‘It's more like a community of independents’, described the co-director of one of this year’s entrants into the Maidenhead and Windsor Business Awards.
Craft Coop has had permanent presence in the Nicholsons Centre since 2012 after beginning life as a stall in 2009.
Co-directors Deborah Jones and Teresa Mills are proud of the fact they can offer a place for other artists and designers to sell their wares on the High Street for as little as £3.50 a day.
The shop offers about 30 spaces to other independents to sell their art, designs and crafts with a free workshop space in the back were people can come in and make stuff for free, or can be booked out by community groups.
They have entered the Advertiser’s Community Award for Best Independent Retailer.
Deborah said: “Obviously we’re an independent, but we’re more of a community.
“Behind the scenes we offer workshops and social evening and are there to provide each other with help and advice.”
They have over 150 individuals waiting to fill spaces on their shelves should someone leave.
Teresa added: “We hear lots of people say it’s hard to get into the bigger shops and we offer an alternative to that.”
Fran McCaskill hires one of the spaces in the shop for her business, Fused Glass.
She uses recycled glass to create hand painted gifts in a process that fuses her art into coasters and other unique gifts.
She said: “I’ve been here about three years now, it’s like a little family and a great support network.”
Maidenhead and District Chamber of Commerce president Olu Odeniyi said: “With just over two and a half weeks to the deadline, I’ve been encouraged by the companies’ intent on submitting business awards entries across all categories.
“Many have put themselves forward, while others have been nominated by friends, colleagues or clients.
“Either way, these businesses realise they’ve got nothing to loose and so much to gain.”
Registration is open now and due to close on June 30, with public voting opening on July 4.
You can register your business in the category by emailing email@example.com
Visit www.mwbusinessawards.com for details.
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