By Marco Meert
At the entrance, a real piece of modern art, a glass tabletop with crockery inserted in it creates a striking entrance and reflects the motto of the social enterprise: ‘Giving people and furniture a second chance.’
Petit Miracles creates beautiful bespoke furniture at an affordable price, while diverting furniture from landfill and creating training opportunities for disadvantaged London residents. To add extra social value Petit Miracle also occupies empty commercial property and is currently located at the West12 Shopping Centre, in Shepherds Bush.
The shop offers a broad range of up-cycled furniture, restored antiques and vintage items, mixing style and colours with an equal blend of contemporary and classic pieces. The social enterprise clearly has its finger firmly on the pulse of contemporary design, as their eye-catching restorations transform tired old furniture into fashionable, fun and quirky items for the modern home.
The retail space is also a workshop where people from disadvantaged backgrounds are invited to learn about furniture and interior design, how to make their own bespoke creations and improve their own living environment.
The Big Issue online journalists meet up with Elisicia Moore, Petit Miracle’s founder and director, to talk about the role of the social enterprise in the community. Elisicia said: “When Petit Miracle first started we targeted people who had experienced homelessness, with a focus on engaging women. Over time we realised the need was greater than that niche focus. Now the common denominator is longterm unemployment, because that touches a wider number of people in difficult situations.”
Supporting people from often difficult backgrounds Petit Miracle’s training programme helps boost individuals confidence by making them feel welcomed and valued on their journey towards employment. One of the people the social enterprise has made a big difference to is Iyoub Elkrami.
After being longterm unemployed Amid was referred to Petite Miracle for a work placement by the Jobcentre. 18 months later and he is now the workshop manager and a testament to the value of the social enterprise’s training.
Iyoub is clearly proud of the role he plays at the social enterprise and says there is always something exciting happening everyday. He added: “The good thing about [upcycling] furniture is it has a good kind of turnover, as you can start a piece of furniture and finish it in a couple of days. You automatically feel good about finishing it and that inspires you to do more!”
As well as running training programmes for disadvantaged residents Petit Miracle afternoon furniture and up cycling classes are open to the public on every first and second Saturday of the month. Alongside selling furniture this helps to create much needed revenue to support the not-for-profit organisation.
It is exciting times at the social enterprise at the moment, as 4 December will be the launch of the Petit Miracle Hub within West 12 Shopping centre. The hub will encourage and support entrepreneurs and local businesses, by offer affordable retail space. Each entrepreneur will have their own retail area to showcase and sell their products, as well as shared meeting space and business support from experts in order to help their business grow successfully.
The launch event will kick off at 3pm with afternoon tea, followed by evening drinks, talks and even a catwalk show!
To find out more about the launch event or to book a class visit the Petit Miracle website