SHOPPING WITH PRIDE TO SUPPORT GEORGE HOUSE TRUST
Gay Pride Shop, a brand-new store dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community has now opened in Manchester city centre. The launch coincides with the run up to Manchester Pride, which takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Gay Pride Shop shares the same space with the newly refurbished MUOBU on the second floor of Afflecks in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and online at www.gayprideshop.co.uk.
They stock a large range of LGBTQ+ and rainbow themed products, sourced from around the world, including a huge selection of rainbow products specifically for pride parades, such as flags, banners, whistles, rainbow face paint and party accessories.
The shop is the brainchild of couple Ian Welham and Jason Guy, who launched their cosmetic shop MUOBU (Make Up Or Break Up) in Afflecks in 2014. They then expanded this into www.festivalglitter.co.uk, which is now the largest glitter and festival jewels website in the world and only one of a handful of licenced Bio-Glitter® retailers in Europe.
The couple saw a gap in the market for a UK based LGBTQ+ and rainbow themed store for both Manchester and online, after struggling to find certain items themselves. Ian Welham, director said;
“we wanted to do something different than just opening a shop. Pride should be a time when the community comes together and not just about profit. There are far too many shops and websites that jump on the Pride bandwagon, selling rainbow & LGBT themed items during pride events in the UK, but giving nothing back. We just couldn’t do that.”
30% of all profits from Gay Pride Shop are being shared with three LGBTQ+ charities that Ian and Jason personally chose. These charities are:
● George House Trust, who provide HIV information, support and advice services.
● Mermaids, who support gender variant and transgender children and young people up to 20 years old and their families.
● The Albert Kennedy Trust, who support LGBTQ+ young people experiencing homelessness or living in hostile environments.
Currently stocking over 300 items, they’re already in talks with another 30 manufacturers and suppliers around the world and aim to have over 1,000 LGBT themed items on sale by the end of the year.
“We don’t just want to focus on Pride events during the summer. We’d love to be able to share profits with our chosen charities all year round,” said Jason. “For example, by the end of the August we’ll stock over 200 different greetings cards. Everything from gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender birthday, Christmas and Valentine’s Day cards, to Mr & Mr/Mrs & Mrs wedding cake toppers, rainbow party decorations, badges, patches and bracelets.”
Gay Pride Shop is now open on the second floor of Afflecks, 52 Church Street, Manchester and online at www.gayprideshop.co.uk.