Fonthill Road Christmas Market – Celebrates Local Small Businesses
Fonthill Road Christmas Market celebrated Small Business Saturday at the weekend (December 4). The Christmas Market promoted local fashion designer start-ups and craft makers, at stalls run by Fashion-Enter as well as local businesses in Fonthill Road. This was complemented by a thriving family-friendly festive event featuring Mrs Santa Claus, face-painters, and a busy craft table.
The events were hosted by Fashion-Enter and Islington Council, in partnership with the Fonthill Road Traders’ Association, and supported by a grant from the European Regional Development Fund, via the Greater London Authority.
Sharma said: “It was the best experience and first market, we met so many beautiful people, and we also sold some of our items. Thank you for the opportunity you all allowed us to have. It was so much fun with the music there, and we had a good conversation with the mayor and Islington councillor. We did like to say thank you from our team.”
The owner of local café Girasole Taste of Italy, on Seven Sisters Road, kept everyone warm and fed with her delicious cakes and Italian coffee throughout the day. The cheerful atmosphere, with live music and festive entertainers, rejuvenated and invigorated the community.
For 60 years, Fonthill Road has been synonymous with the wholesale fashion industry, innovating fashion trends for high street buyers, independent retailers, and corporate brands. This long heritage served retailers up and down the country, including Oxford Street.
Craft maker Mary Obaseki, from Another Earthling, said face-to-face interactions with customers is vital to help build on this legacy, especially for start-up brands.
She said: “The first Fonthill Road Christmas Market was fantastic for Another Earthling. We made some great sales and booked a couple of new clients into the studio for fittings this week. Great to be out selling with all the other designers, such a sense of achievement and togetherness. We got to have a dance and ate far too much cannoli; it’s definitely Christmas now!”
As we focus on environmental change within our world, we need to evolve our fashion community by harnessing the potential of making locally, staying local and buying local, supporting a circular economy for a sustainable environment and community.
Jenni Sutton, Development Director at Fashion-Enter, said: “It was fantastic to see the famous Fonthill Road rejuvenated on Saturday for its first Christmas Market supporting small local businesses and Fonthill Road traders.
“For many of the start-ups, this was their first market and selling opportunity, and the whole experience gave them such confidence!
“We are extremely grateful to the European Regional Development Fund programme and Islington Council for the funding and support which enabled us to host the Fonthill Road Christmas Market, in a bid to invigorate the local community and put Fonthill Road firmly back on the map as a shopping destination.”
Cllr Asima Shaikh, the council’s Executive Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs, added: “We wanted to bring our diverse local community groups, fashion businesses and the whole neighbourhood together in celebration, and this lively event was the perfect opportunity.
“The festive lights were switched on by Islington Mayor Cllr Troy Gallagher, and the whole event brought hundreds of people in to shop, relax, have fun and come face-to-face with the fashion and design talent in our community.
“This event really helped to forge new connections in the community that will further strengthen our local economy – also weaving Fonthill Road’s fashion heritage and vibrancy into today’s inspiring offering from dozens of creatives. It was the perfect way to mark a successful year of working together, and sets the tone for another great year in 2022.”
Notes to editor:
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
This project received a £10,000 grant from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for the fund, via the Greater London Authority.
Established by the European Union, the ERDF helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding