The most wonderful time of the year

23 December 2016
The most wonderful time of the year
After all of November’s excitement our feet are firmly back on the ground and we hit the floor running this month.

The Christmas rush is on, we’re so pleased our concept has you all talking, so much so you’ve been ordering them as stocking fillers again this year.

December is always a busy month for most people and businesses. The streets are full of shoppers, party goers and stress levels are on cruise control. “Tis the season to be jolly” they say and we totally agree. It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Check out our twitter for pictures of the Christmas knits!

Family and friends from all over the world come together, everybody is in high spirits. This is a time for our concept to shine again by bringing people together. Our towns and cities are filled with people from all over the country and the world. For some people this time of the year can be lonely and our social tool is helping to tackle this issue head on. So if you have a Chatter Bag or not spare a thought for the people around you. If you know any elderly people go visit them, invite them out for a cup of tea. It will make such a difference to their day and yours too for that matter.

Social Integration is on top of our list for the coming year.  We have written about this in the past and are continuing our mission helping people to feel like a local wherever they are. By integrating people and communities we educate one another. We help build trust and friendships that sometimes never happen because people are uncertain of their social surroundings and stick to what they know and people they know. Trust me; were all missing out, there’s so much you can learn from people around you especially in a wonderful diverse city like this one. Try it!

The events sector, schools and universities which we’ve worked with in the past have proven to be a huge success. Our “Let’s talk about” concept for the events is a powerful tool allowing attendees and vendors to get the most out of their events. The communication tool for schools and uni’s is the perfect way to break the ice and shows common interests among fellow students, what’s not to love? It can be hard getting to know people these days with all the apps out there. Chatter Bags is the perfect digital detox, much needed and a breath of fresh air when it comes to the old fashioned way of speaking, face to face. We have big plans for the coming year! If you would like to know more go to Our Concepts on the website.

2016 was a year full of surprises some good, some not so good. We have to look forward to 2017 and make every moment count, together we can make a difference, and together we are stronger.

Thank you all for the continued custom and support. We really feel the love.

So on that note; we want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

Enjoy it wherever you are or how you choose to celebrate it.

Big Love,

Mark & the super Chatter Bags team!

We are Great British Entrepreneur Award Winners!!

30 November 2016
We are Great British Entrepreneur Award Winners!!
It feels good to say that!

Award season is very much in full swing all over the country, so much so you’d be hard pushed not to see someone in black tie or a sparkly dress on the London underground.

We had our opportunity to put on the glad rags on November 22nd and attend this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards at the Lancaster Hotel London.

What a night...

Hailed as the benchmark of entrepreneurial success in Britain, this special event did not disappoint. From the get go you couldn’t help but feel excited, from pap’s to bubbles and familiar very successful faces it all kicked off with a bang.  We said it at last month’s event but the talent was on tap at this ceremony too. We were chatting to so many inspiring people with real passion for what they do. It was an evening for giving yourself a little pat on the back and realising we deserve to be in this room with this awesome bunch of people.

Complements were flowing around the room at dinner from people who were 20 years in business to people that are 20 months into their business. It was a real delight to hear about some of the journeys people have been on or are currently experiencing. Being a social enterprise we have a lot to talk about when it comes to making a difference and creating social change here in the UK & all over the globe, people were taking a real interest in our concept and how it works and the impact it is having. It was like a really lavish networking session. We loved it.

Throughout the evening we got to hear from some incredible speakers, full of motivational subjects and personal stories. Then came that part of the night where the awards were being handed out to deserving entrepreneur after entrepreneur and company after company were being crowned and then, “Mark Beehan - Chatter Bags”

We won, I found myself standing on stage next to another winning entrepreneur and BBC Apprentice winner Mark Wright! We both congratulated each other and everybody else on the stage it was the best feeling.

We could not believe it, another award for this start-up. it means the world to myself and the team. We work our butts off daily and are continuously adding new ways for our concept to grow and make a difference. We really enjoy it and to get rewarded for it is the icing on top.   

This team effort has proven time and time again people want change and we are honoured they choose our way as one of the ways to make it happen.

2017 is looking to be an exciting year for us, we will continue to work with our much loved schools, uni’s, travel and tourism sectors as well as the events industry which is really hotting up for us!

December is also looking jam packed and our favourite “C word” is on the tip of everyone’s tongue ‘CHRISTMAS’!!

So until then, speak to you all next month.

Thank you all for your continued support!

Big love,

Mark and the multi-award winning Chatter Bags team! X   (feels sooo good)!

GBEA here we come

01 November 2016
GBEA here we come
Let’s start with the great news. Chatter Bags has only been shortlisted as finalists at this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards. How exciting is that!!

We were invited to a celebration evening on October 12th at the RBS Building Bishopsgate. The event was wonderful, we were surrounded by the good and the great of the entrepreneur world, talent was on tap!

We were chatting (what we do best!) to so many people about our concept, about all the different avenues we have gone down with it. We were talking to tech people, to foodies, retail owners and ambassadors of cities to name but a few, they all show real interest and understanding for our product. We were congratulated on a number of occasions on the win last year. We were buzzing, all these great people in one room you can’t help but feel inspired.

Next day we got an email to say we’ve been shortlisted as finalists in the Social Enterprise Entrepreneur of the year category, we jumped up and down, sat down, jumped up and down some more, had a little tear and got straight back into work!! We are over the moon. What an honour. We can’t thank the GBEA enough for recognising us.

The difference our concept is making to the events industry, businesses, schools and individuals has proven to be a success. We are driven by the positive impact it is having and we are tackling social change and behaviour head on. We have lots to do but if this social tool can work in London it can work anywhere.

In other news October was just great, we love this month. Leaves changing colour, people wrapping up warmer and nights getting longer. It’s time to get even more social! River walks and long talks are on our menu. We were out and about as usual, we had awesome days at our pop up just off brick lane. We had a few meetings at the IoD which is always a pleasure to be around and a bunch of other great chats with people and businesses. School break was on which means it’s a busier time for us all. Unfortunately we did not get a chance to go to The Language Show, we had a lot going on this time round but your messages were well received we missed you too!

The media circus of tube chat has died down and life goes on, on the underground. Halloween spooked the life out of many of us. It seems to be getting bigger and bigger each year. Who dressed up by the way? Send us your pictures.

Now it’s time for November to take over,

Oh yes, wish us luck on the 22nd  GBEA at the Lancaster here we come!!

Big Love,

Chatter Bags Team x

Chatting on the BBC & New University

01 October 2016
Chatting on the BBC & New University
What a cracker of a month September was! 

The sun was shining for most of it, schools are back and the events industry is in full swing.

We’ll quickly pop back to our August blog and the piece we wrote about loneliness. The response was really touching, thank you to those who took time to email us. Loneliness is real and it’s an important issue that needs tackling now. We will continue our fight and won’t stop trying until we really make a difference, with your help. We’re a small team that wants to make a big impact!

So school and universities are back and our social tool is there to support any new starters whether it’s a new town, city, school or university. Chatter Bags is here to help you start that all important conversation. It’s a daunting time for some people, which can really affect the way your year goes. Hopefully we can help make it that little bit easier for you. With Chatter Bags it shows you’re approachable, social and up for a chat. You never know who you’ll get talking to or how you are helping someone in the same predicament. It’s great, it’s fun, it’s friendly and most importantly it works. Students new and old are catching on to this way to ‘say hey’.

The events sector is another really interesting and exciting avenue for our brand. Our concepts are helping businesses and customers get the most out of their events, whether it be attending or exhibiting. You can find out more here or contact us to have a little chat about this awesome communication tool.

What’s the point of Chatter Bags? To get people talking, to give people a bit of a digital detox, to improve social integration between people and communities or just a way to get noticed? It’s all that and lot’s more, it’s a social tool that works in so many ways. We’re over a year and a half old, award winning and very proud of the work we do by bring people closer together. We harp on all the time about helping to make or towns and cities a happier, more social place to be and we are not alone. Which leads us on nicely to Tube Chat.

Tube chat stormed into the headlines last week with its controversial way of helping commuters on the underground strike up a conversation. The Idea; commuters had to wear a badge saying “Tube Chat”? It caused uproar in the online world, twitter went into meltdown and the media were having a field day showing interviews and comments from Londoners, people up and down the country and all over the world. It was insane, sadly in most cases for all the wrong reasons for its creator an American guy who lives in London for many years was the talking point.

During all the excitement we were contacted by a number of people and the media about how our approach ‘that’s working’ is a softer way of getting people connected and chatting which works above ground and underground. We simply start the conversation, you finish it. No awkward moments I guess.  We had the pleasure of being on BBC radio live on Friday the 30th talking about Chatter Bags. We really enjoy interviews on TV, Radio and papers. It helps our start-up spread awareness of what we are trying to do.  You can listen here and on iPlayer (we are on 1hour 13minutes into the show). The weekly show is a hoot with a very good humoured presenter Georgey and it airs nationwide from 19:00 on Fridays.

Let’s see what next month brings, I know we will be attending The Language Show and continue with our pop ups and lots more. I’m sure we’ll be chatting about all things scary for Halloween!

Before we go, we want to give a special mention to our followers on twitter Dan & Dee @Dan_and_Dee for the amazing picture of our Chatter Bags. We Love i!. Give these comeback kids a follow!

Have a great October!

Big Love,

Mark & Team x

Loneliness, the silent killer.

31 August 2016
Loneliness, the silent killer.
A headline you don’t expect to be reading about at this day and age.

We’re a pretty positive, feel good, super social brand. Usually we would be writing about what we’ve been up to or where we’ve been popping up or checking out the pictures our users send us from around the globe. With this post we want to build awareness about an important issue.  We’ve been saying since our launch ‘how we want to change the way people live for the better’ and our mission still remains the same today. After all, our slogan is ‘made to make conversation’.

This month we will be talking about something that’s very close to our hearts, a subject we’ve written about in the past and another one of the main reasons this award winning concept exists today. This is a subject most of us can relate to, loneliness.  (Read older blog here) .

In this digital age it has become harder now more than ever to meet/chat to people, with all the apps out there and lack of social integration it isn’t easy. There’s always something holding us back.  This piece taken recently form The Telegraph says it all; ’Having no friends could be as deadly as smoking’. It’s a scary reality that many of us are faced with.  The paper went on to write ‘Researchers at Harvard University have suggested, after discovering a link between loneliness and the levels of a blood-clotting protein which can cause heart attacks and stroke.’ Frightening stuff! It is adding to a pot of how loneliness can impact the way we all live.  Now we’re not ones to believe everything we read in the paper or are we jumping on the band wagon for a story. This is an issue that matters, and can in our opinion be tackled in a number of different ways.

The Local Government Association said loneliness should be treated as a ‘major health issue’. One major charity, Age UK claim the issue "blights the lives” of over a million older people. Loneliness affects many people, a recent study by the Mental Health Foundation found that 18- to 34-year-olds were likely to feel lonely more often than over-55s. We get it, we all had a sit down and talked about in the past. We understand the strain it can have on your life. We know because all of us have felt it at one stage. No matter if you are in a buzzing city, town or village we seem to be keeping more to ourselves rather than getting to know people or staying in touch with people we do know. What do we do about it? Let’s try and stop this ‘social pain’ together!

This is not a sales pitch, it is one solution to a real problem that exists. The more we talk about it, the more we can do the help eliminate this for our generation and the next to come. We can blame a lot of things but we would rather focus on solutions and here’s one to help.  

This start-up came up with innovative ways to start a conversation, ways to make you feel more at home wherever you are and feel like a local even if it’s been your neighbourhood for as long as you can remember. Things and times change, so can you. We’ve just made it that little bit easier!

Our concept works in and explores many different avenues both for business and social surroundings. Time and time again it comes out with the same results. Conversation started, job done, product proven! As random as that sounds, that’s how it can work. Some people are shy to say ‘Hi’ this helps, some people find daunting to approach people, this helps. Our way, you’re showing the world you’re approachable, you’re up for that chat. The best thing is, you call the shots should you continue with the conversation or not. Take the language concept, we all speak something but don’t know what that is by looking at someone, do you? Now you do! It’s a visual ice breaker, a prompter to start a conversation, a starting point for those of you who want to get noticed. Even better it carries your things! This one works in so many ways for schools and uni’s, when traveling or at home.

We are not limited to any one town, city or country. This is an inoffensive useful social tool, which works! Accessible to all and promises not to eat up your data!! We’re trying and its working! We need to tell more people about it. I’ve written to our new Mayor and his team, hopefully soon we can get chatting about how together we can help create social change with a positive impact, continuing with London and rolling it out to places where will benefit from it.

I’d be foolish to be sitting here and say “stop” we have the answer, we don’t. We have an awesome concept that can help make a difference. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be writing to tell you numbers have dropped and keep dropping. Fingers crossed!

Until next time, keep the conversation flowing and get chatting with people in your area.

Remember it takes one person to make a difference. Let that person be you!

Big Love,

Mark & the amazing team x
made to make conversation