Outdoor gallery highlights independent businesses in Kentish Town High Street

SKK Lighting has had famous customers like Alexander McQueen and Annie Lennox

SKK Lighting has had famous customers like Alexander McQueen and Annie Lennox - Credit: Town Spot Presents

A Kentish Town social enterprise project is turning the High Street into an outdoor photography exhibition highlighting the stories of local businesses.  

The initiative Town Spot Presents was launched by Mike Gyi with the aim to increase footfall in the area by displaying posters in 17 independent businesses until mid-October. 

The posters show a photo of the owner, a quote and a QR code which passers-by can scan to learn more about the business. 

Mike said: “Every business in Kentish Town has a unique story and I want to help them tell their stories in a physical and impactful way so that they attract more customers. 

“The mission is to help you feel at home where you live by increasing your knowledge so your town is an extension of your home.” 

The project highlights local businesses like Caliendo's Gelato

The project highlights local businesses like Caliendo's Gelato - Credit: Town Spot Presents

The project was created in collaboration with Kentish Town residents Karishma Puri, a documentary photographer, and Olivia Burney, a journalist. 

All of the stories showcase a variety of High Street businesses from social enterprises, artist studios, music venues, barbers, restaurants, and pubs.  

Most Read

One of them is SKK Lighting, a specialised lighting store run by Hong-Kong born Shiu-Kay Kan, who, in his interview with Town Spot Presents, tells of working with celebrity clients including Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Annie Lennox.  

The project hopes to increase footfall for businesses and restaurants like the Bengal Lancer 

The project hopes to increase footfall for businesses and restaurants like the Bengal Lancer - Credit: Town Spot Presents

Shiu-Kay said about the project: “I think it’s a very good idea, it looks good. I’ve noticed more people coming into the shop already. It’ll be nice to see what the result is after a few more weeks.” 

Other shops taking part include Bread By Bike, Café Palestina, George’s Barber Room, MAP Studio Café and Morgan’s Stationary. 

Councillor Danny Beales, Camden cabinet member for investing in communities, culture and an inclusive economy, said: “Town Spot Presents is a great opportunity to connect people with local businesses and support footfall on Kentish Town high street.” 

Earlier this year Mike raised £18,561 on Spacehive, including a £9,500 grant from Camden Council to fund the project. 

People can scan the QR code on the poster to find out more about businesses like the Oxford Tavern

People can scan the QR code on the poster to find out more about businesses like the Oxford Tavern - Credit: Town Spot Presents

Two years ago Mike founded Kentish Town Spot, a WhatsApp newsletter for residents where he compiles information about events and activities in the area. 

See the full list of businesses here: https://www.kentishtownspot.com/local-spots