It’s Indie Friday! This week’s guest: Sam Hamlin of The Indie Guide

This week’s Small Business star is Sam Hamlin, co-founder of The Indie Guide, a magazine and platform which promotes independent businesses from Bristol and beyond. Have a read!

If you are interested in sharing your love for indie, please contact Geraldine.

Please introduce yourself and tell us what you’re up to at the moment

I’m the co-founder of the Indie Guide, a magazine and platform which supports independent businesses from Bristol and beyond. We focus on helping businesses advertise products, grow into wholesale and reach a new audience. 

I also freelance in events and production, as well as work part-time for the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery as their in-house Event Planner. As you can imagine it gets super busy and at times can be a struggle to balance my workload. 

I’m currently working on our new plan for the Indie Guide, we are aiming to move into events to help our indie business community. And, of course, we are looking to publish the next edition of the magazine with our skilful team of editors; shout out to Nick and Donnie who are currently promoting their short story collection/memoir, Peach Supreme!

Please tell us why you love shopping with independent businesses

I adore all things independent! I believe it’s so important to support the makers, the creatives and the artists of this world. I love knowing I’m supporting someone’s business dream! When you buy from a small business owner you’re getting a product that’s bespoke, unique and handmade. The one-of-a-kind element is something that fills me with joy!

I find overall the products last longer and rather than buying from a mass-produced fast fashion brand, where you know the garment was made by underpaid workers in a hostel environment, you are supporting the future of the planet by buying sustainably.

Have you got favourite indie makers and brands you’d like to share with us?

It’s hard to choose my favourite when I love so many! The small business community inspires me endlessly on a weekly basis! 

The brands I currently love to follow on social media are Bellanude by Sarah Murphy for her incredible Tulle designs and dreamlike style, My Little Belleville for the array of hand-painted jumpsuits, Wear My Wardrobe Out for their retro-cool photoshoots and unique idea and finally Evie from Daines Atelier for her constant passion, vision and forward-thinking attitude towards running a sustainable brand.

Do you shop at markets or indie shops? If so, please let us know which ones and why you love them?

The Indie Guide Market is of course one of my favourite online markets. (sorry for the plug). We feature 50 businesses with discounts, new collection launches and an Instagram live with a selection of the makers. It feels like one big indie business celebration! 

I would also have to say, as you have built up such an impressive range of businesses. I have recently moved to North Street and love exploring the Tobacco Factory Sunday market. The mixture of stalls from food, fashion and crafts make a perfect afternoon. 

Bristol shop-wise, I would say some of my favourites are Fikka on Cotham Hill for their range of indie businesses and workshops, Prior in Cabot Circus for their sustainable vision and That Thing in Stokes Croft for having such eccentric, party-fuelled clothing and accessories.

About Sam Hamlin

I’m the Co-Founder of The Indie Guide, a magazine and platform supporting independent businesses. I currently freelance under the name With Lola Events a service-based business that offers event management, creative project management, and event consultancy.

Throughout my career, I have worked with many international festivals, managed large-scale projects, and worked with Fortune 500 companies around the globe. I have a degree in Fine Art from the University of Creative Arts, specialising in painting, projection and creating immersive experiences.

I have a true passion for innovation, supporting creativity and cheerleading the next generation of business owners!

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