This week the gorge Julia of Julia Davey, tells us about her indie business and her favourite Bath joints!
Where are you based and what do you do?
We are an independent retailer and art workshop based in Bear Flat, Bath. We pride ourselves on supporting local artists (plus a few artsy friends) and selling their work in our shop. Alongside some quirky, rare finds I also sell my own ceramics that I have been making and decorating in Bath since 2009. I consider us to be a collectively creative group in the shop as I have a team of artists who come in to teach various craft workshops to both adults and children.
What inspired you to start your business?
Before I established by business, I taught sixth form art at Cirencester College. I absolutely loved working with students and as it was part time I was able to home in on my own style. Alongside teaching, I sold my work at small craft fairs and markets. As the demand for my work increased, I decided to be brave and try and make it as a stand-alone artist and businesswoman… and I have never looked back!
What do you love about running a business in Bath?
Everyone in Bath is so quick to help with new ideas to benefit my business. Whether that be passers- by, customers and even other business owners. What’s great is that my shop attracts a pool of creatives who want to support local businesses and so I feel very welcome in this area!
You’ve got five minutes to grab a sandwich, where do you go?
I have to say, I absolutely adore anything from my local Italian deli –Da Vinci– opposite my shop in Bear Flat. The owner is an absolute gem in the community and sells authentic Italian flavour combinations. Whether it’s take-away cannelloni or an antipasti board, this deli never disappoints. If I’m having a stressful day, just popping in for an Italian coffee can help tons!
Where’s your favourite place to book for a business lunch?
I am a believer that if I give to my community, they will give back which is why I always support The Good Bear Café. They are so welcoming, and the food is delightfully wholesome and homemade. To me, the chain cafes seem to always be so busy and I feel rushed in quite a loud atmosphere which isn’t what I want when I’m meeting a potential buyer or artist.
Which bar do you head to after a tough day?
I would love to be able to tell you that I reminisce over a glass of wine after work most days but the majority of the time I have to get home to my two children! So, if I do go out for a drink after work it has to be next door at The Bear Pub. They always support me, this Christmas they asked me to decorate their Christmas trees and they sold any decorations that caught a punters eye!
Tell us about another Bath business you love and why?
Set back from the hustle and bustle from the city centre is my favourite knitting emporium- Wool Bath. They are always so helpful and friendly, I often get stuck with my knitting patterns and they help me to get mine from a mess to success! Honestly a haven for wool lovers.
What advice would you give to someone starting a business in the city?
Never lose sight of what your vision is. Growing as an artist and businesswoman is all about sticking to your values and principles. I want my customers to see the process of my work and how all of my products are handmade with love, this is something that I like to shine through in my teaching of workshops, my customer service online and offline and when working with other artists. I always respect my staff, customers and community. Respect them and community usually gives back in spades!
Thank you to the lovely Julia for spilling the beans on what makes her business tick and all the hidden gems we can find in Bear Flat – we will be checking them all out soon for sure! In the meantime if you would like to find out more about Julia Davey and her listed workshops then head on over to her website!