Monday 5 November 2012

The Craft Coop Pop Up Shop

If your local high street is anything like mine, there are probably a lot more empty shops around than there used to be! In my local town centre (Maidenhead) it's been great to see a couple of local groups getting together to make use of these spaces, and breathe a bit of creative life back into the town.

Art on the Street (who run a popular art market held on the high street) have been displaying local artists' work in empty shop windows, and ran a pop up gallery/shop in one of the empty shops this summer. Local craft collective The Craft Coop have also been holding events and running pop up shops, and they're back this autumn with not one but two shops full of lovely handmade things.

I've unfortunately been too busy to really get involved with The Craft Coop this year, but I'm hoping to take part next year and it's really wonderful to see a group of crafters getting together to sell their work and create something this fab. Doesn't the main shop look awesome?

This is the sad, empty space it was before (formerly a bookshop).

The shop is full of all kinds of handmade wares, plus a cafe selling tea and coffee and homemade cake. There are also going to be a series of workshops (click here for details) and there's a weekly "craft and natter" session each Thursday morning, from 10am.

Local crafters are renting space in the shop by the week, so while some of the crafts will be available for the whole run others will only be available for a week or two so the stock will change a bit each week to hopefully encourage lots of return visits. You can read about some of the crafters selling their wares here.

The Craft Coop have also taken over an empty jewellery shop and filled it with handmade jewellery! They say, "we were so sad to see small independent business Cathy Stephens Jewellery close, and so we are determined to bring a little bling back to the shop, just in time for Christmas. We are delighted to offer an entire shop full of unique handcrafted jewellery, including semiprecious gems, gorgeous lampwork, Italian millefiore, and silverwork"

If you're in the area, do come along to support the shops! They're open until 30th December, Wed. - Saturday 10am- 5pm, Sunday 11am- 5pm. And if you live nowhere near me, do take the time to find out if something like this is happening in your local area and support it if you can :)

(P.S. thanks to Deborah for the great photos!)


homemade@myplace said...

this is a brilliant idea!!! Handmade crafts make every place lovely and cosy! I hope people is attracted by this nice initiative, both sellers and customers!!!
You know, my first time in England was a spring time long ago. My father had to go to Maidenhead for a weekly work meeting (he was working for an oil company) and I had the opportunity to follow him! I spent a week in one hotel in Maidenhead, while every morning I took the train to visit London!
xxx Alessandra

Rosa-Munda said...

Maidenhead is only half an hour away for me so I will swing by and take a look at this fabulous idea! Ros

Nev said...

That does look fantastic! Well done to them & I hope it turns out profitable for them too :) Wish we had something like this locally but I'm so out of the loop now, I'd probably miss it anyway!

nicedaydesigns said...

The shop looks amazing, fair play to everyone involved. There has been a silver lining to the recession, these kind of project never would have happened during the boom time with crazy expensive rates and rents.

I just spent 10 months setting up a similar project in Limerick, Ireland. We just opened on Friday(at long last!!!) I'll be blogging about it later in the week, I'll leave a link on your Facebook.

Rebecca said...

There appears to be a space like this in Lincoln. I spotted something vaguely crafty when I was in town on Wednesday, but the place wasn't open on a Wednesday so I couldn't check it out, but it has a long table down the middle and a sign about trying out the "craft of the day" for free, so I will try to get into town when it's actually open!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Alessandra - Ah, it's a small world! :)

Ros - I hope you'll enjoy your visit x

Helen - haha, that sounds like me! The Craft Coop found me through Etsy, I'd never have thought to look for a local craft co-operative round here.

Nicedaydesigns - so awesome seeing your shop set up! I hope it goes really well for you all :)

Rebecca - do! It's so important to support these local ventures, and this time of year you can find some super, unique Christmas gifts.