WHEN six women makers combined their skills and strengths and took the plunge to open a shop they could not have guessed how successful the venture would be.
Now, despite tough economic times, the Made in Hastings shop celebrates ten years of selling beautiful and original work.
The shop is based in the Old Town, in the High Street and jointly run by the creative group.
The Made in Hastings group comprises bookbinder Sophie Azimont; potter Judith Rowe; knitter Josephine Doolan; painter and illustrator Claire Fletcher and Sue Harrison who makes printed textiles.
Their high quality creations have attracted customers from all over the world and the shop has been featured in magazines such as Country Living, Vogue and Coast.
Much of the hand-made work reflects the area in which it was made and includes crafted gifts, clothes and homeware.
They are created using traditional and contemporary techniques
Judith Rowe, whose pottery captures the essence of the English landscape, said: “More and more people are coming from London and Tunbridge Wells to do their Christmas shopping with us.”
Not only does Made in Hastings offer the work of the six woman who established the shop, it also provides a showcase and sales outlet for at least 70 mainly local makers maintaining a rich mix of regularly stocked products alongside new and unusual pieces,including work from local students.
Judith said: Hastings is a creative town and we want to promote some of the talented people.”
It also offers a wide selection of beautiful and original cards for all occasions.
The shop is tune with the life of the town, with window displays and created items often reflecting popular events such as Jack in the Green and bonfire celebrations.
The shop celebrated the success of its first decade on Sunday with music and cakes.
Judith Rowe said: “It was an opportunity to celebrate our 10th birthday with many of our treasured local customers, and to say a big thank you to them for all their continuing support over the years.
“We were serenaded by The Ingrid Pitt Orchestra, who played outside the shop in the sun.”
The Made in Hastings shop is open everyday of the year, except for Christmas Day, from 10.30am to 5pm and is based at 82,High Street ,Old Town.
For more information and to keep up to date with news, visit the web-site at www.madeinhastings.co.uk.