Building a Creative Hothouse

It was with deep sadness that I handed in my notice to the landlords of the Park View shop but there is no time to wallow in the doldrums. We are moving to our new shop based on 148 Tynemouth Road, North Shields near the fish quay and the law courts, in three weeks time. We plan to be open there on Monday 3 September after closing Park View down on Saturday 1 September 2012.

Click on our new logo to go to a photo album of work in progress on the new shop

We took a long hard look at what we do well and its working within the community whether it's with charity's, schools, elder care providers or community groups. So it made sense to move into a community rather than seek another high street store. 

Tynemouth Road is an ideal location for us as we enjoy working with the North Tyneside Art Studio based in the Linskell Centre. It's ideal for you as the coaster number 1 bus which runs from Whitley Bay to Gateshead stops just outside the shop every 15 minutes. It is only a ten minute walk from North Shields Metro station and about a 20 minute walk from Tynemouth Metro station. Plus there is a massive car park across the road with a zebra crossing available to use near the shop too. Plus for all those men there is a lovely pub next to us too!

We have received lots of lovely messages wishing us well and asking our plans on the new shop so here are a few teasers.

Workshops and classes - we are planning an extensive workshop timetable which covers people of all abilities and ages. It's going to be packed with holiday activities but cover other key elements to jewellery making such as how to run a small business classes and networking opportunities.We're currently looking for external people to deliver workshops too, if that's you then get in touch. If you want to be one of the first people to see our workshop timetable please sign up to our
mailing list.

Fuller all round service - we will begin stocking display items for those of you who are starting to sell at craft fairs and the like.

Two new members to the team - we have recruited a creative media assistant who can help with photographing your ranges professionally for you at a reasonable cost as well as creating logos, promotional materials and more. We also have a creative business development assistant who will be building and maintaining our website as it's something that I don't have time to do myself anymore. I'll introduce them properly when the new site copy goes live.

Shop Layout - there will be a shop space to sell lots of beads and crafted items, a massve workshop space which we plan to kit out for lampwork classes and a seperate room for parties, bridal/prom consultations and meetings which is great for us to have that flexibility. We have a fit for purpose kitchen now too!

Neighbours - These guys are important to us. We're going to miss our neighbours on Park View as 99% of them are absolute darlings. But we're already working with The Albert pub next door to arrange his and her nights. They will put on pool, darts, etc tournaments and we will put on shopping nights with pop up shops and workshops for ladies to make gorgeous jewellery. We'll be working our way round the neighbours properly soon, especially that cute tiny butchers around the corner!

Box Clever Scheme - This is a tricky one for me. I love the variety it gives the shop. I am in the lucky situation that I'm not in the spiral of having to advertise our scheme non stop to the point of ad nauseum, word has got around and we have started a waiting list now of people who want to be part of the scheme. This is probably because we have limited our participants drastically to ensure we were delivering quality items in a non cluttered environment and it has worked so far! The customers and tourists love the fact they can buy handcrafted unique gifts. I was unsure if there would be a market in the new shop for this but after nattering to a few local residents I've been assured that they would love to be able to buy gifts from us.

I suppose that unlike Park View; Tynemouth Rd isn't saturated to the point of silliness with handcrafted items in one spot and providing we keep to our quality stance, it may work. I know Tynemouth market is there on a Saturday but thats a 20 minute walk away and not available all week. So I'm willing to give it a go but I feel that we need to change the name to something else.

Competition Time - So the gauntlet is down to you! Do you have a creative name for our scheme that tells everyone what it is in a nut shell whether it's someone who wants to take part or a customer? Comment on this blog and if we choose your suggestion we'll give you a £20 credit to spend in the shop or our online store.

I hope this gives you a flavour of what we'll be getting up to and what you'll be missing if you don't come along for the ride!