The last six months have been very exciting… I have met some wonderful new people, joined Redbridge Chamber of Commerce, joined the Timebank and gone along to many events and work-shops for new business start -ups, including the Sophia Hubs entrepreneur’s club and events at the Enterprise desk at Ilford library. I am overcoming my fear of public speaking, having to speak in front of my local (and favourite MP) Wes Streeting was a step in the right direction! Through the Chamber of Commerce I have met some really interesting people and am looking forward to working on some community based projects, working with the more vulnerable in our community. I have even had a good amount of paid work and have been added to the Redbridge Green Business Directory.
I must say what a fantastic experience I have had using the Timebank! I’d often fantasised about and wondered what life would be like if we were to operate as a cashless society. Obviously we still need to earn money, but to be able to utilise each other’s skills on an hour per hour basis has been a really good way to meet people in the community, to share skills and to build up a potential future client base.
As a new business (and on a personal level) it’s been invaluable, I’ve completed some Timebank work; I decorated a room in a beauty salon. Using some of the hours I earned I treated myself to a pamper day before Christmas and had reflexology and a deep tissue massage. Thank you to Linda Pearson and Stephanie Mugo for that I also needed some help
with my business accounts so booked a session with Amanda who went through the basics of accounting on Microsoft excel at the enterprise desk in Ilford Library. And the day after Boxing Day, I had an electrician come out to fix a light fitting for me. A huge thank you to Mario for that! I had guests coming the next day so I was really grateful that he could come out at such short notice. I have already booked to have a cookery class with new Timebank member Tracy Williams and I am planning on spending some more of my hours on a photographer and a web designer. And I am earning some more hours by repainting a kitchen (photos to follow). I know Economy hours don’t replace hard cash, but I wouldn’t have been able to justify having a pamper day if I was spending ‘real’ money. So to me, it’s a delight to be a part of the Timebank.
Since the Upcyclers event that I held in my house in December organised by Sophia Hubs, we have all been busy with our individual tasks, and we have been jointly trying to locate a suitable premises for our new venture which is proving to be quite a task indeed. I am currently making enquiries into an amazing historical building in Ilford. Another outcome of the event is that I am going to be running my own stall at this year’s Redbridge Green Fair on May 29th. I am really excited about it, and look forward to holding an all day workshop demonstrating how to use recycled materials (and paints from the Forest Recycle Project), selling bespoke signs. The idea is that the customer will design and have a go at making their own sign. I will also be selling small pieces of furniture that I have upcycled in my workshop.
Oh, and I am also going to be giving a talk (feeling the fear and doing it anyway!) with Habiba Ahmed at Barkingside 21‘s coffee morning at Fullwell Cross library on 22nd March. We are talking on the benefits of re using and up cycling, and the damaging effects of our throw -away society. I will be demonstrating how to make some items we might normally consider throwing away into perfectly functional and re suable items, including clothing, furniture and small electrical items.
If you need any design and decorating work undertaken, or have any old pieces of furniture you want renovated, call me on: 07728 851322 or email me at: Brendamaguireinteriors@gmail.com.