CCK is 10 years old! December Today we had two birthday cakes, with five candles on each one! Since , we had clocked up five years on the high street, and five years as a Social Enterprise. We test drive it with five interns and are soon commended on the "platinum standard" of the programme. Our interns work as they choose, when they choose, and on whatever they choose, while also benefiting from a solid structure and supervision throughout.
Coffee and cake are had by all, with a fair bit of kink to boot. Polyday 27 August Ever since the closure of the Covent Garden store back in , we have stayed in touch with our community by means of newsletters and CCK Socials. People have also been able to visit us at our WC1 office, and they frequently pop over for a chat over coffee, or to pick up some goodies from our web shop.
As Polyday approaches, we decide we miss hanging out, and make a public appearance, as well as serving coffee and cake to Polyday visitors, and treating the event team and volunteers to refreshments on us. It takes our combined forces the best part of July to push things through and list our positions in the nationwide government jobs database. We celebrate as diversity wins and the word "kink" raises eyebrows in job centres across the country only a couple of years earlier, Ann Summers fought all the way to the High Court to achieve just that.
To increase individuals' confidence and work readiness. To develop the management and the organisation, in particular backend systems and procedures. To further our mission of making "kink" more acceptable by demonstrating how "alternative" organisations may work alongside mainstream ones, participate in the society and deliver measurable social benefits challenging stereotypes and bridge-building.
Goal monitoring was conducted by means of an anonymous online survey, completed at exit by the majority of departing FJF staff. Combined with individual CV reviews and mentoring, this translated into several of the FJF team finding new, exciting employment immediately after the end of their placements with us, and more in the following months. Please see below for details and personal feedback from the team.
It proceeds to explore the concept of collective identity, CCK's function as "a community centre", and "a very special social space that connected cutting-edge erotic culture with day-to-day functionality and community 'outreach' activities where people made important discoveries about themselves and life. CCK was a "world that was embracing and went beyond mere 'tolerance', to acceptance.
A world that was life-affirming and expansive and, to some, transformative". Busman's Holiday February-March We travel North America, at long last putting faces to names and visiting our long-term suppliers and partners.
We have a lovely time in Canada, appreciating the "Wet Spots" and kinky Toronto. In San Francisco, we are offered new premises for CCK on the evening of our arrival we politely decline, figuring London needs us more. Verve coffee roasters in Santa Cruz give us a roastery tour and our first demo of syphon coffee-making two years before it arrives in London.
Travelling around California, we visit Cleis Press in SF, spend a lovely afternoon with Olivia, an iconic pin-up artist, watching a naughty version of the Cadbury bunny emerge under her paintbrush in her Malibu studio. It is later deemed "too saucy" to be used as a new chocolate icon. JP Stockroom in LA knock us off our feet with their hospitality, and a 2am factory tour where we learn all about their toys and leather goods and have an unforgettable Saturday night!
These continue throughout and , until the Bunny takes a well-earned break and CCK Socials just wouldn't be the same without her! Clearing out the basment amuses everyone, with several boxes of samples that never made it to the shop floor finally seeing the light of day.
We have no fewer than three closing parties - which are a blast - for our customers, and continue doing business via the online shop. Rape Charity Support 19 September The Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre Dundee contact us via our online shop for advice on sex-positive books suitable for rape and abuse survivors. The subject is dear to our hearts, with consent - or lack thereof - critical to both the nature, and outcomes of any "rough sex".
It is great to be discussing the subject with someone dealing with the other, non-consensual, side, and better still to be working together and arriving at the same conclusions.
We are, in fact, all on the same page, and CCK are honoured to be of help. We welcome any future collaborations in this area. Multiple, if somewhat subdued, protests take place, including the symbolic burning of soon-to-be-outlawed literature in front of the British Library.
We are heartbroken to be selling books bound for "the stake", and spend ages leafing through them as we bid each goodbye. We call publishers of some of the titles to discuss matters, and train our staff. To further spread the word, we put on the "Extreme Porn" exhibition of Geoff The Fetishman 's comic art, which humorously summarises our views on this serious matter. Nevertheless, from the beginning of it is illegal to possess any image featuring "serious injury to the breasts or the genitalia", regardless of participants or consent given.
Chosen as their case study, we are pronounced "an interesting and unique business and, above all, well run [ We go through a screening process with the expert responsible for all social enterprises in London at the time. Four hours at the City Hall later, it becomes apparent that we do indeed tick all the boxes. Finally, we have a name for something we've been doing for since the day we opened our doors back in !
With official recognition, opportunities arrive. Tamara, as good as her word, puts the weight of the Mayor's Office behind us. Online shop launches July We assemble a collection of unique goods, many exclusive to us, in a new online shop aiming to provide a bridge between premises, and continuity to CCK while we are off the high street.
We have not stopped trading for one day since opening the doors in All through to , customers will visit us in our Gray's Inn office, popping in to collect their goods, say hi, and have some coffee and cake while they are at it. It's the first time we are asked to participate in a business forum discussion without the K-word clouding the issues.
We have similar conversations with LDA and various local government agencies. It's the first of many events which we go on to support over the years by providing subsistence and taking care of the good people both organising and attending. As it happens, the Skin Two Expo - which we always try to attend - coincides with the event. This year, we choose a charity appearance for Different Strokes. Ulli Richter Exhibition January Where does an "unexhibitable" artist go to exhibit their work?
Ulli Richter's art treads a fine line between the subversive and the barely legal. A Berlin-based photographer, noted for both his artistic and "leather" photography, Ulli is known for capturing real people, in real "play", and in uncompromising, controversial contexts. The resulting photography, while excellent, is not for the faint-hearted.
Consequently, it cannot be easily shown to the public and would not be accepted by any gallery or, indeed, any other space whether mainstream, alternative, or LGBT. True to our mission of pushing boundaries, we decide to stick our necks out and spend eight long hours shortlisting images that would challenge without getting us shut down.
In due course we are visited by both the police and the council The exhibition is a great success, and it runs its course uninterrupted and without incident.
Led by Father Alex Church of England , the group focuses on discussion and exploration of spirituality and particularly, though not only, the Christian faith, in relation to alternative lifestyles. In the course of the first evening, Alex binds an old, leather-bound copy of the Bible with bondage rope, and encourages participants to slide into it cards describing their personal faith issues; it is never to be unbound, with all individual prayers to be given to God.
The Bible lives at CCK for a number of years, and is accessible to all asking for it. Combining discussion and prayer, "Spiritual Space" is an exceptionally rare project aimed at helping people become whole, and work out the clashes between their spirituality and sexuality while being fully supportive of both.
The little-known event raises numerous eyebrows, while attracting a wide range of people, who sometimes travel considerable distances to attend. For many, it is of enormous support and transformational power, and has continued at various venues since She has fun and is the youngest power woman there. Nobuyoshi Araki evening 6 October Our first collaboration with a major arts institution, to complement the Araki: Death exhibition , featuring the works of Nobuyoshi Araki, arguably Japan's greatest living photographer and certainly its most controversial.
Kinkfest July Kinkfest, a non-profit event from Unfettered which aims to further the causes of kink and alternative lifestyles, is the first community event where we provide quiet, behind-the-scenes support, keeping their volunteers going with free coffee and cake. This continues the following year, where so they can do their bit with gusto this work continues to date, so feel free to get in touch!
We spend a fun afternoon with the students, all well-fuelled with coffee and cake on the house. Julie's advertising course goes on to be among the top three in the country, with students scooping a clutch of prestigious top industry awards.
Surely enough, the rise of the CCK-style "fusion cafe" follows from onwards, with the trend in "fourth wave" destination cafes coming from onwards. Likewise, the cafetiere-style, single-origin coffee, which we raised eyebrows with in , is fast becoming the way to enjoy coffee we have lost count of how many times we have refused to serve espresso-based drinks - as it turns out, rightly so! Ahead of the pack since , we are regularly consulted on coffee industry matters and surveys big and small including Allegra Strategies industry reports In a meeting at CCK, we discuss the history and background of the publication, as well as providing additional copies of the and map for the archive General Collections; Ephemera; Box Our "London Fetish Map" was also shortlisted for the Publication of the Year Erotic Award we declined due to a conflict of interest as we had already offered assistance with this Outsiders Trust charity event.
Seeing the "Staff Wanted" note in the window, she came up to say she was interested and that "Mum approves" She will stay with us for the full run of the first store, and all its ups and downs, and be the last to go when we close the door in They honour the most talented, influential and sex-positive artists, writers, politicians, academics and pioneers, nominated by the public and judged by the Grand Jury.
In a ceremony at Night of The Senses, we pick up our Golden Flying Penis Trophy, which joins the first one already in our office for the previous, non-CCK achievements of the very same team.