Interview with New Brewery Arts
My first interview with one of our lovely stockists who have been loyal to us for many years is New Brewery Arts in Cirencester. They have been selling our tiny gift cards for what seems like forever. I do hope they’ll continue!
Alice has been kind enough to answer my questions, and I do hope you will pop in there if you visit the town.
How did the business start? I¹d love to learn a little about its history
After a period of disuse following the closing of the brewery in 1937, Cirencester Brewery buildings were earmarked for demolition. However, a local group, proposed repair and conversion of two of the remaining buildings into craft workshops and Cirencester Workshops opened in 1978. The aims of the Cirencester Workshops was to ‘give the public good quality crafts, provide craftspeople with a fair rent and encourage them to produce creative work of a high standard, and to put the enterprise on a sound financial basis’.
Today some 40 years later our mission reflects the same aims. Following extensive redesign and refurbishment, our current galleries, shop, workshops and café opened in 2008. In 2016 New Brewery Arts opens The Barrel Store, another chapter in the history of the Cirencester Brewery buildings. The Barrel Store offers affordable, stylish accommodation for visitors to Cirencester and New Brewery Arts.
Today New Brewery Arts is a charity focussed on craft and visual arts and comprises galleries, artists’ studios, café and shop, and guest accommodation, in addition to an extensive programme of over 200 courses and workshops each year. We support our local community by working with groups who find arts and creativity difficult to access. Recently this has seen us work with care-home residents, military families, those with experience of domestic abuse and dementia sufferers and their carers.
How did you first discover our cards/prints and how many moons ago was that?
I honestly can’t remember the answer to either. I would say we found you at Top Drawer trade show in London, and we have stocked your work for at least 10 years!
What do feel are the cards' appeal to you and your customers (and their longevity)?
The cards are that little bit different; with the addition of the fluff and relatively simply designs they have a broad appeal to many people. The small size, too, is very popular and an excellent price point for that little note.
How has the market changed over the last 20 years? Are you optimistic about the future?
The market has changed hugely; this is no longer the Mondays starting slow, the week steadily getting busier and the Saturday being manic, the days can now be very muddled, with excellent sales at any point. Am I optimistic? We all need to find a way to be part of the brave new world and the opportunities will be there just in a different way to the past.
Isn't New Brewery Arts an interesting place? And what a lot they are achieving there. If you have visited, so please share in the comments below what you particularly enjoyed.