Small Business Saturday Discount


You may have seen the adverts on the telly or in the paper, or heard people talking about it when you’ve been in town – this weekend sees the arrival of Small Business Saturday. Giving small businesses like ours the chance to shine and take on the big boys, the day is all about supporting small and local businesses, and taking inspiration from business owners who have over come huge odds to create thriving companies with loyal customers.

The event has been taking place annually for several years now, and marks the first shopping day of December, thereby giving people the chance to think about shopping more locally and independently for their Christmas presents. So since we are a one of the surviving small businesses in Ashford, and we have a fantastically loyal customer base in and around Ashford, we are wholeheartedly taking part. We’re giving everyone who makes a purchase on all fabrics, haberdashery and vintage craft supplies on sale at Emporia Fabric & Craft, 20% off on the day.

So while you’re in town and supporting small businesses, we thought we would given you some inspiration on what to buy for your friends and family from some of the smallest businesses going – all the lovely designers at the Emporia Craft & Vintage Market pop up shop next door.


Still not got all your Christmas decorations out of the loft yet? Or if you have, are they looking a bit tired and forlorn? We’ve got bucket loads of Christmas tree decorations on the pop up tree, so whether you want Scandinavian birds, felt penguins or even fancy making your own from a Sew Brilliant kit, there’s plenty to choose from.


Shopping for teenagers is always tricky, given that in the space of one minute something that was really great is now deemed awful and ugly, and makes them roll their eyes at your utter stupidity for even suggesting they might like it. Save yourself the hassle and go for classic comic book cool with the Marvel furniture from Upcycle Sue, or a seriously on trend leather satchel in funky lime green and purple trim from Kamo.


Dads and grandads are another category that tend to be awkward when it comes to choosing presents. Ignore their requests for beer and whisky and get them something that will sort the men from the boys when it comes to looking dapper. Vintage style cufflinks from Taffeta Punk feature old comics and stamps, while these stylish bowties from Susanne from Bijoux Beading are perfect for those wanting to emulate Doctor Who No.11.


Mums, aunties, girlfriends, wives and generally any females in your life over the age of 12 will be thrilled to be on the receiving end of one of these gorgeous necklaces from Lucy Alice or Richardson & Richardson. Choose from wildlife inspired animals in wood cut and pastel colours, or go bolder with the laser cut perspex birds and bees.


Little children don’t always want plastic toys and noisy electronic gadgets for Christmas, sometimes little things like personalised bunting or a wash bag or pencil case made from bright and exciting patterned fabric will please them more than standard high street fare. Sew Brilliant can make up bunting for you with any name on it, and Aye Aye has a huge range of funky, bright and colourful bags in a range of sizes and shapes.


Not forgetting nans and grandmas this Christmas, how about a gorgeous coloured cat for her sofa from Lotte Jamieson or a pretty driftwood mirror from Bertie Bloom? Or if she’s a sucker for traditional presents, there are plenty of wonderful smelling soaps from The Soap Dragon, made with essential oils that will make her feel extra special.

And if you’re after a little something for yourself – and who isn’t this time of year – then there’s plenty of knitwear in the pop up shop to keep you warm while you carry on doing your Christmas shopping. Hats, bootcuffs and wristwarmers are all on sale from Lotte Jamieson, Baa Baa Designs and Susanne from Bijoux Beading.

Get 20% off in Emporia Fabric & Craft on Saturday 6th December 2014 as part of Small Business Saturday.


Christmas Craft Classes


As some of you may have noticed already we are fast approaching Christmas and as we head down hill into the festive period, gathering speed and shiny baubles as we go, we’ve decided to invite fellow crafters to come and spend some time with us making Christmasy inspired creations.


Our first session takes place on Saturday 29th November 2014 as we invite you to come and make some felt Christmas tree decorations. Join Lotte Jamieson as she talks you through some delightfully simple festive themed shapes. Choose from six, different designs including hearts, angels, baubles, mini  Christmas trees, Christmas puddings and penguins and make three decorations of your own to take home and adorn your tree with. Even better, the class is suitable older children, so if you have a crafty kid at home who wants to get handy with festive decorations, this could be the perfect class for them. The Christmas Felt Decorations workshop takes place from 2pm – 4pm, is suitable for anyone aged eight and up, and costs £12.00 per person.


More Christmas crafty fun comes our way with the Christmas bunting workshop on Saturday 6th December 2014. Spend the afternoon with Clair as she instructs you in making some simple but effective bunting, perfect for stringing up over the fireplace or round mirrors, or anywhere you think you need some gorgeous fabric decoration. Choose from our fantastic range of Christmas fabrics, with lots of colour and patterns available to turn into your very own creation. The Christmas bunting class takes place from 2pm – 4pm, is suitable for anyone aged eight and up, and costs £15.00 per person.


Our final workshop takes place on Saturday 13th December 2014 and gives you the chance to make a stocking or decorated sack ready for Father Christmas to fill up with goodies on the 24th. Choose your design and personalise it with embroider or applique names  – perfect for making for little people just in time for the big day. Or if you fancy keeping it all for yourself, you can decorate your stocking or your sack with pictures, symbols or whatever you like. The Christmas stocking and Santa sack workshop takes place from 2pm – 4pm, is suitable for anyone aged eight and up, and costs £20.00 per person.

And as it’s the season to be jolly, we’ll be getting in the mood with mince pies and plenty of festive cheer, and possibly a glass of something hot and spiced to keep you warm. So if getting crafty and festive at the same time tickles your fancy, give us a ring or pop into the shop and book yourself a place on one of our Christmas specials.

Pop Up Emporia Vintage and Craft Market


Now that Halloween and half term are done with we can start to get excited about the festive season: roaring fires, stockings, trees, decorations and of course, shopping for presents. Or at least shopping – it’s tricky to not look at things for yourself when you’re surrounded by lots of lovely gifts. Well, this year we aim to make Christmas shopping (and buying the occasional sneaky self-gift) much easier this year as the Emporia Vintage and Craft Market returns to Ashford next week.


Sarahdipity Crafts

We know the market hasn’t been around much lately, and we’re just as sad about that as you are, but now it’s back and it’s not just here for the weekend. This winter the Emporia Vintage and Craft Market takes over the space next door for a whole six weeks, in a one off special Christmas pop up. Bringing you all the usual suspects in local craft, plus some brand new additions for the festive period, we’re really excited to have the chance to bring the joys of the Emporia market to everyone in Ashford for such a big chunk of time.



Kicking off on Wednesday 12th November 2014, the pop up Emporia market will be open every day apart from Sunday, until Christmas Eve itself, giving you the chance to get your hands on fabulous handmade local crafts and unique gifts. Based on the collaborative market that usually happens once a month, this pop up shop will also feature the crafters themselves behind the tills on certain days of the week. So if you want to ask about bespoke items or getting an product made in a different colour or size, then you will still have the chance to chat to the makers and see if they can’t make your Christmas wishes come true.


Aye Aye Missy

As usual we’ve got a fantastic selection of local makers selling their wares to the public, including many of the regulars who feature their handicrafts in the shop or at the market. Beautifully made jointed bears and cuddly owl cushions will be on sale from Poppykins, whilst Sew Brilliant will be stocking kid’s sewing kits and memory bears and bunting made to order, just for you. Sarahdipity Crafts brings you crocheted cushions, cross stitch pictures and scarves, while old favourite Aye Aye will be stocking her inimitable wash bags, hair bows, purses and glasses cases.


Baa Baa Designs

Laser cut designers Richardson and Richardson will be bringing the bling with their amazing perspex jewellery and wood cut cards. Upcycle Sue is bringing her retro furniture that’s been reworked for the 21st century. Gorjuss Jutes have their painted bags on sale, while Handmade by Narjleen will be stocking sparkly beaded jewellery. Lotte Jamieson is bringing her knitted wares and Scandinavian style Christmas decorations, alongside her quirky fabric cats and birds. There’s more upcycled furniture from Wish Vintage, plus Baa Baa Designs will be on hand with more hats and scarves. Coasters and tea cup candles come courtesy of Pink Gecko, and our very own Saturday girl Olivia will be selling her super stylish vintage vinyl record bowls.


Upcycle Sue

There will be plenty of super duper crafty loveliness going on throughout the whole six week pop up, and there are still more craft designers yet to be announced, so if you are missing the market, now is your chance to get as much Emporia magic in your life as possible between now and Christmas!

The Emporia Vintage and Craft Market pop up shop will open at 10am on Wednesday 12th November, and close at 1pm on Wednesday 24th December 2014.

Emporia Fabric Competition Winner!


Do you remember back in the summer (you know, when the sun was out and it was warm?) we decided to celebrate our gorgeous fabric collection and what you clever crafters get up to with it by asking you to send in pictures of your makes? While Clair was on maternity leave, we thought she would be missing out on all the gossip and excitement that goes alongside new fabric deliveries and chatting to customers about what they have on their sewing tables, so we wanted her to have the chance to see what everyone was up to while she was away.

Loads of you came into the shop with your fabulous creations, posted photos on Facebook or emailed your pics to us to show off your sewing skills, so Clair had plenty of lovely things to choose from. The idea came from a lovely woman called Vanessa who came into the shop to show off her noticeboard that she covered in beautiful Makower yellow and grey flowers. We were so touched that she wanted to thank us for helping her choose the fabric and plan her project that we decided we wanted to see more of what you have been making.


A couple of entries were very close calls, so we must give some special mentions to Sita Turner who made a bee blind for the nursery while she was pregnant; and Helen Parker who made some simply beautiful baby shoes for her great niece Florence from the Makower animal heads. Clair said she was very impressed with these baby makes; she said the shoes were very cute and that she had great empathy with Sita for wanting to make something for her new arrival while it was still in residence. Both Sita and Helen win a free fat quarter as runner up prizes.

Bunting, blinds, baby shoes, Christmas stockings, quilts and bags were all submitted for Clair’s scrutiny and she had a very hard time choosing her favourite when she came back to the shop last week, but eventually she settled on one. So without further ado, we ask you to give hearty congratulations to the winner – Rebecca Musto!


Rebecca made some truly beautiful wedding bunting for a friend from the batik style Makower floral prints, in purple, turquoise and deep pink, and the serene bird silhouettes. It was her first time making bunting and we have to say she did a truly fantastic job, and it seems from her wedding photos that her friend was delighted too. So well done Rebecca, do come into the shop and collect your prize of a fabric metre of your choice soon! Continue reading