Finally I have a commercial prospect that I think can come alive in two or three weeks There is an alternative/artisan open air market in Bristol which has been proving successful over the past few months.
I have tables and other equipment necessary to set up a stall. I primarily want to sell shea butter as it is cheap and can help in directing people away from toxic animal tested skin products.
The market in question is called Harbourside Market and its location is as you’d expect at Bristol’s historic harbour which is home to much of Bristol’s best cultural offerings and is also where the annual Vegfest (formerly known as Bristol Vegan Fayre and still vegan despite the name change) is held.
I like this place as a location as it would also be a good place to promote living on the water which is potentially a much better way of living in so many ways than in standard land accommodation but that is a whole other subject.
I think consistency is the critical point here and I’m hoping to get help from a local well organised group which I’ve been in touch with.
They already do campaigning stalls both days on the weekend elsewhere in the city centre without selling any products. So if they are willing to work for free then hopefully they will be willing to help with something that might make money.
As I said I believe consistency to be the critical point so I think as long as we have a stall at the market at least one day every weekend (the market is on both weekend days) then we will be getting somewhere. Hiring a place at the market is cheap so this will be a low risk investment.
The stall can sell any number of things. I have quite a bit of second hand stuff that could be put on sale to boost prospects and of course it can be used as a campaigning stall at the same time.
I have however called it Havenheed Medical Stall as I believe health to be a critical area where veganism can be developed. People may not be so interested in veganism when it comes to gratifying their appetite but when they are knocking on death’s door then tend to be a bit more open minded.
Alongside shea butter which is very cheap to comparative conservative products I’d like to see us utilise other vegan healthcare products. The stall could become a food outlet simultaneously for as Hippocrates (fruitarian and father of western medicine) said “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”)
The image below is not the market itself which is rather more modest and is held a little over to the right of the shot taken. This is taken from one of the annual festivals gives a feel of Bristol's cultural nature and entrepreneurial spirit. The weekly harbourside market is like a miniature version of this which often contains an entertainer or two such as a fiddler or guitarist.
This I feel is as solid a place as any to start. Bristol could be our capital as it has so much to offer vegans already and if we can build on that then we could have a big international impact. Bristol is a safe place for vegans and I would like to attract more to the city to make it even safer.
People have spoken before on this site about creating a safe place to attract non-vegans to inspire them to change their ways. Bristol has the advantage of being both familiar yet inspiring and would not be the the cliche small rural commune that people associate with vegan societies. People are more willing to try unfamiliar things in familiar surroundings.
I will keep you updated as this develops. The local group in question is called BARC (Bristol Animal Rights Collective) and has a very good website you can see here. They are well organised and dedicated and meet nearly every wednesday at Cafe Kebele (a popular socialist venue).
If you'd like to know more about shea butter you can see my article on it here. I seriously recommend it if you've ever had any skin problem. Great as both a prevention and a cure.
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