News

5 years & 5 special events for creatives

24th April 2024

Gather Round opened its doors back in 2019 and since then, we’ve hosted incredible events, nurtured countless collaborations and welcomed over 220 members. Together we’ve celebrated (often), commiserated (occasionally) and laughed (a lot). As they say, it’s been a ride! To mark our fifth year we’re committed to giving back, in more ways than one, to the creative community that is our life force.

We’re spreading the love to members, non-members and emerging talents within Bristol’s creative community. This summer we’re launching a series of free events open to BCI members and all creatives in the South West. We’ve recently refreshed our brand and launched a new website, please take a look and let us know what you think, we’d love to hear your feedback!

Founder Jason’s Journey

We caught up with Co-Founder Jason to reflect on our first five years in business, the surprises encountered while running a coworking space and what he has learnt from being part of a creative community. 

I can’t look back on the last five  years without thinking about two of the biggest moments of my life happening right at the same time. The birth of my first daughter and the build of our flagship space the Cigar Factory.Not exactly great timing, but due to build deadlines it unfortunately meant working from the hospital where I spent just under a week with my daughter. The experience of becoming a father for the first time gave me an overwhelming sense of drive and determination to make things work, not only for my new family but also for the vision we had for Gather Round. Pressure can be a positive thing!

With many years in the planning, myself and Ben Steers launched Gather Round at the Cigar Factory, Southville in 2019. Our dream of a coworking space built by creatives for creatives had become a reality. We were genuinely happy and proud of the space and the environment that we had created, our first members are our friends to this day. Amongst our initial success, we understood Gather Round would only stand the test of time if its community grew and opportunities for our members alongside it. 

The idea behind Gather Round was born from our own growing pains, running a creative studio – Fiasco Design. We were officially the first tenants of Gather Round. Working within the space ourselves was intentional, we believed in the concept and so did our team. Our own needs as a studio heavily influenced our decisions when creating Gather Round and that was incredibly important for us. 

The community began to grow at the Cigar Factory and connections were being made organically. The flow of space was working with our approach to the design and the feedback we received was incredibly supportive. And importantly, our own creative team really enjoyed the space. 

Community spirit shone through

But after only 6 short months we simply had to shut our doors. Covid had struck.

This didn’t seem to stop our community though; even when we weren’t physically together, there was such a  feeling of solidarity, at a lonely time. It was truly moving. Through the good times and the bad, people were there for one another, with genuine friendships and connections shining through. 

It was partly being surrounded by this positivity we decided to launch Brunswick Square our second location in central Bristol. Of course, people told us we were incredibly stupid and that remote working would become the norm, but we still had faith in the basic need for human interaction. The same interaction that had sparked such special connections.

Our approach to Brunswick Square was all about the flexibility to accommodate a completely new approach to working, as well as rebuilding a community. A community of creatives who had all been through their own struggles. Making sure people had a safe space that welcomed them back after lockdown was absolutely crucial.

Community at heart

At Gather Round, bringing people together and fostering a creative community that blossoms has always been at the heart of our mission. We are now celebrating our 5th year with over 220 current members. We always knew that creativity thrived off engagement, inspiration and connections, and looking back on the community that has grown from Gather Round, we can see it now too. 

Save the date 6th June!

Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to get your hands on free tickets to our public events. Numbers are limited, we have a feeling they’ll go quickly!

Follow us on Instagram for more info (teaser – there will be free pizza, a fully stocked bar and speakers from some of Bristols top creative organisations!).

Words edited by the Gather Round copywriter Daisy Dobson

Member

About Gather Round

Gather Round is a growing family of unique creative workspaces, designed to foster a positive community of like-minded creative people through an open and supportive culture. Our considered spaces are designed to adapt to the diverse needs of our members....

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