It’s hard to believe that we’ve just completed our fourth Pivot Christmas, especially when I think back to how different each has been -how much we’ve learnt each time!
In 2019 we had our first ever pop-up with the wonderful Crisis team at their shop in Elephant and Castle, (quite literally) scrambling around to work out how to set up a shop, make enough jewellery and use a payment device!
Our 2020 Christmas season saw us be the first ever social enterprise to pop-up at Westfield London, a feat we were so so proud of. Unfortunately Boris put a stop to that one and we had to close a few days early!
2021 was our first year of doing pop-ups and markets “properly” where we attended over 25 over 6 weeks, staffed by an incredible army of dedicated volunteers.
This year, well… it seems we’ve managed to top the three before. With a full (and dare I say it AMAZING) brand and website relaunch in September, we’ve had a record online sales period, as well as selling more at pop-ups than ever before. In November, we were asked to send stock over to Amsterdam for a pop-up with Adyen (an amazing FinTech company who have been supporting us since the summer), and in the course of 4 weeks managed to get 700 units together.
For those that may have missed it, we attended Adyen’s week-long Accelerator Programme in Amsterdam back in June of this year along with 10 other socially and environmentally driven small businesses and social enterprises. We won (much to our surprise!) their award to support us with business mentoring and financial support - and from there a beautiful relationship has begun!
Talking of awards, we were one of the winners of DBAE MeWe360 back in the summer, and have had some incredible coaching, powerful group sessions and financial support from their team. We look forward to continuing to work with them into the new year!
The beginning of 2022 saw us win the Starling Take Flight Award where we also won funding that we could put directly towards our Spring Programme. I was grateful to be listed as a WISE100 2022, as well as pivot being chosen as a top 100 Social Enterprise 2022 and shortlisted for the Trailblazing Newcomer Award by Natwest and Pioneer’s Post.
Having graduated a programme of makers back in September, we’ve been really happy that all of this extra work has meant we’ve been able to continue to support them in the lead up to Christmas.
We were proud to become part of Dickies “Community of Makers” and be featured on their instagram and website, and are super grateful to them for providing us with some proper workwear!
2022 has been a great year for programmes. In January we started a programme in Norfolk, working with 4 participants over a period of 12-weeks. They showcased their designs and made pieces at a local art gallery and studio where the local community could come and celebrate their journey and what they’d been able to achieve in a relatively short period of time. We absolutely loved working with this group and wish them every future success!
We also finished our run of four programmes with SHP in the Spring concluding 32-weeks of jewellery making with 24 participants.
This year we were really proud to continue to employ Makbule, one of our graduate Makers, who works with us a day a week making beautiful jewellery. Her employment on our payroll is a strong indication that our model is working, and that as we grow we can create more opportunities for our future graduates.
2023 and beyond
We’ve got some really exciting things in the pipeline for next year, not least starting with our first ever Trade Show… You heard it here first! We’ll be attending Top Drawer 2022 from 15th-17th January. Come and find us at stand 109 where we’ll have some special giveaways. Stay tuned!
Thank you to our supporters, our makers, our friends, our customers, our loved-ones, our donors, our business coaches, our wholesalers, our volunteers, our core team, and of course YOU (if you somehow don’t fit into any of the above categories!)!
Pivot would not still be standing if it wasn’t for the continued support and love that we get from you all - you keep us ticking and going strong and we cannot WAIT to see what next year has to offer.
A little festive tune from the Pivot team (especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the WHAM! and Mariah Carey songs…!)