It’s been an amazing journey the last two years, a lot of highs and lows. I started out in January 2017 not knowing if I could afford to keep United80 open. Footfall had dropped to a significant low, all the cultural changes in Brixton and London in general were really taking their toll on the business and the direction it was going in. Something had to change significantly. I needed help.

Nearly 7 years into having this shop, the very thought of having to let it go was devastating so with much deliberation, I came up with a plan. Crowdfunding. United80 was built through the love and support of our Patrons, so who better to ask for help. Planning started in January 2017. The campaign started in March 2017 and the crowdfunder ran from April to May 2017. It definitely helped turn things around. People donated, told their friends and family and even if they couldn’t afford to donate, spreading the word about our hub in Brixton has changed the face of our business entirely.

The campaign was definitely about raising funds to help develop our shop and brand but the most important part of the campaign was creating awareness of how small businesses like United80 are needed in London. The rest of 2017 was a hard slog making the changes and still dealing with the hard and fast balls life throws at you. And some of those balls bruised, scarred and built me. I learned a lot about who I was and who I am in 2017. Because I had people around me who showed me a mirror when necessary. Pulled me up when I was wrong and praised me when I was trying to do right. It can sometimes be a very lonely world in the life of a small business owner. You run every department, and it’s exhausting! No one to motivate you but you. So I’m very thankful to my family and close friends circle for maintaining me.

Come 2018… THE FABULOUS YEAR!

From start to finish it was an exciting roller-coaster of collaborations, events and business opportunities that have cemented the plans and dreams for United80. And now here we are 1st February 2019. Launching this website that should have been one of the earlier on, minor exciting steps in this journey, but it took some time because of the age old line “Life gets in the way”. There’s more to come on this platform. This is just the beginning.

-Samantha-Jane