Ridhika – Green Fix
Liverpool locals know that the real heartbeat of the city is pumping in the lanes that connect East to West allowing you to cross the city on foot without walking down a street. Each lane has its own distinct character and down Northumberland Arcade you will find a number of shops dedicated to Liverpool Councils, Pop Up initiative which was launched in 2018. The initiative provides an opportunity to trial concepts and operations in a low risk environment, the aim of the project is to develop a vibrant and interesting destination that attracts visitors to the area.
One of the tenants breathing new life into the old is Ridhika Naidoo the owner of Green Fix a space where you can purchase pre loved and repurposed items from, vintage furniture to upcycled shopping bags. And what’s more important than teaching a man to shop? Teaching him to repair things. Ridhika also runs workshops teaching you how to create or fix your own items extending the life cycle of your beloved pieces and reducing the amount of waste each of us contributes to landfill, which according to the ABC is on average more than one tonne, per person every year!
I sat down with Ridhika over a cup of tea and some origami folding to find out what led to her opening Green Fix and what you’ll find in store.
The Westies: When did the shop open and what do you sell/provide?
Ridhika:My shop – Green Fix started in April 2018 and my pop – up space will come to an end this April. I host creative workshops, sell handmade goods, a small range of plants, secondhand books and furniture (including furnishings and shop fittings).
The Westies: What motivated you to start Green Fix?
Ridhika:I’ve always wanted to start my own business, I’m passionate about sustainability and I’ve been collecting for years (my friends often joke i’m a hoarder). Not only that I wanted to express my creative side and share those skills with others; macrame, sewing, gardening, repairing – they’re all simple pleasures, help you to focus and give you that dose of mindfulness.
What is it about running your own business that you are so drawn to?
Ridhika:There are so many things that i’m drawn to when running my business. Since opening my space in Liverpool I’d say it’s meeting people from all walks of life. Another big thing for me is coming up with ideas with new workshops and products to share and test. Being in a space that can make a change.
The Westies: What were you doing before you started Green Fix?
Ridhika:I’ve held multiple roles in various industries predominantly in the Digital space including Online editor, Content Manager, Digital Marketer.
The Westies: How has your past experience helped you?
Ridhika:My past experience has helped me in many ways especially in terms of marketing and promotion in the online space, being able to build/design my website.
The Westies: Why fix or repurpose our stuff when new things are now so cheap and easy to buy?
Ridhika:When you fix/repurpose something you’re saving a material – something that has taken hours to produce, plus you’re saving a piece of history. There’s so much you can do with old stuff, it’s how view things, for instance a chair doesn’t need to be just used for sitting you can use it for storage, as a clothes hanger, a step, a plant stand the list is endless. When you fix/repurpose something you get that sense of achievement. New things don’t necessarily hold the same value – unless it’s something you invest in long term.
The Westies: What have you found is the benefit of having a shop front instead of being purely online?
Ridhika: (Being online) You don’t have that same connection, people will walk past and wave or they might come in for a browse, there is no pressure to buy. They will remember this space and experience they had here, it draws them in a different way. I know myself I often don’t buy things instantly. I’ll browse and then go back when I am ready to buy. There is a movement where people want to support local, I have found that since opening people come in and say “I am so glad you are here, I would rather support you than a big department stall.” The shop is also a community project in that is helps changes perceptions (of Liverpool) someone said “oh this shop is really nice you should be in Newtown” But why should I? Liverpool deserves a shop like this too.
Liverpool Council provides the space you are in to start up businesses at a supplemented rate, can you tell me a bit about that and the support council has provided?
Ridhika:The Council have a Pop Up Initiative where they offer vacant retail spaces to creative businesses and entrepreneurs to test out their business idea at a supplemented rate. It’s a great opportunity if you have always had that business idea. They’ve been a great support to me, allowing me to get my business idea off the ground. The experience has taught me so much and something I would not have been able to do had it not been for this initiative.
Next join Green Fix as they launch their 2019 Lunch Time series Create and make in your lunch break
When: Launch Wednesday, 30th January, Drop in anytime between 12 – 3pm
Where: Shop 7, 232 – 250 – Northumberland Arcade, Liverpool
The launch will include:
- New Products for 2019 – Creative Memberships, Repair what you wear, Green Valentine’s
- Light refreshments
- A mini origami workshop
- A chance to win a Workshop for you and a friend
Photo: Katrina James
Interview: Katrina James