Thursday, 10 January 2008

The beginnings of a rollercoaster journey.....

Where we are today...
The Coastal Creatives Boutique Gallery in Bournemouth showcases exclusive handmade collections from over 100 emerging and nationally acclaimed British artists and designer craftspeople, all of whom embrace the spirit of re-claiming, re-using and recycling materials in their art, from beautiful designer handbags made from vintage Liberty fabrics, shell and sea glass jewellery from local shores, oyster shell candles, fisherman rope door stops, to Dorset driftwood and vintage crockery mirrors. Every month we feature an 'artist/maker of the month' inviting customers to get to know a little bit more about their background and inspiration.

How we started....
Coastal Creatives came about one winters evening in 2005, at a silversmithing class in the New Forest. Many a happy hour was spent making and discovering our shared dream to start our own business within the arts. Surrounded by talented artists and makers with no or few outlets to sell from in the Dorset area, we decided to curate two high quality, exciting and modern Design Fairs. With the aim for us to showcase our collections and raise the profile of 'crafts' in the area.

The ideal venue was found and booked for May and November of 2006. There was now NO looking back. What we didn't realise was how hard it was going to be. After many late nights spent on our computers creating and designing the infrastructure of the company, and visits to what felt like every craft and design fair in the country we had our bench mark for what we wanted to achieve and ideas on how to make our events different from those we had visited. We then invited the local talent to take part and even attracted artists and makers from across the south to provide the public with a totally unique and diverse mix of high quality products. The fairs proved to be a success with increasing numbers of exhibitor applications and visitors at each event.

What came next..
In May 2007 we opened Coastal Creatives Boutique Gallery and Craft Studio on Southbourne Grove in Bournemouth. This was a dream come true for all of us, a beautiful building to showcase collections, located 5 minutes from the beach and a year round outlet for our friends and fellow makers to sell from. Plus the opportunity for us to pass on our skills and passion for 'making' in our truly inspirational crafts studio. Specialising in textiles and jewellery, an exciting programme was designed and very quickly we received bookings from girls who couldn't wait to dust down their sewing machines and dig out their bead and button collections to make gorgeous handbags, stunning jewellery and even a showcase lampshade for the home.

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