A Message from our Founder Helen Lomberg about what makes us rather unique:
"I set up the Gloucestershire Arts and Crafts Centre in April 2010 as a Not-For-Profit Company, with the help and encouragement of many local Artists and Creatives.
I wanted to find a way of offering customers the choice of buying beautiful local handmade work when they were out doing their shopping, instead of only the mass produced imported items offered in most High Street shops..
To do so at an affordable price - without the huge mark ups charged by galleries, making the work out of reach for most pockets, was the challenge. Also, how do we pass on such techniques and skills, to share the joy and resilience of creativity? I wanted to find a way to do that too.
The idea was to share all the jobs needed to run such a shop, between us, so that the normal overheads were kept at a minimum. We run in as collaborative a way as possible, making a unique atmosphere, where customers can meet makers, and feel encouraged to explore their own creativity."
The Gloucestershire Arts and Crafts Centre opened in April 2010, located in the Lock Warehouse in the Gloucester Docks. In September 2011 plans began to change the Warehouse into flats and so we moved to College Street, a beautiful location beside the Cathedral.
After 3 years trading in this beautiful location, our lease ran out and we looked around for the location for the third home for our Centre, and discovered the gorgeous premises in College Court, just around the corner. Then in November 2019 we moved to 47 Westgate Street.
Our shop is entirely run by, and filled with the work of Gloucestershire artists and makers. We pride ourselves on our 'localness'! You can visit the shop and the person inside will be one of the makers who may even be working on a piece at the time, so you can ask lots of questions and find out how a craft is done. We have workshops run by the artists so you can have a go at making something yourself.
So what now? How are we taking the project forward after successfully trading in Gloucester for over Ten Tears? How do we make ourselves even more resilient to shocks such as Covid 19?
After trading for 10 Years in Gloucester, we calculated that we had spent over £150,000 in rent to various city landlords. During that time, we had endured heating systems which did not work, tenancies that were abruptly ended, damp walls and persistent leaks.
We also couldn't afford to trade in the city's busiest Streets..
What if there was another way?
We have been investigating buying our own premises. We are currently in the process of buying 47 Westgate Street between us, so we can fix the rent at an sustainable level. We want to keep the building in good repair for the pleasure of it's users and our customers and visitors to our Beloved Historic City.
We aim to fit Solar Panels and restore natural lighting and our trademark 'flower bed', to trade in as Environmentally sensitive way as we can.
We welcome your continued interest and custom in the months and years ahead."
Now for the first time we are selling some of our artists work on-line from this website.