Flintshire based social enterprise RainbowBiz CIC has been given the green light to reopen its trading arm, the Hippy Shop in Mold next week by First Minister Mark Drakeford. Along with all other non-essential retail premises in Wales, the Hippy Shop has been making changes to its shop in order to apply social distancing to ensure the safety of both customers and staff.

RainbowBiz CIC supports some of the most marginalised members of the community through the work it does in Flintshire.  This work is sustained by the profits made at the Hippy Shop, which are all reinvested back into the social enterprise.

Lockdown came as a huge shock to everyone, but particularly the people they support, many of which see the regular weekly projects as a lifeline to their wellbeing and routines.  Closing projects and the Hippy Shop literally brought things to a standstill.  The staff quickly regrouped and have been heartened by the support from the community who have gone above and beyond to support online social media posts and regular online social meetups. North Wales Media, an IT support company, went one step further and offered their time and expertise to support the work of the social enterprise.

Sue Oliver, Director at RainbowBiz CIC said “We were approached very early on by North Wales Media asking us how they could support our enterprise.  I was completely taken aback and called a meeting with the staff to discuss our priorities and how we could utilise this help.”

NorthWales Media are a Flint-based IT Support and Marketing Service Provider with years of experience, helping businesses with their IT infrastructure and online presence.

Sara-Mai Reyes Escoto, Marketing Manager at NorthWales Media said “We’ve followed RainbowBiz for a while and are continually impressed with how much they do for the community. It’s been a pleasure working with Sue and Sarah and we’re extremely pleased that we’ve been able to play our part in creating two websites that, we feel, really speak to the fun, inclusive nature of RainbowBiz.”

After several virtual meetings with each other, the team decided on a plan of action to re-energise both websites that the social enterprise hosts. Their main website www.rainbowbiz.org.uk provides an insight into the work of the enterprise and the people that they support.  It has been given a fresh lease of life and is now easier to navigate with lots of colour and photographs to browse.  The second website www.rainbowbizhippyshop.org.uk is the new online shop which will help to sustain the enterprise long term in conjunction with its retail premises in the Daniel Owen Precinct in Mold.

New developments in the shop include a Click and Collect service, which will cut waiting times down for customers and also reduce queues.  It is hoped this new way of shopping will suit regular and new customers who can simply just pop to the shop to pick up their online orders.

In order to reduce risks for both staff and customers, the shop has introduced a cashless system and is accepting all forms of contactless payments in-store, with no minimum charge per transaction.

Customers will be able to view lots more products in the window and viewing area as the shop has introduced a new safe layout in light of the Covid-19 crisis. 

Sarah Way, Hippy Shop Manager, said: “I think the website beautifully reflects our shop and the positive energy that customers have always commented on. We are overwhelmed at the support given by North Wales Media and we would like to thank them for all their help.  As a thank you to our first 100 customers, a Loyalty Discount Voucher will be given to each shopper which will enable them to take advantage of an incredible 40% discount on any clothing items in store”. 

RainbowBiz hopes that the community will continue to support them in their work and visit the Hippy Shop in Mold soon.