New Crafts on Sale at Emporia

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Over the last couple of weeks we’ve gradually been introducing a fantastic range of lovely new crafts and gifts onto the Emporia shelves, and now we’re seriously in the run up to Christmas, what better time is there to show off these gorgeous new things to you our avid followers? So if you’re on the look out for different and independently made local crafts to give your friends, family and children this year, Emporia is the place to start your shopping.

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Fink Clothing Co.
The Fink designs and and prints are made by the super talented Hannah Rushforth who has the enviable inclusion on her CV of having worked on the kid’s TV show Art Attack! when she was younger. Now working as a freelance arts project manager, she also produces an amazing range of screen printed t shirts, sweat shirts, baby vests and paper prints. And she promises more Star Wars inspired ideas will soon be hitting our shelves soon!

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P O L L E N
Gorgeous colours and tactile textures at the heart of P O L L E N jewellery – hand painted and finished baubles strung on coloured thongs can be paired with intricately woven beaded bracelets, making simple but striking additions to anyone’s wardrobe. Go for a multitude of spheres or choose a statement pair, either way these necklaces are destined to be filling up lots of lucky lady’s Christmas stockings.

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R.J. Laurenson
We haven’t had any ceramics on sale at Emporia for a long time, so these beautiful natural designs by R. J. Laurenson are a breath of fresh air to us. Covered with leaping and boxing hares, singing birds, leaves and floral patterns, these coasters and trivets have already garnered great praise from plenty of Emporia customers. And given that they are both dishwasher safe and food safe, we can see lots of people taking these home for Christmas this year.

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Peas in a Pod
Funky, funny and cute designs from Emma of Peas in a Pod come in all shapes and sizes, from cards and plates to badges and tea towels. We all know someone who can use a plate that bears the legend Eat Me, or a cushion covered in bottoms, so now you know where to look! Tea towels covered with cartoon macarons, notebooks proclaiming they are full of Incredibly Marvellous Stuff, and dinky badges covered with funny little Christmas puddings – take your pick and make one of your friends laugh every time they use your gift.

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Rose Hill Designs
Rose Hill creates portraits of a different kind – she has spent years making the coolest pet portraits in the world, and now even sells her wares in Harrods! So we are super flattered that she has decided to let us get our mitts on some of her amazing cards just in time for the festive period. Choose from frowny dogs wearing specs and surprised cats in bowties, or funky pictures of camper vans and rock n roll style celebs.

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Kim’s Kushions
At this time of year we all start to think about spending more time on our sofas, so what could be more inviting than a selection of plump down-filled cushions to lounge about on? These gorgeous designs are created by Jandi of Kim’s Kushions, which she makes using classic prints from the likes of Liberty and Cath Kidson. Soft and squishy as well as incredibly stylish, these cushions would make a fantastic addition to any living room.

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Black Rabbit
Another well renowned crafter from Kent, we’re very excited to have cards made by Black Rabbit of Margate join our throng. Selling her designs all over the world in places as far flung as Japan and America, Black Rabbit cards feature a range of different animals and different objects, including one of the designs on a badge – perfect for those of us who resent not getting badges on our cards once we’re older than 11.

All these delightful designers are now represented in the shop, with a variety of their ranges on sale direct from us, but since they’re an amicable bunch, many of them will make special creations just for you – so if you see something you like, but you fancy it in another colour or a different size, then they might just be able to help you out.

And of course, we’ve still got plenty of fabulous crafts from the likes of Richardson & Richardson, Aye Aye Clothing, Lucy Alice Designs, Lotte Jamieson Crafts and Pickles Accessories.

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Introducing our Loyalty Card

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To coincide with the opening of the brand new shop a couple of weeks ago, we decide that it was about time we started rewarding all our lovely customers for sticking with us and choosing to buy our gorgeous fabrics and crafts, so this week we humbly present to you our very own loyalty card.

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Healthier than handing out chocolates and much more satisfying than having us simply say nice things about your purchases, the loyalty card is the perfect reward for all your time and effort spent choosing and matching fabrics. Every time you spend £10.00 on materials or haberdashery with us, we’ll give you a stamp on the card, and then when your card is full, we’ll give you a five pound voucher to spend with us on your next shopping trip. Good eh?

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We’ve handed out loads of cards to customers in the past couple of weeks, but we haven’t given out any vouchers yet, so you could be the first! We’ve had so many lovely compliments from everyone since we opened, we’re desperate to return the favour and show you how grateful we are for your loyal custom. So don’t be surprised if we give you a spontaneous round of applause when you hand over a completed card.

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So what can we tempt you into the shop with to start earning stamps on your loyalty card? We’ve had quite a few lovely deliveries since we moved, including these simple but beautiful polka dots which now come in loads more colours than we’d had before. Amazingly versatile, these spotty prints work fabulously for quilting, patchwork, on clothing for children and grownups – retro circle skirts and dinky pjyamas are just the tip of the iceberg for these dots.

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We’ve also got out hands on some gorgeous bird and leaf designs from Makower – available in pale grey, muted green and soft pink, these line drawing style prints. Cushions, curtains and baby bedding is what they make us think of.

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More autumnal patterns are starting to creep in now (we know! it’s still the summer holidays!) and we can’t help cooing over this gorgeous woodland collection, featuring stag silhouettes, and line drawings of bagders, rabbits and foxes. Perfectly coordinated to make an autumn themed, nature inspired quilt or throw for the sofa, we also feel like those stags are just crying out to be turned into a pair of crisp cotton traditional pyjamas.

And if you’re still stuck for inspiration, check out our brand new classes list, which has loads of classes and workshops all the way up to December.

Pop Up Emporia Vintage and Craft Market

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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.

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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.

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Poppykins

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Market this Weekend!

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The Emporia Vintage and Craft market makes its first appearance of the year this weekend, bringing you all the loveliness you can always expect from our fabulous designers and makers. Taking place on both Friday and Saturday, you can expect to see a variety of different crafts and vintage pieces from lots of regular makers, plus some new ones too.

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Regulars Aye Aye will be on hand with their vintage fabric inspired accessories and kids’ clothing, and Richardson and Richardson are sure to catch your eye with their laser cut wooden cards and funky perspex jewellery, and there will be more vintage style cards from Sandys Cards 4 All Occasions; Nasty Batsy will be bringing along her delightful rag dolls, and Shell’s Driftwood hanging hearts and chalkboards are certain to be one of the biggest hits with lovers of seaside themed designs.

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There’s more nature-inspired crafts by Steve Beaney and his wood turning art, plus chunky knitted scarves and hats from Baa Baa Designs, plus lots more new designer makers bringing their wares to the market for the very first time, so you can be sure there will be plenty of lovely craft to get your mitts on and be inspired by. And for anyone in need of sustenance at the market, there will of course be plenty of tea and cakes on sale, and a selection of delightfully iced cupcakes to take home from Everyone Loves Cupcakes.

This week’s Emporia Vintage and Craft market is open from 10am -5pm on Friday 28th February and Saturday 1st March 2014 in Park Mall, Ashford town centre. Hope to see you there – whatever the weather!

Interview with Richardson and Richardson

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This week we are introducing the first of our interviews with the designer makers that sell their delightful handmade wares in Emporia Fabric and Crafts. Kicking off our series is Wendy Richardson of Richardson and Richardson, who works with her daughter Hannah designing and making their unique laser cut jewellery and cards. Check out what she has to say about her crafty life, work and inspirations.

Who are you and what do you do?
We are Mother and Daughter team Wendy and Hannah Richardson. We design and create unique laser cut birch wood keepsake cards and quirky Perspex jewellery.

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How did you get into crafting?
We’ve always been an arty crafty family and have always made things for family birthdays, and  we go especially mad at Christmas! Hannah and I have a very similar mindset, and have a love for anything quirky and different. I studied Art and then fashion, and Hannah has a degree in model making, and is now an architectural model make; and that’s how the laser came into play.

Who and what inspires you to create?
Everything and anything! We find inspiration anywhere and in the most unusual places, so we quickly have to write things down there and then before we forget.  (We both have a Brain Book.) We send each other very weird texts/emails and photos, and our brainstorming days are amazingly good fun.

Which crafters/artists/designers do you most admire?
That’s a tricky one … We both adore Butler and Wilson jewellery, especially the outrageous, over the top pieces. But I admire anyone who has a passion for what they do, and goes for it, no matter what they make. We’ve met some amazing people over this last year at different fairs and markets. The talent out there is astounding.

When did you decide to make the leap from making for friends and family to creating your own business?
It just sort of happened with no real planning. I had just given up work – 30 years in corporate retail is enough for anyone. I was going to concentrate on painting/drawing which had been on hold for many years, when we did a couple of local fairs which went extremely well. And we haven’t looked back.

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What five things would you say were essential when you set up your craft business?
For our business it would be our Brain Books, the laser cutter, our understanding and supportive families, a sense of humour, and wine!

Name three of your most popular designs.
It’s usually not the things we think are going to be popular. Our best sellers in jewellery are the Magpie necklace, the Goldfish necklace, and the Crows and Moon necklace, which we originally made for Halloween but is still selling well. And cards – the Floral Birthday, New Baby rocking horse, and the Wedding Cake are all good sellers.

If you weren’t a jewellery and card designer, what would you be doing with your time?
I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. If I wasn’t designing jewellery/cards, I’d be painting.

Do you run any workshops or take part in any groups?
No, unfortunately no  – no time! We’d both LOVE to take some classes and learn new things.

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What’s new with your craft for 2014? Tell us about some of the exciting things we can expect to see from you in the shop or at the Emporia market this year.
New ideas come in all the time. We are working on a spring range for jewellery and looking into doing wedding fairs, as our personalised wedding book is very popular. And we thought invitations/order of service/table settings etc. would be fun to do.

If Wendy has inspired you with her love for what she does, take a closer look at her and Hannah’s designs on their website. More insight into our unique and creative designers coming up soon!