Secret Circus

Last minute, last October we decided to open up a pop up shop. A summer long day dream that suddenly become possible when a space opened up in Cabot Circus, Bristol.

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Within two weeks we had thrown together a shop full of handmade, up-cycled, vintage and locally sourced gifts and curiosity’s. Secret Circus was born.

After a day of last minute hammering, price tagging and skipping for thrown away props from other department stores (not so glamorous, but lots of fun – Its amazing what people throw away). The party was on.

We were astonished by the response, our shop was packed and even the amazing Bristol legend Big Jeff rocked up to cut the ribbon for us.

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We had so many amazing friends, family and local people packed into one place sipping wine, dancing and shopping! Whoop! We’d pulled it off..

We even made it into our favorite magazine Pretty Nostalgic – Top Ten : Pop-up Shops. Pretty Nostalgic

During our 6 weeks we had so many wonderful makers stocking our shelves for us.

To name but a few of our wonderful makers –

Bag’s of love
Morwhenna is a local artist and up-cycler who makes, beautiful, plush cushions, bags and gorgeous sleep sachets from once loved mens shirts. All of this alongside an array of other artworks and projects. Bags of Love

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Sarah Macfarlane
Bristol mover and shaker Sarah, produces beautiful prints of punchy colourful photography, cushions’s, cards, magnets and badges. You’ll find images of curiosity’s from flea markets, nature and everyday life. Sarah Macfarlane

One of Sarah's beautiful printed cushions.

One of Sarah’s beautiful printed cushions.

Head full of Feathers
Jen Hamley is a local designer/maker, who’s accessories include gorgeous little bobby pins and super sparkly hair and shoe clips. We loved all of this sparkle at Secret Circus and so did the customers. Jen Hamley

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Crafty Curtis (Stitcher to the stars) –
Bristol crafter Kate Curtis creates cross stitched music lyrics and to quote from her Etsy shop Crafty Curtis “rough like a ninja, stinging like a bee” – Rebel MC & Double Trouble, is just one lyric you can find beautifully stitched out. These elegant, witty and crafty little numbers flew out of the shop.

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Awamu
A small, creative, social enterprise that works with women and children in the slums of Uganda. Gorgeous and colourful, their handmade children’s clothing, fabric elephants, cushions and accessories sold like hot cakes. 100% of all the profit’s that we made at Secret Circus went straight back to supporting the women and children of Uganda. To find out how you can get involved contact Awamu

As the stock came flooding in, the theme and look of the shop evolved, we continued to skip, rescue and find more things. We made use of so many wonderful found items, and breathed a new lease of life into many forgotten treasures, including old chairs, tile’s and clothes.

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One wonderful shopper was so happy with all of our once loved, found & vintage stock, that she bought her entire families Christmas present’s from us! They had all just made a pact to go ‘second hand or made locally for Christmas’. She was trilled to say the least and happy to groove along to the shop’s record player whilst purusing the shop.

Shop DJ @mrjoe below –

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Still being fairly new in Bristol, this was such a great way to get to meet lots of wonderful people, movers, makers and shakers, with which the city is packed to the brim.

The shop enabled us to support some great cause’s, Awamu being the main focus of Kerry Bradshaw, aka partner in crime and motivator behind this awesome scheme CitizensOnlineBristol

We raised over £1500 that went directly to the Awamu

We also raised just under £80 for Bikes for Africa
A charity that is close to my wonderful friend Hannah Brook’s heart. Hannah also made the beautiful handmade lampshades that graced our windows.

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Our film nights we’re a great way of raising money and awareness for these causes and were ran in conjunction with
Magic Lantern

So it was in a flurry of events, workshops and soiree’s that Secret Circus was packed up and closed just in time for Christmas day…

A super big thank you to all of you that got involved. Helpers, makers, volunteers, shoppers, retro gamers, friends, family, everyone!

See you all for the next project x