Tell us a little about your background and what path led you to join Bleeding Heart?
My name is Holly Leonardson and I have a very keen interest in art, craft, design and handmade. My own personal obsession with making and drawing led me to start my own handmade ‘wearable art’ accessories label, Pannikin, back in 2007.
An opportunity to join the always-cheerful team at Bleeding Heart arose at the beginning of 2011, where I happily took up the role of retail-coordinator in the ever expanding gift shop and monthly city market. It is my job (and pleasure!) to make contact with a variety of creatives who may need help with that first step in approaching a retail outlet for their handmade products, or for those who are looking for more ethical retail businesses to stock their wares.
Bleeding Heart was born in 2008 and is an initiative of the Wise Foundation, which aims to empower disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and strengthen communities by providing business and creative opportunities.
Tell us what Bleeding Heart is all about?
Bleeding Heart is many things – an event space for hire, a cafe, an art gallery, an artisan retail outlet and a wireless internet hub.
Sporting the motto, “Using our powers for good and not evil”, we pride ourselves on our operation as a “profit for purpose” organisation. This means that every dollar YOU spend goes into funding charitable and community enterprise.
We encourage and support positive activism, social andeconomic inclusion, education and self-supporting, ethical business practice.
Where did the name 'Bleeding Heart' come from?
The expression ‘bleeding heart’ has long had negative connotations and has been used to disempower and belittle those who champion human rights and care about other people. We are dedicated to assisting communities and marginalised people and are determined to reclaim‘Bleeding Heart’ as positive terminology.
How does Bleeding Heart support independent artists and crafters and/or the handmade community?
The Bleeding Heart Gift Shop aims to provide the discerning shopper with beautiful handmade, locally produced items. The items in our store make wonderful gifts and are original, unique conversation pieces. By selling these types of products, we seek to encourage social and community interaction and the notion of personal identity associated with craftsmanship. We take great pride in supporting local artisans and their small businesses!
We also take ZERO commission so all sales are returned to the artisan. Our current vendors are local artists and crafters and occasionally interstate creatives, all who we’ve chosen for their outstanding products.
How can local designers and crafters get involved with Bleeding Heart?
Simply contact us by emailing an enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 3229 0395. We’d love to hear from you!
Does Bleeding Heart have any exciting upcoming events?
Sure do! The Bleeding Heart City Markets are held every first Friday of the month from 10am – 4pm and dates have been confirmed until the end of 2011. We are always on the look out for fresh handmade talent and vintage gatherers so if you would like to know more about becoming a stallholder simply send through an email.
How do you promote Bleeding Heart?
You can sign up for our email newsletter to keep you up to date on all the goings on at our website, you can befriend us via our facebook page and if you still can’t get enough we also have a twitter account @bhgallery.
A big thank-you to Holly for taking the time to share the story of Bleeding Heart with us. An ethical retail store creating 'profit for purpose', what's not to love! Stay tuned next month for another installment of Shop Indie!