A Birmingham university has turned shopkeeper in a bid to boost business in the city.
Birmingham City University has set up shop inside the Mailbox complex to help young entrepreneurs take their first steps in to retail.
The Birmingham Made Me store showcases goods and designs made by current students and graduates, from art and textiles through to vintage goods and homeware.
The store, which is open until December, is part of the Birmingham Made Me campaign, celebrates design excellence in the city.
The campaign will culminate in a week-long design EXPO at the Mailbox next month.
The project is being backed by Beverley Nielsen, former West Midlands regional director for the CBI who has worked as director of employer engagement at Birmingham City University for the past three years.
She said: “We are facing tough economic challenges but our enterprising students, graduates and project partners see this as an opportunity to launch their own shop. The store is about trying to encourage young entrepreneurs by giving them an opportunity to showcase their goods and their designs and products.
“What we have tried to do is create something that is minimal risk, and maximum opportunity by providing a beautiful showcase, but also working together in a collective so everyone can support each other as their take their first or early steps in trading.
“This is really about encouraging young people, but the initiative as a whole is really about showcasing everything that we are producing and designing in the Midlands.”
The traders will rotate with new students and graduate products being introduced regularly.
Among those in the first crop of designers is Hannah Fewtrell-Bolton, who graduated with an MA in jewellery and silversmithing from the university-run Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) last September.
The 24-year-old works in a collective with fellow designers in the Jewellery Quarter and is hoping to launch her online boutique selling bespoke jewellery.
Along with her own designs, Hannah is using her time at the Birmingham Made Me store to sell designs made by fellow students.
She said: “People shouldn’t be afraid of fashion, and express themselves through it.