Born & Bred exists to help artists thrive. Founded in 2014 by Linzi Rooney (an artist herself), our day-to-day work involves mentoring makers, welcoming people into our studio and selling beautiful, locally-made gifts in our shop.
Well — that’s the short story anyway. If you have a couple of minutes we’d love to tell you a wee bit more…
Meet Linzi Rooney
Hi! Thanks so much for being here and for taking the time to check out our website. Hope you enjoy seeing the incredible art made by our makers and find what you’re looking for. (If you don’t please drop me a line and I’ll get it sorted for you!)
The Born & Bred story begins (like most stories) in the most unlikely of places: sitting on my sofa watching Jeremy Kyle during my lunch break.
Well, I’m a silversmith by trade and after having my first wee baby Macie, I was doing — or should I say trying to do — my work from home (on the dining room table for anyone who cares).
As I sat there, eating my sandwich I had a thought…
“How many other people like me are spending their lunch break with crappy day-time TV for company?”
Like other rare thoughts we get in our lives, this thought became a curiosity, the curiosity became an obsession and the obsession became an idea.
“What if I start something? Something for makers like me who work alone? Something for artists who maybe have kids or another job? And something that would bring us all together to help us thrive?”
With a lot of hard work, that something became a community of people who felt the same way and with even more hard work that community came together in a space we called Studio Souk.
One rebrand, another baby and three years later, Born & Bred has grown into an movement that has impacted over 300 local makers and a space (both online and offline) where artists can come together to learn, share and sell.
What We Do.
Our studio and shop is open to the public and creates an opportunity for artists, locals, tourists, kids (and dogs), to get together and support independent businesses.
We’re raw, colourful and proud of what we’ve built. Our plants are real, there’s paint on the floor and our stock room could do with a good clean-out.
But we’re a safe, welcoming space where visitors can come out of the rain to have a look around, and somewhere that artists can meet the public and mingle together.
Plus, being born and bred in Belfast myself (see what I did there?), I’m dead-set on changing the negative attitudes about our wee country and creating a culture where we are proud of the places we call home.
Sure, sharing local stories play a huge role in that, but they’re not the full solution. That’s why over the next few years we’re ramping up the mentoring side to what we do.
Our goal is to help makers take creative projects from hobbies/side-hustles to profitable, sustainable businesses.
We also wanna come alongside artists who are already well on their way and help them take their offering to the next-level.
You Know What Does My Head In?
Seeing artists struggle and not taking care of themselves.
I’ve been there, done that and got the scars to prove it. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes the fastest way to make a big impact is to slow down and focus on the small stuff like eating right, working less and getting enough sleep.
That’s why we’re big advocates of self-care and teaching creatives how to make business work around all the other important bits of life like family, health and overall wellbeing. Because it matters.
So, with all that said, if you need anything please feel free to reach out.
Whether you’re an artist unsure of your next steps, a maker looking for studio space, or a gift-searcher looking for something special — we’d love to hear from you.
There will always be a place here for you at Born & Bred, and we’re constantly on the lookout for people to join our family.
So don’t be a stranger. Come say hi and let us know how we can help.
– Linzi x
P.S. If you’d like to hear more from me and stay in the loop of our own journey you can sign up to our email newsletter here. Cheers!