We invited Kirsty Fox to lead us up a blind alley…..in a good way of course, for a peek inside Cavology
Cavology is a new project set-up by The Hive, Nottingham Trent University’s business development centre. It’s a retail incubator which means that it is designed as a functioning shop and showcase of new products with the addition of integrated business support for those involved.
Cavology is a business with a social purpose. Local designer-makers and young businesses are given the opportunity to have different levels involvement with the shop, from simply have a small ‘test space’ to try out products on the local market, to featured monthly guest designers, or full residencies. Those committing to the latter pay just a flat monthly rate rather than commission on sales and will be involved in the curating, promotion and staffing of the shop. This offers superb first-hand experience to those considering opening up a shop themselves. It also ensures the shop is a collective vision, evolving as the high street market does.
Cavology has recently been revamped and relaunched with a host of new businesses involved in time for Christmas. We’re based in Cobden Chambers, a recently renovated Victorian courtyard on the edge of Nottingham’s historic Lace Market. Hidden away off Pelham Street, Cobden Chambers is accessed via a narrow passageway.
Inspired by its hidden location in Nottingham, the City of Caves, we think of Cavology as a shop of hidden treasures. Because everything stocked here is designed by local businesses and artists, we want the customer to feel like they’ve discovered a real gem. A snooper’s paradise selling one-of-a-kind gifts, trinkets, crafted homewares, accessories, music, literature and fashion.
Rather than try to hang on to brands and restrict our businesses from selling elsewhere in the city, Cavology supports them in finding new stockists both locally and on a national scale. We look to encourage a theme of ‘community not competition’ in an industry that can feel a little ruthless at times.
With new artists brought in on a regular basis, Cavology aims to claim some of the potential and interest in ‘pop-up shops’ with the added benefit of a constantly growing customer base. With invaluable support and guidance from Nottingham Trent University, we aim to always be one step ahead in the evolution of the high street shopping experience. With big chains losing their stranglehold on our city centres, now is the time for independent retail to really shine.
Kirsty Fox – Project Manager