I am absolutely thrilled to tell you all about the #25Project, my new campaign celebrating 25 years of Chalk Paint® That’s quite a heritage, and to mark this in an appropriate fashion, I’m inviting all of you to nominate a local community building in need of a transformation, Annie Sloan style!
My stockists and I will be helping to transform spaces across the globe - local places, with their hearts and their roots embedded in their communities.
I always say that my stockists are at the heart of my business, and this is because I started as a shop owner myself. My local shop, here in Oxford, has been the start of everything for me – my business, of course, but also through my shop I have become part of local life here: I’ve made friends, I’ve learned so much and this project is my way of championing the independent, bricks and mortar shops – not just across the country, but across the world. This is something which is very close to my heart.
I want people to nominate their own local spaces. Whether it’s the community centre, the youth club, the public loos (I’m hoping for some weird and wonderful ideas) and whether you’re in Rotherham, Lille, New York or Cape Town, everyone is invited to take part. I’ll be looking at all of the entries, and will pick twenty five that will receive everything they need to make something gorgeous.
To kick start this, I’ve been working with The East Oxford Community Centre – my local space – right here in Oxford. It’s a place I’ve been to a lot over my years in Oxford. I have attended, and also given, workshops there. More than that, I’ve taken my boys to playgroups there, and now my lovely granddaughter Willow goes to dance classes at the Centre. There’s always so much going on, from Caribbean Lunch Clubs to Zumba, support groups to toddlers’ football! It really is a space which is used every day by the whole community. A month or so ago I went with some of the team from HQ to make over the lounge of this beautiful building, and we were overwhelmed by the level of support and involvement. We ran workshops on dyeing fabric, on sewing and upholstering and had a great time meeting all the people who use the Centre, from the very young to the very old! The whole community pulled together, and everyone worked so hard! Now they have a great space, which they created themselves!