CitizenHome — new social enterprise retailer opens in Jewellery Qtr

Helen Worrall — a happy shopper at the launch of Citizen Home

Update: CitizenHome website now launched.

The stable of enterprises run by Citizen Coaching has grown again. First there was Citizen Coaching, providing counselling services; then there was Citizen Click offering great value web design, IT support, social media training and more.

4Mgs-AqbAnd now, there is CitizenHome.

Yes, the “Citizen Group” — which is what we will have to call it at this rate — has just opened its first retail outlet, CitizenHome, selling beautiful homeware and gifts, all sourced from social enterprise manufacturers or ethical independents, at 82 Vyse Street in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter.

CitizenHome continues the Citizen ethos of creating employment opportunities, especially for young people. Speaking at the launch party last night, founder Martin Hogg explained that as well as showcasing and selling social enterprise produce, there is room at the premises to offer workshop space for makers, to extend the retail floorspace, and to utilise the lovely walled courtyard for a range of outdoor events — pop-up auction events, summer dinners, herb garden….you name it. The shop has already  created employment for three young people

CitizenHome officially opens today, the 24th November, and there will be goodie bags worth £15 for the first 30 purchases over £30.

The shop will be open seven days a week: Mon-Fri 10.30am-6pm, Sun 12 noon-4pm, with extended trading on Friday 27th November for Black Friday.

So if you’re looking for unusual gifts, gorgeous homeware or just a special treat to take the edge off the working week, drop by the Jewellery Quarter and see what CitizenHome has to offer. You won’t be disappointed.

There was a terrific turn-out for the launch party last night, as you can see in the gallery of pictures below. Suppliers were heavily represented but so too were long-time sector supporters from across Birmingham and beyond. It was great to see so many familiar faces.

CitizenHome reflects a new — and arguably overdue — shift in the social enterprise towards retailing, and is to be welcomed.

We plan to bring you further news on new developments in social enterprise retail shortly — because while retail is a growing force in the sector, it is not widely known or promoted.

Follow CitizenHome on Twitter @CitizenHomeJQ.

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Ring on 0121 792 1424.

There was an interesting footnote. Amongst the odds and ends left by previous tenants was a framed picture of a robust gentleman with a vigorous moustache. Written in copperplate on the back was the following: “This is Ernie Griffiths who started E J Griffiths Jewellers in 1918 when he returned from the 1914-18 war. The shop moved here to 82 Vyse Street in 1922. It closed in September 1996.”

Well, 82 Vyse Street is being given a new lease of life and a new purpose — a new social purpose — and we congratulate Martin Hogg, Mark Ellerby, the team from Citizen Coaching and Citizen Click and everyone else — including Vee’s Deli, which catered the event — for making CitizenHome happen.

Birmingham UK. Freelance research, evaluation and policy consultant specialising in social enterprise and the third sector. I maintain the BSSEC blog and website

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