WELCOME TO THE FACTORY SHOP
Absolute Beginners is a new kind of factory for Park Royal Industrial Estate, where local young people can learn how to make some of the basic goods that used to be made on the estate – and which we might need to make again in our uncertain future.
Once our young people had made the products, the next step for a factory is to distribute them. To do this, we decided to open a Factory Shop.
The Absolute Beginners Factory Shop was open for two days only, as part of the Park Royal Design District of the London Design Festival, in late September 2021. It was a chance for people to get their hands on the products our Absolute Beginners had made: to touch them, try them on, hold them up to the light – and buy them.
We also had some of the young people there to help out, and tell visitors the story of how it was all made. Thanks to Kairie, Sahara, Nafisa, Jana, Mariam and Maki for being brilliant.
All the products had three prices: an art price (for those able to support the project), a standard price, and a community price (for those unwaged or on zero hours contracts). It was up to the shopper to choose.
The proceeds were split 50/50 with the young people who were involved in the project, with the remainder going towards the next iteration of Absolute Beginners. (All the young people were also paid London Living Wage for the time they spent working on the products).
We had about 200 people through the doors over the weekend, and an amazing launch where most of the participants came together to meet each other, and see what each other group had produced (thanks to Little Beirut for the food and Company Drinks for the fizzy pop).
Many thanks to Jass Dooa and Ravi Dooa for hosting us, and to Johnny Brewin from The Republic of Park Royal for organising the space.
We’re now working on Absolute Beginners 2. We want to open the factory again, to make more products, and find new ways to get them out into the community. (We might even do an online shop too). Stay tuned for more details.