Gather Round celebrates 5 years



Together we’ve celebrated (often), commiserated (occasionally) and laughed (a lot). As they say, it’s been a ride! To mark our fifth year we’re committed to giving back, in more ways than one, to the creative community that is our life force.

We caught up with co-founder Jason to reflect on our first five years in business, the surprises encountered while running a co-working space and what he has learnt from being part of a creative community. 

Co-Founder Jason’s Journey

I can’t look back on the last five  years without thinking about two of the biggest moments of my life happening right at the same time. The birth of my first daughter and the build of our flagship space the Cigar Factory. Not exactly great timing, but due to build deadlines it unfortunately meant working from the hospital where I spent just under a week with my daughter. The experience of becoming a father for the first time gave me an overwhelming sense of drive and determination to make things work, not only for my new family but also for the vision we had for Gather Round. Pressure can be a positive thing!

With many years in the planning, myself and business partner, Ben launched Gather Round at the Cigar Factory, Southville in 2019. Our dream of a co-working space built by creatives for creatives had become a reality. We were thrilled with the space and the environment that we’d created; our first members are our friends to this day. Amongst our initial success, we understood Gather Round would only work if the community grew and opportunities for our members grew alongside it. 

The idea behind Gather Round was born from our own growing pains, running a design studio – Fiasco Design. We were officially the first tenants of Gather Round. Working within the space ourselves was intentional, we believed in the concept and so did our team. Our own needs as a studio heavily influenced our decisions when creating Gather Round and that was incredibly important for us.

The community began to grow at the Cigar Factory and connections were being made organically. The flow of space was working with our approach to the design and the feedback we received was incredibly supportive. And importantly, our own creative team really enjoyed the space. 

Friendships shining through

But after only 6 short months we simply had to shut our doors. Covid had struck.

This didn’t seem to stop our community though; even when we weren’t physically together, there was such a feeling of solidarity, at a lonely time. It was truly moving. Through the good times and the bad, people were there for one another, with genuine friendships and connections shining through. 

It was partly being surrounded by this positivity we decided to launch Brunswick Square our second location in central Bristol. Of course, at the time, people told us we were mad and that remote working would become the new norm, but we had an unerring sense of belief in the basic need for human interaction. 

Our approach to Brunswick Square was all about the flexibility to accommodate a completely new approach to working, as well as expanding our community. A community of creatives who had all been through their own struggles. Making sure people had a safe space that welcomed them back after lockdown was absolutely crucial.

Giving back to the creative community

At Gather Round, bringing people together and fostering a creative community that blossoms has always been at the heart of our mission. We are now celebrating our 5th year with a membership of over 220. We always believed that creativity thrived off engagement, inspiration and connections, and looking back on the community that has grown from Gather Round, we can see it now too.

In honour of Gather Round’s fifth anniversary, we’re spreading the love to members, non-members and emerging talents within Bristol’s creative community. Keep your eyes peeled for news on our upcoming initiatives supporting Bristol’s creative scene and a brand new series of free *events that you won’t want to miss!

*Save the date 6th June!

Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to get your hands on free tickets, numbers are limited, we have a feeling they will go quickly!


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This post was written by Danie at Brunswick Square.

Danie’s our Marketing Director at Gather Round.

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