Brixton shop united80 needs your support

Samantha-Jane in her united80 shop in Brixton VillageSamantha-Jane, of united80 tells the Bugle her crowdfunding campaign is not all about the money, but don’t let that stop you chipping in

Brixton Village stalwart united80 has kicked off a five-week crowdfunder campaign to raise funds for the redesign and development of the store.

Owner and self-taught fashion designer Samantha-Jane has set an ambitious target of £30,000.

She also plans to a build a website to sell her wares online, and to launch a range of homeware, art and apparel that is exclusive to united80 through its continued collaboration with local artists and brands.

Samantha-Jane says: “It started seven years ago when myself and a couple of friends took the opportunity to collaborate and form a small shop in Brixton.

“We didn’t have any investment or huge plans, just a desire to have a dedicated space.

One of Samantha-Jane's designs at united80 in Brixton Village“We used to trade on market stalls. But we didn’t want to be in the cold anymore, so united80 was born.

“After the first few years it built momentum. We put on events and the shop grew into its own brand. We didn’t plan to do it.”

Over that time united80 has built a “community of like-minded people who love that the shop represents the African diaspora experience and London culture rolled into one.”

Originally from Liverpool, Samantha-Jane was taken by the multiculturalism of Brixton and wanted the shop to reflect that. “I came from a place with a strong identity, but I have that here too,” she says.

All brands supported by united80 are independent, which is important to her.

United80 has been a platform for, and hosted cultural events, guest DJs, live band performances, fashion shows, trunk shows, and topical forums.

So far (29 April) they have raised £6,123 with eight days to go, so if you would like to show your support go to crowdfunder.

It isn’t all about the money for Samantha-Jane: “I’d love to meet the target, but more people will hear about the shop and what we’re trying to do. If it wasn’t for the people who come here, the shop wouldn’t exist.”