Buying Handmade & Going To The Shop!

Many of you know the main reason Heart Gallery was born but if this is something you missed you can read the blog post about me and my leap of faith here.

2015-05-14 19.09.51-2I can’t pretend it has all been plain sailing as there have been a few curve balls thrown my way over the years but I still feel so blessed and so excited when I turn the key in that big black door!

IMG_3416Buying handmade or handcrafted I feel, teaches you a lot of things … a lot of different things. Buying British is also really important in making a difference and my journey to educate others and change how people shop began over 10 years ago and I’ve never looked back.

Heart_Gallery-001These are the changes I have seen in Hebden Bridge, and in other places I visit regularly, and I hope that if you are reading this you can proudly say you have ticked some of these yourself as conscious efforts on your part to shop wisely.

  • People don’t instinctively jump in their car and drive to a big concrete jungle any more to buy something that has been mass produced and made somewhere other than Great Britain. Yes, I know this still happens don’t get me wrong, but I do feel that lots more of you think twice before doing this these days and that makes my heart sing.
  • More and more people are choosing to shop locally where possible and supporting those small businesses on their own doorstep or in a neighbouring town or village. A thriving local community makes a town a better place to live and shop and spending with a small independent keeps that cash circulating. I personally visit as many local shops for my provisions as I can; I love the interaction with both those that work there and those that shop there. Leading up to Christmas I manage to buy nearly all my presents in Hebden Bridge…the few that I have to buy elsewhere are generally for my lovely but very fussy Dad who always gives me his list of ‘things he doesn’t want’!
  • People are increasingly thinking about what they are buying; they are making that informed purchase knowing that they are spending their pennies and pounds on a quality piece. This may cost them more initially but they are buying something that will last. I don’t want to live in a throw away society of short-lived disposable items.
  • People are also increasingly thinking about who they are buying from and carefully considering where they shop. I see so many more customers returning time and time again to Heart Gallery which shows that they really understand and trust who they are buying from; don’t forget small independents have a great story to tell.
  • Quality lasts! More and more of my customers save their money and wait until they can buy what they really want rather than impatiently impulse buying a cheaper version somewhere and settling for second or third best. They quite often put a deposit down on something and come back to pay the balance when they can. Seeing the joy on their face when they can take their purchase home is priceless.

2014-03-22 10.35.35Great lessons to live by and by doing so you are rewarded with a quality, unique, handmade item that will last you a lifetime. Whether this is something for you to wear, something for your home to enjoy or a gift for another your purchase matters to you, to the small shop you bought it from and to those artists/makers who designed it, made it, painted it, sculpted it, weaved it, soldered it, polished it, fired it, glazed it, framed it ….. I think you get the picture!

staff collage Aug 15Heart Gallery has a lovely presence on the web; we have a website, a blog and you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest too. Our website doesn’t have a selling section though! Many of you might find that odd and I did too (for over 7 years) but I finally made the decision this last New Year not to go down that route. Why you may ask? Every year that has flown by since I opened Heart Gallery in 2006 I have put on my January list SORT OUT WEBSITE and every following January I have beaten myself up that I have not got round to doing it! This January, I had that light bulb moment and didn’t have to beat myself up for once.

2015-02-03 11.54.18The reason? Simple really, I don’t buy online unless it’s something practical such as a water filter for the fridge that I simply cannot get to the shops to buy. I certainly wouldn’t buy art, jewellery or craft on line preferring to shop the way I have always loved, in person. The whole experience of shopping is wonderful, it makes me happy. I like to touch it, smell it, feel it, try it on, taste it … whatever it is I am buying it always appeals to one or more of my senses and that makes me so happy.

DSC_5718I know my customers are happy too when they visit Heart Gallery with many of them spending a long time mooching round and indulging their senses by seeing, feeling, smelling, trying on etc so why not continue with this marvelous way of shopping and stop trying to change.

me n dadSo I’m not changing, I’m not adding a shopping section to the website for all the reasons mentioned above and for another very simple reason, I don’t need to. I don’t need to do any more than I am doing already, I love things just the way they are at Heart Gallery. I have cried tears of joy and tears of sadness with so many of my customers over the years and you can’t find that online now can you?

Buying HandmadeHeart Gallery is open 7 days a week and if you really cannot get to enjoy the experience of a visit don’t worry we can facilitate payments over the phone and guarantee that we will post out your purchase with love x

 

 

Creative Auction – Hebden Bridge

Creative Auction Day

Creative Auction Day

Creatives pull together for fundraising auction

In the light of the devastation this summer’s flood have wreaked on Hebden Bridge, the area’s creative community have come together to auction off some outstanding pieces of their work.

Etched Glass Bottle - Andy Poplar

Etched Glass Bottle – Andy Poplar

On the evening of September 28th a stunning range of work, from paintings to pots, will go under the hammer in an auction of work by artists and makers in the Waterfront Hall of the new Town Hall building to raise funds for a series of events in the build up to the Christmas Season. The plan is to help breathe new life into the town and attract visitors back with the message that Hebden Bridge is very much alive and kicking and open for business.

Hebden Bridge at Dusk - award winning photograph by local and nationally acclaimed photographer Nigel Hillier

Hebden Bridge at Dusk – award winning photograph by local and nationally acclaimed photographer Nigel Hillier

“This is something that I’m certain will appeal to established collectors and casual buyers alike” said the auctioneer for the night, Jason Elliott. “Work has already started flooding in, if you’ll excuse the pun, and there are some quite high value pieces in there from pretty well known people. Auctions being what they are, I know that our buyers will have the opportunity to get some great bargains,” he added.

Jason Elliott, our Auctioneer, with a ltd edition print from Kate Lycett

Jason Elliott, our Auctioneer, with a ltd edition print from Kate Lycett

Speaking for the Hebden Bridge Community Association who are hosting the event, Amy Leader explained, “The period leading up to Christmas is critical for the economy of Hebden Bridge with so many small independent businesses. This year the floods have caused an immense amount of hardship with many having to close for protracted periods, often laying off their staff. Hopefully this year we can help bring a bit of extra Christmas spirit to the proceedings and show visitors to the town that we were only ever ‘waving not drowning.’”

'Amur Ambush' by Stella Mays

‘Amur Ambush’ by Stella Mays

More information about the auction can be found on the Town Hall website at www.hebdenbridgetownhall.org.uk

To see more images of the many kind donations received please check out the Hebden Spirit Facebook page, thank you and we look forward to seeing you at this amazing event 28 September 2012.

A Lamentation of Swans - Fiona Cameron

A Lamentation of Swans – Fiona Cameron

Hebden Spirit

Hebden Spirit

Saltaire Arts Trail – May 2011

Saltaire Arts Trail informative booklet

Saltaire Arts Trail informative booklet

Bank Holiday Monday I left my lovely ladies, Mandy and Julia, in charge at Heart Gallery to visit Saltaire for their Arts Trail. I’ve always done this on a Sunday in September before as the Open Houses have been part of the Saltaire Festival.

Saltaire with a grey and gloomy morning sky!

Saltaire with a grey and gloomy morning sky!

This year the organisers took the plunge to host the Arts Trail as a stand-alone event and I sincerely thought it worked really well despite the fact that our Yorkshire weather was rather damp for it! This did not seem to put visitors off as all the houses were really busy so I do hope that all makers/artists involved, and the organisers, felt all their hard work payed off.

Wet cobbles in Saltaire

Wet cobbles in Saltaire

I had a plan (of sorts)  ….. park in my usual spot on the outskirts of Saltaire so that I could get a walk in too! First stop would be Number 1 Myrtle Place which was one of my favourite houses in September as I met the lovely Laura Slater, textile artist, there and my daughter joined in a book binding demonstration making a little booklet for Grandma for her Birthday.

Laura Slater  in 2 Constance Street

Laura Slater in 2 Constance Street 2011

One of Heart Gallery’s  resident artists Clare Caulfield was also exhibiting with Laura last year but this year she had decided to take the plunge and open her own home to the public exhibiting her own fabulous pen and inks alongside illustrative work by Nick Tankard.

Clare's canvases nestled into her bookshelf

Clare's canvases nestled into her bookshelf

Clare Caulfield - artist and printmaker

Clare Caulfield - artist and printmaker

Clare Caulfield and her Dad in a very busy house!

Clare Caulfield and her Dad in a very busy house!

My aim was to then amble down to the Makers Fair in Victoria Hall. After that, I wasn’t sure what my plan was other than lunch, more houses and coffee with Ceramicist Helen Russell!

One room in the busy Victoria Hall

One room in the busy Victoria Hall

There were quite a few of Heart Gallery’s Hebden Bridge and local makers in the hall so it did take me quite some time to get around but it was fun chatting with them and finding out how busy they had been.

Cathy Edwards - Hand Stitched Leather Bags and Accessories

Catherine Edwards - Hand Stitched Leather Bags and Accessories

Rachel Lucie - Jeweller

Rachel Lucie - Jeweller

Anne Crowther - Textile Artist

Anne Crowther - Textile Artist

Sue Candy - Ceramicist

Sue Candy - Ceramicist

Leigh Shepherd - busy upcycling scrabble tiles, domino pieces and draught pieces with Japanese papers

Leigh Shepherd - busy upcycling scrabble tiles, domino pieces and draught pieces with Japanese papers

Had to stop for a bite to eat and then onto another few houses before meeting Helen Russell for a chin wag. I’ve recently introduced Helen’s elegant hand carved ceramic and silver jewellery to Heart Gallery and we just needed to finalise how many wall pieces she was sending me for the Art At Heart exhibition launching 12th June at Heart Gallery.

Helen Russell - hand carved porcelain and silver necklace

Helen Russell - hand carved porcelain and silver necklace


68 Victoria Road

68 Victoria Road

Another Heart Gallery ceramicist was in 68 Victoria Road along with some very interesting work I hope to book in for 2012 so watch this space!

Sarah McDade - Ceramicist

Sarah McDade - Ceramicist

I had a great day in Saltaire; I had my favourites and discovering unique artworks inside peoples homes was fun and inspiring. If you like to indulge your love of contemporary craft, and are also fascinated by other people’s homes then this Arts Trail is a must so pencil May in for 2012 … you will not be disappointed, I wasn’t.

THE ‘GREATS’ GIFT RETAILER AWARDS 2008

Well folks, fabulous news to report this week, which I am very proud to be sharing with you all.

I received a letter from Progressive Gifts and Home magazine informing me that Heart Gallery is one of the finalists in the BEST NEWCOMER IN THE NORTH category at their ‘Greats’ retail awards ceremony in London in May.

Every year The Greats Awards recognise the best UK jewellery and gift retailers representing a true reflection of the changing retailing landscape. Now in their sixth year, The Greats are established as the premier awards event of the year. It brings together the entire industry for a night of celebration to recognise and celebrate not only the top independent and multiple gift retailers regionally and nationally, but also the new breed of gift retailers who, in their opinion, are making a tremendous contribution to the UK jewellery and gift industry. It is the only awards that celebrate gift retailing in the UK!

 

I am honoured to have been shortlisted for this category, as I have worked really hard to turn my dreams into a reality and give you a shopping experience, which is truly different.

 

I spend time sourcing new designers whose work I feel will sit well in Heart Gallery and provide diversity for my customers. I have wonderful relationships with all my designers and makers who have had faith in me and in Heart Gallery from the very beginning. My designer/makers all thoroughly enjoy working alongside me to provide new and exciting ranges for all my loyal and new customers.

 

But most of all I have great relationships with you, my customers, thank you for helping Heart Gallery achieve so much in such a short time.