Independent Oxford turns 6!
Today, Independent Oxford turns 6!
We’ve come along way since our humble beginnings, not to mention the trials and tribulations of the last year that we have all had to work through. We started this community because we needed it, and thought others would too. We were both keen to collaborate with other indies in Oxfordshire through our work. Me through my business A Rosie Life, and Anna through her role as the Marketing Manager of Arts at the Old Fire Station back in 2015. We’ve always been passionate about the benefits of collaborative working, and how communities of like minded individuals and organisations can create an environment that fosters innovation, resilience and reassurance.
On top of that, we love indies! We love how much they give back to their communities, how they have social and environmental impact baked into their business plans and how much they care about us, their customers. One of the silver linings of the pandemic, is that so many more of us have seen the value of shopping locally. Indies help us feel grounded and connected even when we’re living isolated lives at home. They’ve gone above and beyond to support their communities, vulnerable people, NHS workers and each other through the toughest times, and we are in awe of their sheer hard work and resilience during this time.
Independent Oxford is a space where locals and visitors can find some of these awesome local businesses in Oxford and Oxfordshire, in one beautiful directory.
To celebrate Indie Oxford turning 6, we thought we share some of the projects we’ve worked on over that time to champion indies, provide opportunities and promote the local economy. >>
March 2015 – Launched at the Annie Sloan Shop on Cowley Road covered by Oxford Mail.
1st Oxford Instameet
October 2015 – We organised the 1st Oxford Instameet with Natasha Denness, bringing together instagrammers to explore hidden parts of Oxford and the city’s awesome indies. We’ve since organised over 10 similar events including a collaboration with Visit England to promote indies.
Small Business Saturday
November 2015 – Create a video with Small Business Saturday to promote shopping locally.
Indie Oxford Meet Ups
April 2016 – Indie Oxford meet ups launch to provide a space for businesses to come together to get support, share experiences and hear from experts on specific elements of running a business, from marketing and comms to negotiation skills and sales.
2nd Indie Oxford Christmas Market
November 2016 – Our 2nd market was held across two sites, the Turl Street Kitchen and Arts at the Old Fire Station.
The Indie Oxford Compendium
May 2017 – We launched the Indie Oxford Compendium with Bitten Oxford.
November 2017 – We launch a month long Instagram challenge to promote indies on the run up to Christmas. The campaign has now been running for 4 years.
Town & Gown
November 2017 – We worked with Tilly Rose, aka That Oxford Girl, to provide student drop in sessions at our 3rd Christmas Market.
May 2018 – 1st Indie Oxford session on BBC Radio Oxford with Lilley Mitchell to help promote indie businesses in the county.
Business Community Support
June 2018 – OxLEP create a film about Independent Oxford.
September 2018 – The 1st Oxford City Centre Taskforce meeting. Indie Oxford join a group of city centre stakeholders collaborating to help city centre organisations and businesses work better together.
Indie Oxford Market Place
November 2018 – Open our 1st Indie Oxford Market Place in The Covered Market for 4 weeks with 20 indie businesses.
July 2019 – Created a successful crowd funding campaign to open our 2nd Indie Oxford Market Place in The Covered Market.
Indie Oxford Market Place 2019
September 2019 – Opened our 2nd Indie Oxford Market Place in The Covered Market, with over 20 indies. We also held events with Covered Market traders like The Garden‘s Wreath Making Workshop, and teamed up with other organisations like Good Food Oxford to share the space.
March 2020 – the month everything changed. We upped our support and promotion talking to press, creating blogs and providing weekly meet ups and updates for our members.
June 2020 – we speak at the BIO 2020 online conference about the importance of community.
November 2020 – Collaborated with Oxford City Council on the Rediscover Oxford campaign, to help tell the story behind indies in Oxford.
Oxford Christmas Extravaganza
November 2020 – We teamed up with Ox In A Box to create a 4 hour live stream to showcase indies on the run up to Christmas. You can watch the show here. We doubled down on live content in 2020 with lots of Instagram Indie interviews, Facebook live sessions for members and new in 2021, Facebook panel discussions.
This is just a snapshot of some of the projects we’ve worked on over the last 6 years of Independent Oxford, and we have lots of exciting plans on the horizon too! We’re always looking for ways to help promote local businesses and we’re really looking forward to working on some exciting new collaborations this year to do just that, watch this space!
We’d like to thank each and every one of you for following the Indie Oxford journey, supporting indies across the county, and helping to make our local economy stronger. Finally, a massive thank you to all the indies that have joined our community, supported us and helped to make the group what it is today. You make this project possible, and put Oxfordshire’s local economy on the map.