A couple of weeks ago I scraped myself out of bed and hopped along to Badego’s Creative Cafe, morning meet up at Urban Coffee Company. For those of you who don’t know about Badego, they’re a group who host regular meet ups and events for creatives in Brum and from my experience at Urban Coffee Co they can pull together an interesting crowd. I hobbled in awkwardly late but just in time to hear from Ashley O’Brien from the Design Agency Two of Us and Matthew Nation talk about their process for rebranding Provide.

Insightful as their thorough description of their process was, the thing that really struck a chord with me was when he spoke about how they came to the defining statement for the Provide shop. They decided on three words that are the core values of the Provide identity in this statement:
“Provide creates and promotes good design and independent culture. It is a platform for products and ideas that are honest, practical and beautiful.”
I asked Matthew why the word honest was important to them as to me this was an underlying moral/ethical belief that is based on a potentially interesting philosophy or thought around human experience. Matthew responded saying essentially that our culture of commercial branding and marketing are far too often selling us ideas and products that are more often than not very dishonest and that he strongly believes that people should get what they pay for. His astute and very noble response got me thinking about how the creative community in Birmingham might be better harnessed to play a role in accentuating ideals such as these, not just on an aesthetic level but to help perpetuate them by connecting up and weaving them into the very fabric of our culture. Perhaps then our endeavours might become easier to sustain and more valued by the wider community.

After these talks, I engaged in another short conversation about how fragmented the creative community in our city can be and how this affects the sustainability of independent creative ventures. It strikes me that part of the solutions to this are that we need to create spaces to make real and meaningful connections that go beyond the superficial. Grateful for spaces like these created by groups such as Badego as you never know what could happen next as a result of the connections made.

Find out more about Badego on their website here.