My West London Life

Anna Anderson of Kindred, Hammersmith


We talk community, togetherness and the importance of good people with Anna Anderson of Kindred

Why did you set up Kindred?

People do better when connected with others. Since the dawn of time, we’ve gathered around the fire to share stories and ideas, and solidify community bonds. It’s important, and society does better when communities are strong. I was curious as to why we’ve built these incredible, productive, busy cities, without much thought as to how people will actually connect with one another – in person. Online connection is a watered-down form of connection that we lean on when life feels lonely and isolating, so I wanted to build something physical; a space where community could grow and we could meet one another face to face, with no one feeling excluded.

How is Kindred different now to how it was when it first opened?

It’s always been a challenge to define what Kindred is, when our offering is so broad, and for such a wide range of people. We were a members’ club initially, thinking that this was the best way to communicate what we offer. But we always found that the messaging around members’ clubs and what they stand for was out of sync with our values of inclusion and togetherness, especially in a time when we needed community spaces more than ever. So, about two years ago, we decided to drop our membership. We opened Kindred to all, offering four things: coworking, our cultural programme, Cellar at Kindred our restaurant and bar, and our private hire offering, all of which are designed with meeting and gathering in mind. We were always so much more than a members’ club, and so much more than a venue. We’ve found that in opening our doors to everyone, allowing people to engage with us in whatever capacity they want, is a far more effective way of supporting human connection and building community, and that’s what we intend to keep doing.

From your experience, what are the most important things to remember when running a business?

Hire the right people. Your business is only as good as the people working there. No matter what kind of ship you run, your business will shape-shift to reflect the people who are operating it – their values, their skills, their passion, and their vision. Don’t scrimp, treat your people well, and learn everything you can from them. They are your most valuable and important asset.

And define your own role… eventually. In the first few years of Kindred, I had my hands on everything. From pulling pints, to unblocking toilets, marketing strategies to events management. It was incredible to learn the business from the ground up, but isn’t sustainable long term. Over the years I’ve learnt to delegate to my team who are far more effective than I ever was (see point A!) and now I’m in a process of needing to define and round out my role as founder in this new chapter. Many people would advise delegating from day one to avoid burnout and unproductive learning curves… that’s up to you. Personally, I appreciated my learning journey, and there’s no one who knows more about the inner workings of Kindred than I do, which I think has value.

What exciting things are happening in Kindred at the moment?

We have recently launched some exciting events in Cellar at Kindred, our onsite restaurant and bar. As part of our Cellar Sessions series, we put on a monthly cocktail masterclass with the help of in-house drinks guru Julian De Nechaud de Feral. This month it was Vodka themed in celebration of World Cosmopolitan Day, and we had local legend Dima Deinega, showcasing his own vodka brand that we stock at our bar. We also have a monthly cheese and wine night with the Chiswick Cheese Market, where guests can enjoy five delicious cheeses with expert wine pairings.

Another exciting venture is the launch of our Kindred Uncovered Residency, a women-only programme to champion rising artists and musicians living in Greater London. The programme supports five budding artists across a 12-month period who will receive free mentoring throughout the year from leading figures in the UK music industry. The five lucky chosen acts will each be given a chance to perform their work live on Kindred’s stage, as well as get a range of amazing perks including unlimited access to Kindred’s coworking space. We’ve now selected this year’s cohort and I’m really excited to watch their journey over the coming months.

What can we expect from Kindred for the rest of 2024?

As well as our ever expanding cultural events calendar, we have our flagship annual event coming up – TogethernessFest, in line with National Loneliness Awareness Week (10-16 June). This is a really important week to me, as it encapsulates everything we are trying to do at Kindred – provide a community space that’s open to all and that encourages organic and authentic human connection.

We’ve put together a range of both fun-filled and insightful events to bring Londoners together in real life. We’re kicking off with our monthly community dinner, where we get 100 strangers to enjoy a shared feast together. This is always free of charge, although there is an option to donate to our charity partner the Nourish Hub. We then have our Writer’s Hour with the London Writers Salon, a ‘West London Walkies’ for all our fellow dog-lovers in the community on Wednesday 12th June, as well as our signature ID8 event later that evening – where 8 speakers each have 8 minutes to share an idea for a better tomorrow. Later in the week we have a ‘speedmate’ event for coworkers to get to know each other, and an epic closing party with Nemone and Dom Search. It has taken a lot of work to get organised and it’s going to be a busy week – but the whole team and I are so excited to see it all come together.

If you could give one piece of advice to budding entrepreneurs, what would it be?

Just start. If you’re waiting for it to be perfect before you go for it, you’ll wait for ever. Just start, make a mess, clean it up and try again, and allow yourself to be taught along the way.

For more info visit…

Bradmore House, Queen Caroline St, London W6 9BW

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