Have you popped into a Pop Up Shop?

With Julian Bell CEO of Ealing
With Julian Bell CEO of Ealing

I hope those celebrating Christmas and Kwanzaa have had a wonderful time over the last week. Equally, I wish all a very happy and prosperous 2014.

I expect the coming year to be a busy one and look forward to a number of artistic ventures . I’m very excited and promise to keep you posted once dates and venues are confirmed!!

Aside from catching up with family and a few friends this month, I’ve been fortunate to participate in a new venture supporting entrepreneurs, community groups and artists in the west London borough of Ealing.

West Ealing’s town centre’s Pop up shop provides individuals and companies with a chance to showcase their products and services whilst enhancing the vibrancy and vitality of the high street. This is an exciting opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs to test and sell their products and services, without the risks and costs of taking on a long-term lease.

I am familiar with such initiatives in the US and also east London but this is a relatively new exercise for the borough. I am glad to see such initiatives taking place particularly since this and many high streets are becoming far too populated with discount bargain shops as a replacement for empty shop units. I guess this is a wider issue, which is linked to the ongoing debate regarding super-sized shopping malls killing off local businesses and community high streets.

I will be at the shop at 99 Uxbridge Road, painting for the next couple of weeks whilst selling prints, postcards and homemade silver jewellery. I am one of four people/companies occupying the space at least for the start of January. If you happen to be in the area please pop in, say hi and show your support.

For further information please visit


R.I.P Nelson Mandela

This week sees the passing of Nelson Mandela. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, close friends and the people of South Africa. Through his determination, courage and leadership, Mandela illustrated the ability to transfigure the burden and injustice of Apartheid South Africa into the hope and aspiration for all in a new democratic state. He was a champion for human dignity, self determination and freedom, leaving this world as arguably the most influential politician of the late 20th century.

South Africa remains far from being the state he envisaged; it remains a fractured country, full of inequalities. However we can only pray his legacy lives on and is implemented by all politicians who follow in his footsteps.

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

Nelson Mandela