Monday, 13 May 2013

Get your craft on: Emporia craft & vintage market

As a new resident of Ashford, Kent, I've been seeking out local creatives. Our move from Brighton was, at first, a massive culture shock - but I'm pleased to have discovered a vibrant crafting community, with a strong undercurrent of creativity - ready to become part of the mainstream culture here. Local crafter Clair Heal has been striving to set up a regular craft market in Ashford - and last Saturday, the first ever Emporia craft and vintage market was a massive success. Taking over one of the vacant shops at the Park Mall shopping centre, Clair rallied together some top local crafters - for two days rejuvenating an area of the town which was starting to look more than a little abandoned. 

A steadily heavy footfall proved a real local interest in this kind of venture. People may not have the spending power they used to, but a lot of visitors were very clearly interested in supporting local trade - and in being able to purchase unique items that you just wouldn't find elsewhere. Meeting so many local people with a huge enthusiasm for this kind of event really does indicate that Ashford is a community in the midst of positive change, with a wealth of creatives seeking this kind of opportunity.

I met a lot of really inspiring local crafters at Emporia, my only regret is that it was so busy that I didn't really get to chat too much (but I can't really complain about that).

Some shots of my stall at Emporia: 

My stall at Emporia
Collars and 1950s style half aprons
Fancy biscuits and hair clips
1950s style half aprons

Lace work vanilla sugar cookies and gingerbread biscuits
Here's a glimpse of some of the other local offerings at Emporia:

Hand stitched designs by House Martin
Children's clothes and home accessories by Made by MEE
Hand knitted and crochet accessories by Baa Baa Designs
Cushions galore - by Designs by Keighley Jane
Home baked dog treats! By Doggie Yum Yumz
Sandy's cards for all occasions
Nappy cakes and lovely baby gifts. by Mayla's Gift Cakes
Teens at the fair were going NUTS for these - Lash Bags
Early in the day, before the doors opened to the public
At the entrance
A little bird told me that the council is keen to realise Clair's dream and make this a regular event, there has been so much interest, that it's likely the next event will take over two units at the shopping centre - and will be bigger and better. I can't wait to find out when the next Emporia will be, keep an eye on my workshops & events page for updates on my planned involvement in local events - and check out the Emporia Facebook page for breaking news on Ashford's next crafty event. 


  1. Hi Emma Jane. I was there on Friday so missed your lovely stall! What a fantastic vibe Emporia Craft and Vintage Market had ! Looking forward to the next one. Loved your blogpost and great photos of some of the other makers and their wares :-)

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment, I hope to see you at the next Emporia! :)