As some of you local to Oxford may have seen, we have been busy creating something rather special on our Covered Market shop front...
A while ago we decorated our shop changing rooms to reflect our commitment to body positivity and self love, including self-affirming messages on the walls and mirrors, as well as some illustrations.
Having got the creative juices flowing, we realised that neither the Covered Market nor Oxford more widely has a selfie point. For a city as beautiful and as popular with tourists, and for a historic market as unique and brimming with amazing local vendors and lovely small businesses, we felt like this was a massive missed opportunity ... and so we decided to create one ourselves!
A brief history of the Covered Market
As you know, we have been in the Covered Market for just over two years now, and we LOVE it here, but we realised we have never really explained what the market is or why we chose it for our shop.
The Covered Market is located right in the heart of Oxford City Centre, in between Cornmarket Street, High Street and Market Street. It is home to over 50 specialist independent traders, each selling their unique variety of goods like jewellery, flowers, gifts and of course, underwear! Many of the businesses here are family owned and run and have been passed down from generation to generation. We love the variety and diversity of retailers here and the emphasis on small independent businesses that are doing something special.
The market dates back to the 1770s and has become world famous for being one of the oldest continually operating markets in the country. That means that the market is celebrating its 250th Anniversary this year. What better way to celebrate this milestone than with a beautiful selfie point to add to the cosy and picturesque vibe of the market!
From plain black door ...
Over a few weeks, Keda began the work to transform our plain black store room door into a selfie point.
The team compiled a list of buildings and items considered as 'quintessentially Oxford', as well as well as a variety of the features from our Oxford landmarks tea towel. These included some of Oxford's most famous buildings such as the Radcliffe Camera, the University Church and the Bridge of Sighs, as well as a few other classic city sights like bikes, punts and a mortar board.
We also included a few illustrations that were closer to Y.O.U, such as the post box that is right outside our shop and usually adorned with a seasonal topper made by the team at The Woolhound.
Creating the selfie point:
Once we had finalised the design, Keda skilfully mapped out the main elements in pencil before going over them in white chalk paint to make them really stand out.
She then added a few final touches, including our Instagram handle on the top panel to encourage people to tag @youunderwearuk in any photos, as well as a further panel commemorating the opening of the Covered Market in 1774.
We loved the process of creating this piece of living artwork that will be woven into the tapestry of everyday life in Oxford and we can't wait to see the photos that people from all over the world take at Oxford's new selfie point!
We're also adding some catchy new slogans to our shop windows to explain what we do and some of our values as a business, so watch this space for more Y.O.U Underwear artistic endeavours - and do let us know what you would like to see next too!
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