What is it?
Still very much in its early stages, the Creative Directory is an online community hub for local artists, crafters, makers, designers, musicians, and more.
‘The Creative Directory showcases our homegrown talent right here in Northern Ireland.
Independent businesses don’t just magically appear; they all have wonderful stories to tell and we want to show the rest of the world just what we’re made of. Whether they’re a crafter, grafter, designer, or maker, there’s a lot more to us than the Harland & Wolff cranes and Donegal landscapes.
With the growing awareness of ‘Small Business Saturday’ and the importance of supporting local businesses, we find that people of all ages want to keep their money within the community rather than buying from large chain stores.
By shopping local you’re helping to keep our community unique, you’re supporting local jobs, you’re giving a thumbs-up to entrepreneurship, and you’re making a difference in someone’s life.
Shop local, support local, and help keep the dream alive!”
Photo source: Pinterest
Why do we need a Creative Directory, we hear you cry!
Since opening Ink Monkey we have had people in and out all the time asking questions like “I’m looking for someone to draw my dog,” or “do you know anyone who makes wedding stationery” or “I need a name stamp made for my granny.” We knew there should be an easy way to find these people…
Picture this: Perusing around the local arts + crafts market, you spy a stall and fall in love with their products. You can’t purchase today, so you take a business card and put it in your shopping bag. A week or two later, sitting at home on the sofa, you remember about said stall and go to get the business card, only to find you’ve misplaced it…
Or maybe you’ve gotten engaged and need to start planning your big day, but the wedding fairs don’t start for another 3 months. So you now face having to trawl the internet for cake makers, florists, invitations, bands, photographers, videographers, etc, etc…
What about when you want to adorn your walls with some local art? You’ve been to all the nearby galleries but can’t afford to pay £250 for an original piece, and don’t like the idea of the gallery getting 50% of the profit…
Within the creative community of greater Belfast we have identified 15 craft collectives, most of which have some sort of directory or list of their own. Some are small groups of hobbyists and others are incredibly popular. What the creative community of Belfast (and beyond) is lacking is a single community hub that encompasses all of these collectives.
We have spent the last few months researching our bums off and currently have a list of over 700 independent creative people and their businesses. At present we are focusing on Belfast and greater Belfast (with the odd exception), but we hope to expand outwards across the Provence as our research continues.
Using this list, we’ve been curating the work of each creative on Instagram. Head over and give it a follow @creativedirectory.
At present we have both a Facebook and Instagram page- the Instagram page is updated with new creatives each day. We’ve only recently started on Facebook, so keep an eye on both.
This is hopefully only the beginning of the Creative Directory; we have lots more up our sleeves for the future, but for now please help us to celebrate our amazing creative community by liking and sharing and spreading the word far and wide!