa)
– Ryan Ward ( Take Two Studio @taketwostudio) 

Small Town Big Dreams is a podcast and podcast channel produced by Blick Shared Studios, and is available on all good podcast apps. For more information, visit the website here: www.smalltownbigdreams.co.uk

This event is generously supported by the @theblackboxbelfast

Running time: 50 mins interview + 20 mins Q&A with audience via Zoom

The event is free, but register online at the Black Box website to attend details on the events and workshops section of our website
Blue skies and spring sunshine transforming the Cathedral Quarter this morning
Lovely to have the main room in our Malone studios back in use with @creatingaspace doing some filming
Upcoming Free Workshops on LinkedIn and Social Media Marketing
Perfect Easter holiday weather in the Cathedral Quarter today. Lovely spring flowers 💐 as well
LinkedIn is a really important platform for building your network and promoting your business as a creative entrepreneurs. LinkedIn has over 700 million members in over 200 countries and offers great potential for securing work, building your network and collaborating. Our next @womenfolk.co event is next Wednesday evening from 6.30 - 8.00pm and is free to attend and facilitated by  Emma Gribben of Digital By Emma and Alchemy Digital Training 

Emma is a digital marketing consultant, mentor and trainer working with start-ups, SMEs, brands and agencies across NI, ROI, UK and Europe. Emma offers solutions across digital strategy, website performance enhancement, social media, content marketing, SEO, email marketing, online PR and influencer marketing.

Emma has helped global businesses achieve impressive returns on digital marketing, including spectacular growth in website visitors (200%), in-unit sales (186%), revenue (97%) and e-commerce conversion (67%).

As a training partner to Google and Facebook across the Google Squared Online, Google Digital Academy and Google Digital Garage programmes as well as the Facebook Digital Skills Training programme, Emma has insights into the latest digital trends, platforms and activities to continually give businesses a competitive edge. 

Emma’s training clients include global brands Aer Lingus, Pandora, Vodafone and Electrolux as well as Arts Council of Ireland, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Belfast Telegraph and Monaghan Mushrooms closer to home. 

Sign up for your free ticket now (link.in bio) 

https://www.blickstudios.org/events/a-diy-guide-on-linkedin/
Next in our series of @womenfolk.co Dig Deep events is 'A DIY Guide on Writing for Your Business' on Sat 3rd April from 10.00am - 11.00am with @quillincni

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The aim of this event is to help you gain knowledge of how to create written content for your business and learning how to incorporate content creation into your working life. Heather will be sharing important tips on how to write content for your website and covering the importance of finding your voice in the content you create.

https://www.blickstudios.org/events/a-diy-guide-on-writing-for-your-business-with-heather-mcgarrigle/
Happy Monday it's officially spring, lighter mornings and evenings are coming
*** Small Town Big Dreams Guide to DIY Podcasting ***

Date: 27/3/21 

Time: 10.00 - 11.30am 

Location: Online

Have you been dreaming of starting your own podcast? Are you a beginner looking for tips from those who know? Join @stbdpodcast for this special event as part of the @nerve_centre Spring Into The Creative Industries Programme.

In this event they will catch up with experienced producers and presenters in the Northern Irish podcasting world to get some behind-the-scenes insights on ideas, and advice on making and sharing a podcast from home with minimal gear.

The session will be hosted by Small Town Big Dreams @karishmakusurkar who will be joined by guests Jeananne Craig (All Change Please), Andi Jarvis (Strategy Sessions) & Graeme Watson (Small Town Big Dreams & Inside John Patrick Higgins).

Link to book a ticket in our bio
Spring is in the air. Gorgeous seasonal flowers and colours in the Cathedral Quarter on a beautiful sunny spring morning
Workspace plants & cosy corners

#blickstudios #creativespace #creativeworkspace #coworkingspace #creativehub #plants #workspaceplants
We are delighted to be part of the @nerve_centre  Spring Into the Creative Industries Programme with 'A Time is Now' panel discussion on diversity in the creative industries for at 6.30pm next Monday for International Women's Day.

 The Time is Now is a collaborative project by Blick Shared Studios and @creatingaspace focusing on honest and meaningful conversations between early stage creative entrepreneurs. This event is produced in collaboration with @womenfolk.co @belfastdesignwk  and hosted by @nerve_centre

EVENT DETAILS

A vibrant and timely discussion on the urgent need for greater diversity in the creative industries in Northern Ireland.
Join our panel of female creatives and innovators on International Women’s Day as they bring a wealth of life and professional experience to this vital conversation about diversity in the creative industries.

Hosted by Esther Mogada from Creating A Space, this event will see Emily Searle, Sorcha Ní Cheallaigh and Margaret Watiri share their perspectives on the current make-up of the creative sector in Northern Ireland and their ideas on how we can improve diversity within these industries.

This issue is long-standing in the creative industries, and is reflected in the visible absence of a diversity of gender, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation and socio-economic backgrounds among leadership roles in particular.

The creative industries are vital to the Northern Irish economy. As the sector we rely on to create and sell us ideas, content and products, diversity is arguably most important here so that we can understand and create things of value that reflect society as a whole.

https://www.blickstudios.org/events/the-time-is-now-diversity-in-the-creative-industries-panel/
Next in our series of @womenfolk.co Dig Deep events is 'A DIY Guide on Instagram' on Sat 13th March from 10.00am - 12.00pm featuring the lovely @laurentaylorcreates and our own Blick resident @dannisimpsonart

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The aim of this event is to help you gain knowledge of how to build a brand or business on Instagram through hearing the story & journey of Lauren Taylor and Danni Simpson. They will be sharing their insights on how they have built their business, how they have built their brand and how they navigate growing their audience and business on Instagram.

https://www.blickstudios.org/events/a-diy-guide-to-instagram-with-lauren-taylor-danni-simpson/
Next in our series of @womenfolk.co Dig Deep events is 'A DIY Guide on Photographing Your Work' next Wed evening 6.30 - 7.30pm full details below

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We understand how hard it can be to know the basics of photography and we wanted to create a workshop that covered the basics and that you can walk away with tips and tools that you can implement straight away. 

We will be covering: 

-Basics of photography - creating a strong focal point, using exposure and white balance to get your images right, working with natural light

-Telling a visual story with your images 

-Different types of set up - plain backdrop, editorial styling and flat lay. 

-Editing your images - using software to improve your photos

-Images for print and web use 

- Backing up and storing your image catalogue

Get your ticket at 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-diy-guide-on-photographing-your-work-with-carrie-davenport-tickets-141958777525?keep_tld=1
Blue Skies. Spring is definitely in the air. What a lovely start to the week
The tiniest bit of spring in the air in the Cathedral Quarter this afternoon. Fingers crossed things are starting to look up and these streets will be busy with people again in the not too distant future!
We have this great online event on setting up a website yourself for your creative business on Sat 20th Feb part of our @womenfolk.co Dig Deep Programme but open to all to attend

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A DIY Guide on Creating Your Own Website

The aim of this event is to help you become knowledgeable in getting started with understanding how to set up your own website DIY style.

We will be covering:

– What is important to include on a website ( information, photographs & copy)

– How to make your website user friendly & accessible

– Practical tips on using different platforms such as Squarespace

– Domain names

– SEO

– Planning content

– Consistency

– Products to display

– Logistics of the backend of selling online through a website

As a creative, it can be hard to know where to start or what to include when creating your own website for your creative business or personal project.

This is a DIY workshop to help you get started on your own. This event will help you understand how to design the website you want, the tools on how to create it and a clearer understanding of how to navigate the different platforms available.

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OVERVIEW

The workshop will be split into two sections. The first part of the workshop will be facilitated by Karishma Kusurkar @karishmasworld who will be giving us practical tools on how to create a website and using Squarespace as an example of how to use it.

The second half of the workshop will be led by Emma Jackson of @hunterpaperco and @huntandgatherbelfast who will be giving us a presentation of how she built her own business and website herself.

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WHO IS THIS FOR?

This event is for anyone that is looking to set up a website for their creative business.

Whether you already have a website and are looking for tips to navigate the platforms or update your current website, or you are someone just starting out and needing a push to get started, this is for you.

https://www.blickstudios.org/events/a-diy-guide-to-setting-up-a-website-with-karishma-kusurkar-emma-jackson/
We have a great new online event this Wednesday evening on creating your own brand. It's part of our @womenfolk.co Dig Deep programme, but open to all to attend and is kindly supported by Ulster Bank so is free to attend. Tickets can be booked through our website:

https://www.blickstudios.org/events/a-diy-guide-on-creating-your-own-brand-with-karishma-kusurkar/

Full event details are below and on our website (link in profile) 

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A DIY GUIDE ON CREATING YOUR OWN BRAND WITH KARISHMA KUSURKAR

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

6:30 PM 8:00 PM

AIMS

The aim of this event is to help you become knowledgeable in getting started with understanding how to set up your own brand DIY style.

We will be covering how to create your own logo, what font to use, and what important things you need to include in setting up your own brand.

As a creative, it can be hard to know where to start when designing your own brand, especially at the beginning as you may not have the finances to pay for a professional graphic designer to put it together.

WHO THIS IS FOR

Whether you are just starting out in business, wanting to create a personal brand, or need a refresher on how to create a brand, this is for you.

We wanted to create an event where you can walk away with practical tools that you can apply and implement into your brand.

This is a DIY workshop to help you get started on your own. Even if you are planning to pay for a professional, you may not know what is required to ask for, so in this workshop, we will be covering the following:

A simple break down of what branding is

Brand Guidelines

Typography

Brand Identity - what is a brand identity, what is it used for, and what is in it?

Logo ( how to create a logo that translates well throughout various platforms, what format it should be in, where your logo will be placed, where it needs to be,

Fonts ( what fonts are suitable & what they communicate)

This event will be facilitated by @karishmasworld
We have put together lots of free business and self-care resources for creative businesses as part of our @womenfolk.co Dig Deep Programme. We will be adding more content each week, to help you on your business journey

https://www.womenfolk.co/dig-deep-resources1
Looking forward to having our spaces filled with busy creatives again. Hopefully in the not too distant future
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We just wanted to wish everyone Merry Christmas and a Happy New year! ⁠
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What a year it has been, with everything going on. We hope that you all take the time to relax, and have a well deserved break and slow down over the Christmas season.⁠
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Spend time with your loved ones and stay safe! ⁠
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See you all in 2021!