SE Storehouse: How did we get here?

3 Nov 2015

The Mayor of Southwark, Dora Dixon-Fyle will be cutting the ribbon at the shop opening of SE Storehouse, the retail outlet of our new social enterprise.

 

Join us on Friday 13 November at 11am, after which our doors will be open for Christmas shopping on 91 Peckham High Street.

 

Pop along and get ahead with your Christmas shopping: we guarantee you’ll find something different at an affordable price range of £2 to £200. That’s because each piece has either been upcycled in our own furniture warehouse, hand stitched locally or by the ladies at HMP Holloway, or hand made, printed or finished by a local maker. These are gorgeous heritage pieces, made with care and a distinctive creative South East London look.

 

All profits will go to support all Pecan’s projects including Foodbank, Employment Support, Moving On and Hourbank. But more importantly, as the SE Storehouse develops, we will be able to provide work experience, training, volunteering and eventually, apprenticeship opportunities to our clients across the board from furniture upcycling to retail.

 

As well as our own lines, we will be a hub for local artisans and artists, and we’ve been most encouraged by some of South London’s most talented makers who have been delighted to place their beautiful pieces in SE Storehouse.

It’s been something of a rollercoaster getting to this point since Social Enterprise Manager, Tessa Evelegh joined us in April, not least due to the unpredictable nature of London premises. Southwark Council had kindly promised us a lease to use the Old Library in Peckham Hill Street, but by Easter, having cleared the building of floor-to-ceiling obsolete computers, it became clear that we might need rather more funds to make it useable than first envisaged. Then there were the squatters who decamped with their dogs and bicycles, dined at our tables, and generally made themselves comfortable on our chairs ….

 

But low points can be the very seed of something new. And so it was for us when The Mayor of Southwark, Dora Dixon-Fyle stepped in and related our plight to  groups of contractors who work for the council. We were knocked out when we were invited to tea in the Mayor’s parlour, to be met by representatives of more than half a dozen contractors determined to help refurbish the building that is earmarked for use by both Southwark Foodbank and SE Storehouse. Where once we were limited to make-do-and-mend, The Mayor had inspired enough local contractors to take on a full refurbishment.

 

Tessa Evelegh, SE Storehouse Manager worked for many years on magazines, books and newspapers as a writer/photographic stylist, forecasting trends and creating the latest home and garden looks for photography. She also covered DIY, sewing knitting and gardening, coming up with smart-but-easy-to-make projects. She is author of two bestselling books that accompanied the first and second series of BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee. She also ran her own photographic location business with clients such as John Lewis, M&S and glossy magazines such as Ideal Home, Homes and Gardens and Good Housekeeping.

 

Tim Mawson, Workshop Technician has plumbing qualifications, and has worked in many other areas in the building trade. He has a keen eye for detail, having also spent many years editing and checking video games.

 

We’re off the starting blocks, but to keep production going and keep the shop running, we’ll need many hands.  If you’d like to help with painting (all training given), or you’d like to help out in the shop, please email val.freeman@pecan.org.uk for an application form

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