Paisley’s Business Improvement District

Pumpkin trail

There may be no Trick or Treating allowed this year but why not get dressed up and head into Paisley for some free family fun with our Paisley Pumpkin Trail!.🎃🎃

Pumpkin trail

Just follow the trail around the town and name all the pumpkins for your chance to be entered into our Spooky Spectacular Prize Draw!

Pick up a leaflet from the Paisley First leaflet racks inside the Piazza Shopping Centre or the Paisley Centre to get started or if you prefer, you can download a copy of the leaflet from the Paisley First website HERE.

All the pumpkins will be on display inside business windows so it’s the perfect activity to help the kids have some fun whilst getting some fresh air in Paisley town centre.

Golden ticket
This Saturday also sees the launch of our Christmas Golden Ticket competition!

We’ve joined forces with Renfrewshire Council to offer not one, not two but 14 prizes of £250 of town centre gift vouchers!

Receive a Golden Ticket with every purchase in Paisley town centre, post it in one of the Golden Post-boxes in the Piazza Shopping Centre Paisley and The Paisley Centre and you could be one of 14 lucky winners!

Paisley has a great mix of retail shops, food and drink venues, and health, hair and beauty salons.

Around 65p from every pound spent locally, stays local – so by picking up that coffee, going for lunch or buying that gift, you can do your bit to support the local community and its businesses.

Remember, the more you shop, the more Golden Ticket chances you will have!

We have everything you need for all your Christmas shopping to please even the fussiest recipient and the majority of our businesses across retail, health, hair and beauty and food and drink all sell gift cards too if you want to give the gift of choice this Christmas.

More details on all Paisley First projects and events can be found on our website HERE or follow Paisley First on social media!

Paisley First has joined forces with Renfrewshire Council this Christmas for the Paisley town centre Golden Ticket Competition!

Launching this Saturday, 31st October, there’ll be not one, not two but fourteen prizes of £250 of town centre gift vouchers up for grabs!

Receive a Golden Ticket with every purchase in Paisley town centre, post it in one of the Golden Post-boxes in the Piazza Shopping Centre Paisley and The Paisley Centre and you could be one of 14 lucky winners!

Paisley has a great mix of retail shops, food and drink venues, and health, hair and beauty salons.
Around 65p from every pound spent locally, stays local – so by picking up that coffee, going for lunch or buying that gift, you can do your bit to support the local community and its businesses.
Remember, the more you shop, the more Golden Ticket chances you will have!

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “Local businesses need your support more than ever so we would urge locals to put Paisley first when it comes to Christmas Shopping.

“We have everything you need for all your Christmas shopping to please even the fussiest recipient and the majority of our businesses across retail, health, hair and beauty and food and drink all sell gift cards if you want to give the gift of choice this Christmas.

“So please shop like your High Street depends on it, because it does!”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We encourage residents to support Renfrewshire’s town centre traders by considering how they can Spend Local this festive season.

“Money spent in the local economy stays in the local economy, so by supporting local traders we are supporting each other – and that’s never been more important than this year, when our businesses need your help more than ever.

“The Golden Ticket competition is a great incentive to spend money in Paisley town centre and is just one of the many innovative ways the team at Paisley First are helping showcase the range of great businesses and attractions the town has to offer.”

Draws are currently scheduled to take place in early December, just one of the perks of shopping in Paisley town centre this Christmas!

Love Local, Love Paisley!

More details on all Paisley First Christmas projects and events can be found at www.paisleyfirst.com or follow Paisley First on social media @paisleyfirst

Paisley-First-October-Fiverfest

Save money and grab yourself a bargain in Paisley town centre with great £5 offers  from our local businesses as part of October FiverFest! 

Paisley-First-October-Fiverfest

Paisley is joining with hundreds of High Streets across the UK, and thousands of  independent businesses, to put on special £5 offers across two weeks in October, as  part of the Totally Locally FiverFest Fortnight! 

Paisley has a great mix of retail shops, food and drink venues, and health, hair and  beauty salons. 

Around 65p from every pound spent locally, stays local – so by picking up that  coffee, going for lunch or buying that gift, you can do your bit to support the local  community and its businesses. 

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “Local businesses need your support more  than ever this year, our independent shops and businesses are what helps to make  Paisley town centre special. 

“We appreciate it when our community support us, so these offers are to say thank  you for that support, and to show just what great value our local businesses are. 

“Spending just £5 a week in Paisley town centre can make a big difference to our  local businesses and helps keep our town centre alive!” 

So, come and show your local High Street some love and take advantage of our  great FiverFest offers! 

October FiverFest runs from Saturday 10th – Saturday 24th October 2020. 

Pick up a FiverFest leaflet from the Paisley First leaflet racks in the Paisley Centre or  the Piazza Shopping Centre or see the full deals online at www.paisleyfirst.com – keep checking as new deals are being added every day! 

Love Local, Love Paisley!  

More details on all Paisley First projects and events can be found at  www.paisleyfirst.com or follow Paisley First on social media @paisleyfirst

Original-Love-Local-with-Strapline

Paisley-First-Halloween-Trail-1920x1080FB-02-10-2020

There’s still plenty of Halloween fun to be had in Paisley town centre this October  with our Paisley Pumpkin Trail! 

Paisley-First-Halloween-Trail-1920x1080FB-02-10-2020

Just follow the trail around town and name all the pumpkins for your chance to be entered into our Spooky Spectacular Prize Draw! 

This COVID-19 friendly Halloween Trail will be running in the town centre from Friday  9th October until 31st October – just pick up a leaflet from the Paisley First leaflet racks inside the Piazza Shopping Centre or the Paisley Centre. 

Or if you prefer, you can download a copy of the leaflet from the Paisley First website at www.paisleyfirst.com 

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “This year’s Halloween Festival may be cancelled but that doesn’t mean there’s no Halloween fun in Paisley town centre! 

“All the pumpkins will be on display inside business windows so it’s the perfect activity  to help the kids have some fun whilst getting some fresh air in Paisley town centre.” 

Colette added: “Everyone is working hard to Keep Paisley Safe and families can be assured that whilst we can’t promise the sun will always be shining, we will do our best to make sure everyone has a great day out. 

“It’s been a tough year for everyone, especially our local businesses, so please  come and show our town your support this October.” 

More details on all Paisley First projects and events can be found at  www.paisleyfirst.com or follow Paisley First on social media @paisleyfirst

Paisley First

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has today announced new restrictions which are to come into force as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the country.

From Friday, bars, pubs and restaurants will be subject to a 10pm curfew nationwide.

Paisley First

Miss Sturgeon said that this measure was necessary in an effort to prevent a full lockdown similar to the Spring and will be reviewed every three weeks, but she did not rule out that further changes and restrictions may be required as we head into winter.

She also said that extra resources would be given to local authorities to enable Environmental Health Depts to step up inspections to ensure compliance with regulations – those businesses who do not comply risk further restrictions including closure.

The First Minister also stated that the lifting of restrictions currently scheduled for 5th October will not now go ahead and that working from home remains the default option for those who can do so.

From tomorrow, visiting other households will not be allowed nationwide, though up to six people from two households can still meet in indoor public spaces and outdoors, including in private gardens.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Paisley First team on 0141 237 8120 or at ask@paisleyfirst.com if you have any queries.

Thank you and take care.

The September window display

Having had a look in ReMode’s Paisley shop a few times, I was keen to learn more about all that goes on there. Passing by, ReMode catches your eye with their vintage and handmade clothes created by volunteers, but they are much more than just a shop. I spoke with Gillian Steel, Creative Director of ReMode, about what they get up to as an organisation, as well as their wider message of sustainability and recognising your own agency to act upon climate breakdown. 

The September window display

Firstly could you tell us a bit about ReMode in general for those who don’t know much about it, and what the main idea behind it is?

 

So, ReMode is a Climate Challenge funded project and it started about six years ago as an education programme for young people, 11 to 18 years of age, but it has evolved over that time. After the first year-and-a-half or so, we got a shop in the village in Lochwinnoch, and the idea behind the shop was that the volunteers and the participants of the workshops made the clothes, or adapted them, or mended them, therefore learning these skills to do them to their own clothes, providing some of the stock for the shop and the stock was then sold on a tokens basis. 

Water/t-shirt quote with vintage/handpicked items

So that was the general idea, the space in Lochwinnoch is now a Make Space, and we now have a shop in Paisley which has been much more successful in terms of attracting that age group from about 16/17 years until mid to late 20s, which we’re really happy about as that’s really the group of people we want to engage. We have studios at the back of our shop in Paisley, where we have two artists at the moment who are working in there. They are designer/makers with similar ethics around about sustainability and that practice. We usually run a programme of workshops, where people come in, for example, on a Friday evening when we have ReCycle or Dye, which is for 11 to 18 year olds. They can learn all these different skills to make things from patterns or from scratch, using a drape approach. We also work with other groups, such as a boys’ group called the Yang collective who were making shirts. So we’ve got loads of stuff going on; we’re not really just a shop. The shop is a front-facing device to get people engaged and to get them to come in and start a conversation around climate breakdown, and get people to understand how powerful they are, what agency they have in helping to address the issues around climate breakdown.

Token Scheme

Can you tell me a bit about the token scheme?

 

So, when people came in and donated clothing, for example, a couple of pairs of jeans and a few tops, there might be three kilograms of weight in that donation and then they would be awarded three points and they could spend that on the rails. We now have a kind of hybrid system where you can accrue points by bringing in donations, to get points for nothing really, from all the clothes that you don’t want anymore, and we process all that clothing. We cherrypick vintage stuff, we look for special materials like silk, cotton, leather, wool and direct that towards various parts of the workshop programme. That means that those workshops always have free materials to work with and we don’t buy anything new. The hybrid system means that you can now have those points that you gain by donating, but you can also use pound sterling, because we received feedback that people wanted to be able to use pound sterling. For example, if a top costs five tokens or £5, and you have three tokens in your account, then you can use three tokens and put £2 out of your purse, towards it. 

 

So clearly there’s a big focus on sustainability, is this something you see as being on the rise in Paisley? Do you think it still has a long way to go?

Smock dress created using scrap fabrics

Well, sustainability is not the main message, it is the message. We cannot sustain the way that we use natural resources to make our clothing, whether we’re in Paisley, or Malawi or anywhere on this planet. We cannot possibly sustain the amount of virgin materials we are using to make new clothes currently, we can’t keep doing that. Sustainability is the message. 

In Paisley, we are kind of building up more of an awareness of it. Yeah, people are becoming a bit more aware, but it is still kind of a peripheral thing. Really what we should be talking about is: clothing is the practice of growing fibres, gathering fibres, harvesting, making clothes, manufacturing clothes. This should all be a sustainable practice, but it isn’t at the moment, so we’re at the very thin end of the wedge and we’re still at that point where people see it as being kind of a niche area. That’s a really foolish way to look at it because it has to be the central focus, that’s how we have to practice that, not just in terms of our clothing, but also in terms of our food, our transport, all these central ways of living. It all has to be sustainable. 

In terms of whether that’s a new message in Paisley, there are sections of the population who are already quite acclimatised to the idea of: ‘No I don’t buy new, that’s just the way that I am. I go and look for something second-hand, or something that’s been handmade that I can afford, and then if I really don’t find that there then I’ll buy new if I really have to.’ But that should be the way that we all operate from the outset. And it still tends to be the case that it’s a certain group of people, it’s still perceived as being quite a middle-class way of operating. That isn’t necessarily true, because there are people who are in quite low-income bracket groups, who are living in areas that are considered to be areas of high depravation, who have for decades and decades been operating in this way anyway. They’ve been handing clothes down to neighbours, they’ve been mending stuff, adapting stuff as they needed to. So, although it’s perceived as being a middle-class preserve, it is actually out there anyway. What we need to do is to get that much broader group of people to connect, and to come into the shop and not feel; ‘Oh that’s for those weird middle-class people who wear sandals or eat brown rice or order really expensive organic vegetables.’ This is for everybody. We do try and make the stuff that we have in the shop, the handmade stuff, accessibly priced. And sometimes that means that things are being made a below National Minimum Wage level per hour, because we’re really trying to make sure it is accessible in terms of its price. But it’s done by volunteers which makes that possible. We do accept at the same point that there are still a lot of folk who maybe have three kids, and going to Primark is still the most economical way to go and get school uniforms or summer holiday clothes. 

 

I saw you also have a filmmaking group, and are using that to promote the message of sustainability, so it’s really about trying to get people together and find creative outlets, whilst sticking to the ethical ethos, would you say that’s right?

 

Oh, yes, yes. I trained as a textile designer and then I trained in television and electronic imaging and animation, so I have both those things in my background, and it made sense to pull that into the operation of the programme and the shop. Quite often what happens is you’ll get a group of people who don’t see themselves or identify as having an interest in clothing; making clothes or mending clothes, they don’t see themselves as a part of that group. So, the film projects and workshops are a way of attracting a different group of people, quite often boys. 

For example, we recently had Stop/Start, which was a project that was around lockdown, and looking at the link between the COVID-19 virus and how we are, as a species, not being very kind to our environment. We had a group of young people who came and did raps, wrote poetry, they worked with two musicians, and it was an all male group for the rap music side, and an all female group for the animation side. Through that, we reached a very different audience, and through the process of making the film and the soundtrack, those participants got to understand a lot more about what the problems are; it’s the resources and the amount of resources that we’re expecting from our planet in terms of clothing. So, the filmmaking projects are really important. That’s one side of it, the participation because it engages a different group; the other side of it is that we produce these lovely little short films which we can then send out to lots and lots and of different people at the same time. You have this little compact set of ideas within a short film of maybe two to three minutes, that shows what the problems are. 

 

Has it been difficult adapting to a new way of running the shop and the hub and workshops during the coronavirus pandemic restrictions?

Pair of jeans mended by one of their volunteers

It’s been difficult for everybody in every aspect of our lives! And I think, more than anything, there was a real sense of shock. I think everybody reeled with absolute disbelief that this was an actual thing that was actually impinging on our freedom, on our ability just to do the things that we normally do. I think, from my point of view, that’s been an incredibly positive thing, because two things have come out of it. One is the realisation that this is not just a story that there’s a problem with how human beings relate to their environment, but that it’s a reality that will impinge on our freedom and our ability to live the way that we want to live. So we have to address it. The second thing is that it pushed us as an organisation to be really creative, and look at ways in which we could re-devise the whole programme around social distancing, using online Zoom workshops; that was really hard, and I think we were sometimes quite dispirited. I think a lot of people have experienced low spirits throughout this, because we couldn’t be around each other, to be conversational, laugh about things. 

But I think it has been one of the most positive phases of ReMode’s development. What we took from it was: I decided, as the programmer for ReMode, I have to think of this lockdown not just as a one-off, but with the notion that it could happen again. So however we move ahead, we have to be aware that this could happen again, which allows us to address the idea of isolation and remoteness, whether or not there’s a lockdown, and there are people who could take part via Zoom workshops, who couldn’t otherwise. So moving forward, Zoom workshops will be an ongoing part of what we do, and we’ll have to train all the facilitators in being able to communicate the ideas and how you do things step by step, using cameras and by preparing storyboards before the Zoom workshop so that you know exactly what you’re doing with the group. 

We’ve also looked at things like bringing out a zine, so we now have a ReMode Zine that we are starting up, which will come out in the next couple of months. Again, people remotely can write articles, or make photo stories of clothing that they’ve bought that they particularly like, that’s second-hand, or that they’ve mended or adapted. They can send all that stuff to us and got a curator who will collate all that stuff to make an eight page zine. That will be printed so people can pick it up when they come into the shop, and it will also be available online. It’s a fantastic way of getting lots of conversations going, which we wouldn’t have come across if this lockdown hadn’t happened. 

We’ve also developed the online shop. That does broaden the base that we can reach, but it also creates a problem in that it creates a distance between the person buying the clothes and the actual material substances of the clothes; you can no longer touch it, feel it, try it on. I do think that’s a problem. That’s been part of the problem since the end of the Second World War, where we’ve reached that familiarisation with mass production, so we’re becoming less and less connected to those material substances. We just think of them as: ‘Oh yeah there’s loads of it and it’s there’, which worries me a bit. Moving forward, we have to work on continuing to connect people to those materials especially if we are selling them online. But there has been lots of good that has come out of it.

 

Who would you encourage to get involved, and how can they do so?

 

Well, obviously everybody, but our funding and our focus is on young people. Your age group and younger are the people who are going to grow up, get older, want to have kids, want to grow lives, live in different parts of the world and so on. You’re going to face the problems that are being generated right now. So, we want to engage that group of people in the solutions, and there are plenty of solutions. We can resolve this and turn it around. What worries me is that there’s a lot of very negative stuff around it where young people get quite depressed about it, so we want to ensure that we engage an audience of young people, because you’re the people who are going to have to deal with it, and we want them to positively engage with it right now. We want to help to create agile thinkers, people who have the hand craft skills to mend clothes, people who have the mindset to pass on clothes, and accept that as part of life and part of the story of a garment that they enjoy. But of course, we do want to involve everybody ultimately.

There’s lots of ways to get involved. We have a volunteer group, who meet up every Wednesday, and at the moment we have about 25 volunteers, but there’s a core group of about 12-15, who do stuff for us regularly, and they’re all different people with different characteristics. There’s a group of maybe four or five who join in the Zoom on a weekly basis, and they enjoy that environment; they sit doing their mending, they talk about what they’ve been doing during the week. There are others who maybe go and deliver stuff or make up packs of materials. So there’s lots of ways of getting involved just within the volunteer system itself. That could be for people at school age; we can organise volunteering for people at school, through their Duke of Edinburgh award, but also beyond school; someone who wants to build up skills, or an understanding of sustainability and climate breakdown. They can come and work with us and understand more about materials. Or of course if you have a particular interest in clothe making.

We also have our workshop programme which is mainly online at the moment, but we’re hoping that we’ll be able to have small groups together, maybe a group of four participants at any given time; socially distanced and masked up and with a facilitator. 

Get in touch with us! Come into the shop. When you come and join our mailing list in the shop we ask a few things about your shopping habits so that we can gain some data to understand how things are changing, but we reward you with five tokens, which equals to £5 in the world of ReMode, which you can spend on our second-hand clothing, vintage rail. Sometimes people come in just to chat, to see what’s going on, and that’s the main thing, it’s those conversations that are really important. So come and have a chat, find out about volunteering, like us on Facebook and Instagram so you can keep an eye on what we’re doing, and please get in touch if you’ve got an idea of something you think we should be doing that we aren’t yet. 

 

Anything else you’d like people to know?

 

Just that we’re fantastic! I feel incredibly proud of this organisation. I started it on my own, and there was some really difficult stuff at the beginning; forming a community, being on my own and then finding the funding to bring in other people. I’m Creative Director and I have a view of what I want the organisation to do, but what has been amazing is, bringing in other people, like Carolyn, and Emma as members of staff, Jane, who does the very sensible stuff around organising and money, all of that brings in different brains, different characteristics that have made this organisation grow and to change direction. I think that has been incredibly exciting, and I have to take my hat off to their commitment, and also to our incredibly talented volunteers, for the beautiful stuff they make. So come and join us!

 

You can visit ReMode at 43b High Street, Paisley. They are currently open 10am-4pm Tuesday to Saturday. You can also find them on Instagram: @remode_youth, Twitter: @ReModeIt, Youtube: ReMode It and Facebook: ReMode, as well as their website www.remodeyouth.org

Another article from the very talented Rachel Campbell:

“I’m Rachel and I’m a 20-year-old student studying English Literature and History. I’ve always enjoyed writing and after getting involved in the student newspaper during my time at university, I’ve found a real interest in journalism too. I’m looking to write positive stories about what is going on in Paisley, and help readers learn more about the businesses and activities that are so close by. I’m interested in sustainability and how we can support local businesses whilst also doing our bit for the planet. Along the way, I’ll hopefully write about a wide range of topics: music, fashion, theatre, art, health and wellbeing, and anything else that is happening in Paisley. I’d love for anyone to get in touch if they’re interested in having me write an article about their business/charity/event/activity. ”

44227 Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce - Webinar Graphics - Transform Digital

TRANSFORM: Helping you navigate the post-Covid business environment. 

Funded and developed by Renfrewshire Chamber our TRANSFORM programme is designed to help you adapt and transition to the new business environment post-COVID. With online training and support in key areas including Leadership, Strategy, Digital, Green Recovery and Wellbeing. TRANSFORM is free to join and delivered between August 2020-Feb 2021. Places are limited to max 20 for each discipline. Please contact the team to register your interest now. 

44227 Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce - Webinar Graphics - Transform Green Recovery

TRANSFORM: Green Recovery with leading environmental consultants Mabbett

Session 1: 15 Sept 2020 10am-11am Title: What’s the fuss about “net zero” emissions?

  • Background to Scottish government goals and targets – net zero emissions by 2045.
  • Strategic planning and what this means for companies both large and small.
  • Current help available for companies
  • A consideration of your own company’s current status on net zero emissions planning
  • One action to take away.

Session 2: 22 Sept 2020 10am-11am Title: What SME’s can do to reduce emissions and save money

Session 3: 29 Sept 2020 10am-11am Title: Your Net Zero Emissions by 2045 Strategy – Opportunities”

 

Contact Jill Carrino jcarrino@renfrewshirechamber.com 07702 9090474

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TRANSFORM: Mental Health & Wellbeing with Brian Costello – Headstrong  

As we return to work Mental Health has been pushed to the front of many of our agendas.  Whether it be for our colleagues, for ourselves or, in many cases, both, it is imperative that business leaders understand the modern Mental Health landscape to create success.

The good news is that’s not as difficult as it may initially seem.

In these sessions HeadStrong’s Brian Costello will give us an insight into everyone else’s minds by helping us understand our own.  Brian will give us some key understandings over these 3 fascinating sessions

Session 1) Wednesday 30th September 12-1.15pm
Session 2) Wednesday 7th October 12-1.15pm
Session 3) Wednesday 14th October 12-1.15pm

Contact Jill Carrino jcarrino@renfrewshirechamber.com 07702 9090474

TRANSFORM: Leadership for Today: mapping your journey in an ever-changing world. With John Armstrong – On Track Training & Coaching.

The arrival of Covid-19 has had an enormous impact globally and as lockdown restrictions ease, a “new normality” is starting to be established.  So, what does this mean for leadership at work today?  This programme will create an opportunity, for those leaders attending, to reflect on their experiences and learning so far and to map their own journey and their future in an ever-changing world.  The three themes chosen highlight areas where leaders might be able to impact positively on their people and organisation.

  • Thursday 22nd October 2020 12pm-1.15pm The Adaptive Leader
  • Thursday 29th October 2020 12pm-1.15pm The Caring Leader
  • Thursday 5th November 2020 12pm-1.5pm The Resilient Leader

 

Contact Bob Grant bgrant@renfrewshirechamber.com 07702 909476 

44227 Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce - Webinar Graphics - Transform Digital

TRANSFORM: Digital with Gary Ennis from NSDesign

Attendees will learn how best to use Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin to help market their organisation and engage with customers. Digital marketing will also be covered including use of video, email & blogging. A great opportunity for Chamber members to learn from the best. Gary is an award-winning digital marketer – and NSDesign is a well-established and respected company in this field

Session 1) Tuesday 22nd September 10am-12pm
Session 2) Tuesday 29th September 10am-12pm
Session 3) Friday 9th October 10am-12pm

Contact Jill Carrino jcarrino@renfrewshirechamber.com 07702 9090474

44227 Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce - Webinar Graphics - Transform Leadership

TRANSFORM:Strategy – Fit 4 Business (The R-series) with John Leburn – Exponentiate.uk

RESILIENCE (n): the capacity to absorb energy from disruption

Has the COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic impact on your business? Struggling to make sense of it all? Are you looking for some simple guidance in a business world that seems to have turned upside down?

Join our 3-part TRANSFORM:Strategy series designed to help you step back and review how the recent disruption caused by COVID-19 has impacted your business and its future prospects. John Leburn, a Principal Consultant from Exponentiate.uk, will take you through 6 simple (easy to implement) fixes that can often be the difference between success and failure

Session 1) Tuesday 25th August 9am-10.15am

Session 2) Tuesday 8th September, 9am-10.15am

Session 3) Tuesday 15thth September, 9am-10.15am

 

*new dates to be announced shortly* 

 

Contact Stuart Murray smurray@renfrewshirechamber.com 07525 323500

Ben

Bailey’s Antiques recently opened on Paisley High Street, and in the lead up to its opening, their window displays caught my eye. I love a browse of unique items and artwork, which Bailey’s Antiques have in abundance. I had a chat with owner Ben Bailey about how the shop came about and all that goes on there, as well as what his plans are for its future. 

Ben

Can you start off by just telling us a bit about Bailey’s Antiques and how it came to be?

 

So, my name is Ben Bailey, hence where the name is from, and my grandad was into antiques and things like that, and my dad as well. My grandad passed away a couple of years ago so when it came to naming it I just thought that would be nice. I didn’t want it to sound big-headed but it was more a tribute to him and my dad, really. 

So I’ve been self-employed, buying and selling antiques for about six years or so. I’ve worked for a few auction houses and things, but decided to go self-employed, just because I wanted to work for myself. But I’d been selling online, mostly vintage and antique watches and jewellery, smaller things that I could post. And then, before lockdown, I came into the previous shop that was here, UpHub, and rented out a small space from them, one cabinet actually, just to sell some jewellery from. That went quite well so I rented out a bit more space, and in the end I had a good sized area that I was selling from and doing quite well. Then COVID hit and UpHub shut down unfortunately, but I really liked the idea of this place, not just because I was doing well selling things, but because it’s nice to be part of the community. My girlfriend works at the museum, we’ve just had a baby, so we’re quite settled here and I want to be part of Paisley. It’s really nice to be part of Paisley High Street especially. I ummed and ahhed for a long time and I just thought: ‘I’m just going to go for it.’ 

So I opened the shop myself and 80% of it will be me personally selling antique and vintage furniture and jewellery. And it isn’t all antiques, that word is a bit scary, as most people think that means it’s expensive but most of my stuff is vintage and quite affordable. There’s a few more expensive items downstairs but I don’t want it to be a snooty place, because I’m not very snooty. I’m quite messy and disorganised so I want it to be cluttered and interesting and for people to come in and have a look. We’re open now but we’re still kind of in the process with a lot of stuff to bring in. 

I’ve always wanted a shop, because it’s just a nice thing to do, especially now I’ve got a daughter, it’s nice to have a family thing. But, in the past I’ve worked with different charities and I did want to do something community based as well. So, I spoke with Business Gateway, across the road, and there’s something called the Creative Hub Grant. If you meet their requirements, they help you out financially, and their requirements were what I wanted to do anyway: I wanted to rent space to artists, I wanted to have workshops here, I wanted to have various different exhibitions. Through their grant, they subsidise my rent here for the first 18 months, so that’s really useful for me starting off; one, because it is a new business, two because it’s strange times due to the coronavirus, so I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do that without them, or I would’ve been too nervous to do it without them. 

baileys antiques downstairs retail

A lot of what I’ve been discussing has been about sustainability and supporting local businesses and creators, particularly during the current situation; this is clearly something at the heart of your business too. Can you talk a bit about that? 

 

So, most of the stuff downstairs in the shop is things I’m selling, but I also rent out space to different artists and other antique dealers. So that means we’ve got things like gift cards and prints, ceramics, plants, lots of different handmade things, as well as the antique and vintage stuff. Also, Feel The Groove, the record shop, who also shut down unfortunately, they’ve come in and helped us by bringing in their vinyl to sell as well, which is already downstairs. The downstairs space is a retail space, but we’re also looking at having different things going on, for example life-drawing classes, and there’s a group on Instagram called Picturing Paisley, who are a group of amateur photographers who’ll also have an exhibition space downstairs too. Currently we’ve got an artist in the window exhibition space, Ryan King. I’m going to leave that window free to feature different artists each month or so, and I won’t charge them anything for that, I’ll just maybe take a commission if they do sell something. I really want it to be a creative space.

And then upstairs I’m having artists in to use the studio space to work from. We’ve got three previous Glasgow School of Art students who have not long graduated and were looking for space, and Glasgow’s really expensive. I think people get put off by Paisley because it’s a bit further out or, I’m not sure why, but everyone who’s come has enjoyed using this space. Paisley High Street feels nice, there’s a lot going on now.

Also, Ania, who owned the previous place UpHub, now rents space from me for her upcycling business, Little Bird’s Restoration and Upcycling. We have Mark, a photographer who uses the space, we’ve got current Glasgow School of Art students coming to use the space soon, and an older gentleman who is going to rent the studio space soon as well. So it’s great, we have a good mix of people, a mix of ages and backgrounds. It’s great to have it be a local hub for Paisley but I wouldn’t want to exclude people coming to use the space from elsewhere as well. I want it to be an inclusive place, I want it to be somewhere people can come and chill out. I’ve called the shop Bailey’s Antiques, but it’s more than that really, I don’t mind if people come and chat, or if people want to come and use a desk for a day, that’s fine. I think also because UpHub gave me an opportunity by letting me rent a bit of space from them, which has led to this obviously, I’m quite indebted and grateful to them, and I’d like to do the same for other people. I’m really flexible, I just want this place to grow, in any direction really, I’m sure not all my plans will work and I’m sure things I haven’t planned will happen too, and I’m looking forward to that. 

In terms of sustainability, it’s funny, the antiques trade is really green, and sustainable, because you buy old things and sell old things, so there’s zero waste, I don’t throw anything away, I don’t buy anything new. So it’s one of the oldest green industries there is, but it never ever sells itself that way, but it should do really. It’s basically recycling, isn’t it?

baileys antiques upstairs studio space

You were talking about using Bailey’s Antiques as a community hub, and it seems there’s quite a few places doing that around here recently, and it’s quite a good thing to see. How are you looking to expand on that?

 

It feels great, yeah. And I really want to link up with all the other businesses as well. I know that ReMode across the road, and Mill Magazine are doing a fashion show or something along those lines, and they were talking about using this as a venue for it as it’s a bit bigger than their place. I’ve spoken with Shelter next door, the charity shop, as sometimes they’ll get more expensive things in that maybe won’t sell in a charity shop, but I might be able to sell them in here. I wouldn’t take a cut there because it’s a charity of course, but I’m trying to link up to get that sense of community. I really like Paisley, I’m obviously not from Paisley but it reminds me a lot of home as I’m from a similar sized place in England, that used to have a rich industrial heritage and then kind of died a bit, sadly. Paisley, after going for City of Culture, although they didn’t get it, did get funding off the back of that of course, and the museum will be great when it reopens as well, which I think will busy up this end of the High Street again. There’s so much history attached to Paisley, but also it seems there’s so many artists and creatives and musicians, and it would be really nice for me to be part of that. I did do some work with Roar, the charity on Glasgow Road, and they do history groups so I’m looking to link up with them as we sell lots of historical items. There’s a lady who’s a storyteller and she’s going to just come in and pick up an item and tell a story about it. 

One of my biggest aims and dreams, which I’m going to try and do in a few months, once I’ve settled in, is to have an auction here. I think to bring an auction house back to Paisley would be really nice, as I used to work in auction houses, so I’ve got a bit of experience. I thought what I would do initially is maybe have a valuation day, an Antiques Roadshow kind of day, where people would bring things in and I would just tell them what they’re worth, just for a bit of fun. And then, if that goes well, I’d maybe organise another one, with a mind to sell the things at auction. I’ve got to learn not to get ahead of myself though! 

baileys antiques upstairs studio space

How have you found the first week of being open on Paisley’s High Street?

It’s been great, everyone who’s come in has been really positive as well, and I’ve been pleased with how it’s going so far. I’ve had people reaching out through social media and I don’t usually use it a lot, I’m a bit old, but Instagram especially has been really good for connecting with people and getting great feedback. People have come in and asked if it’s okay to look around and the answer is always yes, browsers are always welcome. I want to be a friendly business. I think in these times especially, the High Street has suffered a bit, and there’s nothing wrong with hairdressers and vaping shops, but there’s loads of them, and I think there’s something to be said for having interesting shops on the High Street, and destination shops. If this becomes established as an antique shop or a vintage shop, people will travel to it, because I would. As someone who buys things to sell, I travel to Glasgow, Edinburgh, some smaller places, for these shops, so I’m hoping it can draw people in. Henderson Property, who are the landlords here, again I’m doing a shoutout, but they were keen for me to have it because they are invested in and care about Paisley’s development. They could’ve rented it five times to hairdressers or nail shops or vaping shops, and that’s fine, those shops are needed, but I think they were interested in having a kind of one-off shop; there isn’t anything like this on the High Street. Antique shops are usually in the middle of nowhere or in some backstreet in Glasgow or Edinburgh. 

 

Are you hoping then, that introducing a shop like this, which as you say there’s not much else like it nearby in Paisley, will spark an interest in antiques and such for the people who are here already?

 

I think so, and I hope so, and I think it seems to have done that. And it’s been a good age span as well, you get older people who can remember the stuff: ‘Oh I had one of these when I was a kid’ and then I’m going to start selling vintage clothing as well, because I like it, and there’s a university here as well and I don’t think we’ve tapped into that yet, we don’t see many students in here, for some reason, when it was the previous shop as well. So I’d like to tap into that market and sell stuff that captures their interest, like the vinyl and vintage clothes and vintage guitars. 

baileys antiques upstairs studio space

You touched on this earlier, but there’s kind of a strange paradox between people thinking second-hand stuff is all cheap and not great quality, and people thinking antique shops are just full of really expensive items; do you think you’ve found a good middle ground in what you’ve collated? And do you think that’s quite a challenge to combat those perceptions?

 

I think it definitely is a challenge, actually. I think you’re right. I come from a working class background, I used to go to lots of car boot sales and my grandad was a kind of Del Boy, but as I’ve grown and worked in auction houses and all that, I live quite a middle class life now, even though I’m like ‘I’m working class!’ So I myself would’ve been nervous to go into some places, and I hate that feeling, feeling like you don’t belong somewhere. We live in a time where unfortunately there’s lots of different issues that people face; particularly race, but also gender, sexuality and things like that at the moment. Poverty is quite a big one as well, and I think that feeling of not quite belonging is a big problem there. So I definitely agree that it is a challenge and I really want this to be accessible to everyone, no matter how much money you’ve got, and I don’t want to put people off. I thought for a long time about what to name it, and I did name it ‘Bailey’s Antiques’, but it’s a lot more than that, and I’d say 50% of what I sell is vintage. I want to sell a things at a range or prices, from 50p upwards. 

I don’t want it to look like a junk shop at the same time. I don’t want to step on the toes of charity shops either. So it is hard, but the selling point of this place is me because I’m buying things that I like. If it works great, if it doesn’t, it’s my fault. I’m gambling on the fact that what I like, other people might like as well. I think with any small business you’re investing in the people who run it, because they’re creating the shop or cafe that they would like to come into, and that’s what I’m doing. I’ve got midcentury stuff that’s quite trendy at the moment, more industrial design pieces: filing cabinets, 80s stools.

I have got some more expensive items, but to me, my favourite thing in the world is buying something for £1 and selling it for £5. It’s great, I get more excitement out of that than spending £100 on something and selling it for £200 because it’s about rehoming things. I see something in an auction or a charity shop and it catches my eye, so I buy it and I maybe put it on Instagram or put it in the shop and make it look nice, and then whoever I’ve bought it from makes money, there’s a profit for me obviously and then it goes to a good home, or it goes to another dealer and they sell it again. There’s probably things I’ve sold that are worth more than I’ve sold them for, that happens. It is a fine line. I think I’ll learn as I go what sells and what doesn’t. I’m not stubborn enough to only sell things I love, of course I’ll bend to what people ask for, but I do think with small businesses, you’re investing in the person. 

baileys antiques upstairs studio space

Anything else you’d like to say to potential new customers?

 

We’re friendly, everybody’s welcome, no matter how much money you’ve got, as I say the range of prices is 50p upwards. There’s a bit of everything here. Furniture, jewellery, books, music, clothing, pictures. Also, I’d love to have feedback from people, if there’s something you’re looking for, I can try and find it for you, if there’s something you want to do in the space, as long as it’s safe, we can try and do that too. As I mentioned, there’s a free exhibition space for artists, so if anyone wants to hold an exhibition, get in touch, probably through the Bailey’s Antiques Instagram or Facebook page is the best way to do that. Just come in, say hello, introduce yourself and have a look around!

 

Bailey’s Antiques are currently open 10am-5pm Tuesday to Saturday at 34 High Street, Paisley. You can contact Ben on the Instagram page @baileys_antiques or on Facebook: Bailey’s Antiques.

Written by the talented Rachel Campbell:

“I’m Rachel and I’m a 20-year-old student studying English Literature and History. I’ve always enjoyed writing and after getting involved in the student newspaper during my time at university, I’ve found a real interest in journalism too. I’m looking to write positive stories about what is going on in Paisley, and help readers learn more about the businesses and activities that are so close by. I’m interested in sustainability and how we can support local businesses whilst also doing our bit for the planet. Along the way, I’ll hopefully write about a wide range of topics: music, fashion, theatre, art, health and wellbeing, and anything else that is happening in Paisley. I’d love for anyone to get in touch if they’re interested in having me write an article about their business/charity/event/activity. ”

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monster hero

Paisley First is offering a fun, family “Safari” to help give families a safe town centre story-trail this summer, whilst supporting the NHS.

Will you accept the challenge to search the streets for 10 cute and colourful MonsterHeroes?

Using only smartphones, the Safari allows you to learn each of the MonsterHero’s name, story, and superpowers.

Once all 10 MonsterHeroes are found, a free e-book that tells the story of their first team-up will be unlocked.

The Safari works by utilising contactless NFC technology and QR codes, without the need for players to download or sign up to anything.

To play, simply tap or scan the Let’s Go posters or MonsterHero Safari window decals dotted around the town centre, and make a donation of £2, or more if you wish, to the charity NHS Together.

As we all adjust to the new normal, it’s hoped this outdoor trail will bring some family fun to Paisley town centre, where visitors can enjoy fresh air and wide-open spaces, and hopefully bring a smile to visiting children.

MonsterHero Safari is an outdoor only trail and a great way to help people get some fresh air whilst having fun and raising money for such a worthwhile cause too.

As more and more of our local businesses are reopening, families can be assured that we are all working together to implement COVID-19 safety measures to Keep Paisley Safe.

More than 100 areas across the UK are taking part in this summer’s MonsterHero Safari project with the aim of raising over £100k for NHS Charities Together.

Paisley town centre’s trail has been sponsored by Love Local, Love Paisley ❤

To learn more about the story-trail please visit our website.

covid_19

An innovative package of support to help Renfrewshire businesses recover from the effects of lockdown has been given the green light by councillors.

And the £1.3m funding boost agreed today by members of Renfrewshire Council’s Emergencies Board has also been welcomed by some of the area’s key economic leaders.

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The proposals were developed as a result of an in-depth survey which saw staff from the council and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce speak to more than 500 businesses – around 10% of Renfrewshire’s total – about the issues coronavirus has caused for them.

The council then used the results of that to develop a new package of short-term funding which will now be open for local firms to apply for from mid-August. It includes:

– £500k for zero-interest business restart loans of up to £5,000 to help small-and-medium-sized business with short-term cashflow;

– £400k for grants of up to £10,000 to help sustain businesses and plan for growth in the medium term;

– £250k for grants of up to £2,500 to help businesses adapt their premises to allow for physical distancing;

– £150k to help fund expert advice to businesses in crisis and self-employed people over training and access to funding;

The money is coming from within existing council budgets for business support and is expected to be the first stage of a longer-term economic recovery plan.

And the package of support has been backed by members of the Renfrewshire Economic Leadership Panel.

Bob Grant, chief executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The survey exercise in partnership with Renfrewshire Council has been the largest ever of the business community in Renfrewshire and we warmly welcome the innovative package of funding as a direct response to the key issues highlighted.

“In addition to these measures Renfrewshire Chamber will fund two initiatives launching at the end of July: Development of a peer-to-peer business mentoring service and a unique Transform training program which will help companies to innovate, re-design and develop new strategies to mitigate the impacts of Covid and identify future opportunities.”

Grant Edmondson, Hillington Park commercial director for Frasers Property UK – the majority owner of Scotland’s biggest business park, home to around 500 organisations – also welcomed the news.

He said: “We are happy to see the majority of Hillington Park businesses are now back open and operating, albeit significantly below capacity.

“We’re aware however many are concerned about the speed of pick-up in demand for their products and services over the next few months, with impact on cashflow as government support tapers off.

“The new business support package being announced by Renfrewshire Council is therefore extremely welcome at this point and we would encourage local businesses to get in touch with the council and apply for the support when applications open.”

Lydia Brown, Community Development Manager for intu Braehead said: “Businesses have been going through unprecedented times recently and only now, as lockdown restrictions are easing, do they have the opportunity to start the process of economic recovery.

“Many businesses still need support to help them kick-start their revival and this assistance from Renfrewshire Council can play a vital role in this.

“If any businesses – large or small – can benefit from this extra funding they should certainly apply to find out if they qualify for the assistance.

“The people running businesses in Renfrewshire are very creative and resilient and thankfully, we can see light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve no doubt we will get there and the Renfrewshire economy will come back as strong as ever.”

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson added: “I am pleased this package of business support was backed by councillors today. We have prioritised this investment as we are determined to do all we can to support the local economy and protect local jobs through what will be a tough period ahead.

“We wanted to make sure the support we are offering was based on what businesses need – and the extensive work we and the Chamber did to establish what that was has been hugely valuable to us in terms of understanding the challenges facing our businesses.”