A new Craft centre, run by Emma Smith and her partner David Skeggs, has got off to a flying start in Norfolk Street.
It’s taken over the former ‘Wooden Tops’ furniture shop next to the old ‘Deck of Cards’. When we visited, the shop was a hive of activity, with people constantly coming and going.
“It’s a rent-a-shelf shop for artists and crafters. They can come in, rent a shelf and sell their items from here. We charge them £10 a week, and there’s no commission charged,” said Emma
“At Christmas there was a mad rush for all the craft fairs, so I thought it would be really nice to set up somewhere that gave people their chance to buy the crafts all year round.
“We also run a craft group that meets every other Saturday. It’s free for anyone to come along to, and they can make something different each time. All they have to do is bring along the materials.
“We’ve got a photography studio upstairs, which is run by my sister, and have plans to open an art gallery. We want to open a little tea room too.”
“A lot of people say they come in and don’t want to go, because they feel like it’s their shop. It’s building into a really nice little community.
“At the moment we’ve got over 40 sellers, and we’ve only been open 4 weeks. It’s going really well, and we’ve got more people on a waiting list. I want to keep plenty of variety.
“My great grandad ran a rent-a-shelf antique shop in Market Deeping, so it kind of runs in the family.
“Sixty years ago this was a haberdashery shop that was run by a lady, and a photographer called Dick Goodchild had a studio on the second floor. So history has come full circle!”
Emma, from Cherry Baby was stocking up her shelf:
“I’m displaying lots of jewellery and customised phone cases, glasses and shoes. I also rent a shelf at a couple of other places in Yorkshire and Chelmsford. People have approached me on Twitter and asked to put stuff in their shops.
“I’m inspired by every day life, art, and what I see people wearing. I’ve been doing this for about 2 years, and absolutely loving it. I started off in floristry , but I found my passion is with the jewellery. I adore making up something unique and fun.
“My jewellery has even appeared on the X-Factor, worn by some of the backing dancers!”