holywell street oxford

What is Independent Oxford?

Independent Oxford is a project that supports, promotes and champions the independent businesses of Oxfordshire. Set up three years ago, we shout about the plethora of Oxford’s great independents to locals and visitors. Whether they are shops, bars, restaurants or places to stay, these indies make this city just as rich, as interesting and as unique as its world famous, University centric history.

Why support indie?

Oxford’s indies (and all indies!) reflect the places we live, our cultures and our interests and they make us different. We want people to know the alternatives to the identikit nationwide high street stores and make considered, well-meaning purchases that last.

Through supporting independents you’re supporting the local economy and the money you spend at an independent directly helps support that person’s livelihood. You’re also supporting crafts people, experts in their fields and people who care absolutely 100% about what and why they’re doing it.
There are great businesses just down the road that will greet you by name, and online shops that will deliver your order by bike and at a time that’s convenient to you. We want you to discover them!

How is Independent Oxford helping? 

First and foremost by telling you about them! Our directory is a comprehensive, ever growing list of hundreds of indies in Oxford and the surrounding areas. Start exploring by category or just browse to discover your new favourite shop! Through the directory, the blog and social media we’re telling the stories behind these indies and the people who brought them in to being.

As well as this, Independent Oxford has built a community of independents who swap details and ideas, encourage each other to take new paths and support each other through what came sometimes be a lonely profession.

What’s next then? 

This project is born out of our passion for Oxford and for supporting our indies. It is by no means finished and is constantly evolving – we’ve got plenty of things in the pipeline so follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and join our mailing list for the latest updates. You can so join us on our journey by telling us about your latest purchases. Just use #IndieOxford. The more we shop independent, the more we add colour, variation and individuality to our lives.

Who are we?

Anna Munday

Why Independent Oxford?

While working at the Old Fire Station as Marketing Manager, I realised there was a gap for a one-stop website that listed all of the independents in Oxford. In other cities, there’s a “quarter” or “lanes” and a clear community that supports each other. But in Oxford it’s spread out and it’s therefore even more important that Independent Oxford tries to facilitate sharing and networking between indie businesses. If indies are to succeed, why not do it together? When I met Rosie, who had similar ideas, we crazily said, why not, let’s give it a go!

Favourite Shop?

I’m a big fan of Fairtrade at St Michaels’s at the moment. I love their friendly team and the fact they’re tucked away just off Cornmarket means you feel like you’ve found your own little treasure trove of beautiful items. Definitely worth a look! I also recently went to Silvies for a delicous cake and will soon be going back for their infamous brunch!

What are you up to when you’re not Independent Oxford-ing?

By day I’m the Venue Marketing Manager at Oxford University Event Venues overseeing a fabulous team who run 100’s of events each year. By night and weekend, you’ll find me discovering new places to eat in and around Oxford, visiting National Trust houses, day tripping or planning new travels and getting stuck into a good book. You’ll also find me regularly attempting a new hobbie (currently contemporary dance…).

Rosie Jacobs

Why Independent Oxford?

I run A Rosie Life, a lifestyle store where everything’s Rosie! I love collaborating with other independents to share space, create new products and put on awesome events.

I’m very passionate about Independent Oxford, it means that by creating a slick and stylish online directory and organising events in Oxford, we can support other local businesses and designers by giving them a platform to reach a wider audience, and create a network with other businesses, ultimately helping to make Oxford a destination for indie shopping.

Favourite Shop?

Well, besides my own, I really love the Annie Sloan Shop on Cowley Road & new to the scene, Bicycle Blooms on Magdalen Road.

What are you up to when you’re not Independent Oxford-ing?

I absolutely love my business and so spend most of my time on it; planning events, wrapping orders, thinking up new product ideas, catching up with suppliers and range planning. I am also an avid photographer and love styling shoots and planning product photography for the website and social media. I also put together trend reports, blog posts and market analysis for clients. When I’m not busy with all things indie retailing, I love cycling along the tow path in Oxford, reading, crocheting, curling up with our cats Tom and Allen, and of course making pom poms!

Rianna Low

Why Independent Oxford?

There are so many talented shop owners with unique products out there but sometimes we just never hear about them, they can be off the beaten track or online and we might never know they exist. That’s why I was so excited about getting involved with Independent Oxford and promoting and celebrating all the fabulous indies in the city!

Favourite Shop?

I love wandering around The Covered Market and perusing all the unique stores and products, grabbing something delicious from IScream on route! I also absolutely love Mamma Mia and heading to Ultimate Picture Palace for some snacks, a little drink and a great film!

What are you up to when you’re not independent Oxford-ing?

As a freelancer I get to work on a range of cool projects for other organisations and clients too. I also run my own Etsy shop, so in my free time I also work on creating super cute items for that as well as working on other personal design projects! I love history, reading, film noir, eating in (exploring new recipes) and eating out (exploring new eateries!) and, of course, spending days strolling around Oxford!

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