Ashford’s Garden Party Free Event!

To celebrate summer (and the start of another expected heatwave) Park Mall & Elwick Place have decided to put on a garden party for you! There are lots of things to do such as FREE face painting, FREE crafts, FREE cups of tea, FREE seeds and even a makers market. All happening on Sat 24th Aug!

garden party

Over in Park Mall we have from 10am – 2pm.

Free face painting. Floral and garden themed faces for all! Find this at the entrance to Park Mall.

FREE CRAFT – Make your own Bee & B. A recycled craft that can be decorated and hung in your garden as a little home for the bugs and bees. Find this activity outside Made in Ashford.

FREE CRAFT – Bird Feeders. These loopy hoopy bird feeders are easy to make and can be bent into all kinds of shapes, we liked these heart shapes best though! Pop these into your garden for the birds. Find this activity outside Made in Ashford.

bird feeder.jpg

FREE CRAFT – make pressed flower book marks with Emporia.

FREE ECO BRICKING DROP IN WORKSHOP with Bare Bazaar – learn how to make good quality eco bricks and help us make some too. We need your help to make enough Eco bricks to create something for Park Mall out of plastic waste that may have otherwise gone to landfill. Find this event in Kiosk 2 (the old Timeless shop opposite the Record store, near Wilko).


FREE seeds being given out.

makers market

Elwick Place Garden Part Events 11am – 3pm

Made in Ashford presents their first Makers Market. This will be held in Elwick Piazza and is a showcase of local talent from the Made in Ashford shop in Park Mall and beyond. We have a wonderful and varied array of handmade, locally designed and produced items for you to browse and buy (we hope)!

made in ashford makers market

SPREAD YOUR WINGS IN ASHFORD PHOTO OP – The talented gracefully boho who has already had successes with her local mural work on the Mecca bingo Hall and at Create festival has created a unique set of wings for the garden party where you can have your photo taken. Below is a progress shot and we are very excited to see it.

spread your wings photo board.jpg

FREE SPREAD YOUR WINGS CRAFT – make your own recycled wings to take home with you and wear them your own way!

FREE TEA – yes we will be supplying you with a free cuppa of Pluckley Tea. There will be a couple of cute little tables decked out for our garden party that you can sit at and have a drink or you may wish to browse our market while enjoying your beverage.


and of course it wouldn’t be an event we were involved in if it didn’t have…


garden part colouring sheer

Oh my gosh that is so much stuff. It has exhausted me just writing about it. You had better be there!

Craft yourself a Plastic Free Period

csp workshop craftship enterprise cic

It is shocking to know that disposable period products contain so much plastic! Pads can contain up to 90% plastic and tampons although a cotton, rayon blend often contain polyester too but are frequently packaged in plastic or come with a plastic applicator. The average woman can use 10,000 of these items in her menstrual lifetime. Many of these get flushed down the toilet and in 2017 the marine conservation society found a large increase in sanitary product marine pollution on the British shores.

There are lots of alternative products on the market so you can have a plastic free period ranging in price and review. I am personally a great fan of the moon cup, it took some time to get use to it but now I am, it was a brilliant investment. I also use cloth sanitary products as an extra layer of security and when the end is nigh. I did not even have to buy my CSPs (cloth sanitary products) I made them with Aunty flow! There are so much more comfy than sanitary towels and easier than you think to look after. A rinse when you are done, pop them in soak and then a hot wash in the machine.

cloth pad workshop made in ashford

Trying to make as little environmental impact as possible we made them from upcycling brushed cotton PJs, waterproofing from old umbrellas and the absorbent core from old towels! (There may have been some pretty remnants thrown in there too to add a bit of fun.) You can hand sew or use a machine (any skill level can come and Aunty Flo will help you). We have 3 x 1 hour slots available with a maximum of 6 sewers per slot to give you the best help and guidance Aunty Flo can provide (as well as cake and a chat). If you finish your pad in super speed then Auny flo is also collecting pads for women in Uganda so you can quickly make another one or make one to donate when you get home.

The cloth sanitary pad making workshop at Craftship Enterprise CIC which is upstairs in  Made in Ashford  will be held on Friday 21st June 10.30, 12 or 1.30 it is  £10 per person with all materials provided. Please book in store or online here.

Some sewing machines will be available but if you wish to bring your own please do.

Stories from Women of Ashford

with stronger faith dress

With Stronger Faith

Strong women in Ashford who have had the faith to survive and thrive are contributing their stories to create a unique dress of empowerment. This dress will be worn by Sam Turnbull a local resident and presenter on Radio Ashford, when she comperes the main stage at this year’s Create Festival in July, the first female to do so. Sam’s dress will incorporate hand written exerts from the stories which are contributed. We hope to run an exhibition alongside the project, showcasing the creative process, the stories and imagery. We hope through this journey of local women coming together it will give faith to other ladies in times of adversity, through their own journeys.

We need local ladies stories so if you are or know a woman who has a story to tell and who would be happy to share this in person or anomalously either email or post a letter to Made In Ashford, unit 26, Park Mall, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8RY.

Alternatively pop into the shop on a Monday evening from 5-7pm and get involved in the designing, making and creating a new story together making this dress. (Please ring our secret doorbell).

Stories need to be submitted by the 20th May 2019.

Image result for ashford coat of arms

Preloved Clothing Market



We are holding a Preloved Clothing Market on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 November with our friends Bare Bazaar, just in time to clear your wardrobes and refresh them ready for the festive season!

The clothing industry is a wasteful one, if you caught Stacey Dooley’s Fashion’s Dirty Secrets on the BBC recently, you’ll know that the cotton manufacturing industry is rife with problems – if you didn’t catch we’d advise checking it out. We are putting on the sale to encourage consumers to move away from buying new ‘fast fashion’ from high street shops and buy preloved instead.

The sale is for preloved clothing (ladies, gents and children’s) – this means good quality clothing with plenty of life left, so if you would no longer wear it yourself, or it’s only suitable for decorating or nightwear, please do not bring it. If items are in poor condition they will put buyers off and we reserve the right to remove them from the Sale. Underwear and nightwear is not accepted unless it still has the original labels.

To register as a seller, just buy a ticket for £3.73 from eventbrite and we will send you the information pack and seller labels to print yourself at home! Then bring the items to us, we will display, them, sell them and give you back 70% of your earnings. The 30% commission and seller registration fees will go to to Bare Bazaar CIC and Craftship Enterprise CIC (made in Ashford), to help us raise more funds for more community events.

You can register to sell here. We have limited space so get in quick!

Half term Activities in Ashford


It is half term already and we in Ashford town center have you covered for activities!

Mon 22nd Oct

Trick or Treat bag making and decorating 10.15 – 11.45 Made in Ashford with Melissa £7 book here.

Tues 23rd Octhalf term ashford

10.30 Halloween Crafts this half term!Foam clay hangers/rock monsters and slime making (for 5+ for that one) and the rest all ages. £15 for 2 activities. At Kippy’s paint your own pottery.

Weds 24th Octcraftercise

Craftercise bring your own craft, club weds 10.15 – 11.15 with Melissa £3 All ages welcome if supervised. At Made in Ashford.

Thurs 25th Oct

Halloween Mask Making 10.15 – 11.45 at Made in Ashford with Melissa At Made in Ashford. £7 book here. 

2pm Halloween Crafts this half term!Foam clay hangers/rock monsters and slime making (for 5+ for that one) and the rest all ages. £15 for 2 activities. At Kippy’s paint your own pottery.

Fri 26th Octtiny beegle work

Stare Well Gallery Snowdog artists exhibition 10 – 5 at Made in Ashford FREE. At Made in Ashford.

Re(f)use plastic pollution creative workshop. This week we have a remembrance theme that is kid friendly with Kati and Angharad. 10.15 – 11.15 FREE. All ages. At Made in Ashford.

Big Pink Party. We are hosting a pink party to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. There will be cake, tea/coffee and a raffle with prizes donated from our tenants. 11.30 – 1.30 organised by Angharad. ecobrickAll ages. Free but donations welcome.  At Made in Ashford.

10.30 Halloween Crafts this half term!Foam clay hangers/rock monsters and slime making (for 5+ for that one) and the rest all ages. £15 for 2 activities. At Kippy’s paint your own pottery.

10.30-1.30 Beginners overlocker class with Melissa over at Emporia suitable from 10 years. Learn how to feel confident with your overlocker and create a garment in jersey. £40.

Sat 27th Oct

craftship family fun

Family Halloween themed craftercise. You and your little one can get their craft on and make something super scary together or one each. It is a lovely way to spend time together or you can leave us to it and go for a coffee, it is up to you 10.15 – 11.15. With fully DBS checked Melissa at Made in Ashford £7 pp

Stare Well Gallery Snowdog artists exhibition 10 – 5 at Made in Ashford FREE.

Ashford Spooktacular! 11 – 2.30 FREE trick or treat trail, face painting and street entertainers ashford artist kentin Ashford Upper High Street. more info here.

Crochet lessons with Nicky at Emporia. £35 per person 11 – 1pm.

Kids craft club 2-3.30pm at  Emporia £7.50 with Olivia

Family film club at revelation St. Marys. James and the Giant Peach and Enchanted. 50p per film. More info here.

Sun 28th Oct

mia32 bday card colour.jpg

All Week

Celebrate the 3rd birthday of Made in Ashford and Emporia Fabric and Craft’s 5th birthday this week and get 10% off in store when you wish us a Happy Birthday valid until 28th October! (Does not include snow dog merch or workshops at Made in Ashford and only valid on full price fabric at Emporia). We also both have a birthday card colouring and our favourite card will win a £10 Voucher from Made in Ashford (winner to be chosen after the 28th Oct).

Pumpkin Picking every day!

Of course if you haven’t done it yet – The snow dog trail! Just pop in to see us to get a trail map, tick maps, rewards and merchandise!

Visit Sk8side skate park and youth centre by the Stour Centre. FREE.

I am sure there is loads more to do too but this is what I know is happening. Have a great half term everyone.

pretty shop

Ashford Snowdog Artists gallery launch

snow dog gallery

Ashford Snowdog Artists launch an exhibition in the Stare Well Gallery in Made in Ashford

starewell gallery launch

The snow dogs around Ashford have just been amazing. They are uniting the community, getting people out and about, discovering new parts of the town and getting art out there to a wider audience. We are proud to have had 4 of the snow dog artists be involved in Made in Ashford. Through this connection we started to meet the other artists and they themselves created a lovely bond by being able to share their experiences of bringing their dogs to life. Always curious as we are, we wanted to know what their normal art works looked like on a regular flat (non giant dog shaped) canvas and thought it would be great to bring it all together and show it off for everyone to enjoy.

starewell gallery

Some of the Made in Ashford tenants and Craftship Enterprise CIC board had chatted about using our stairwell as a gallery space. It is open every Friday and Saturday when Bare Bazaar trades from upstairs as well as when we have workshops on. It had already featured some of the tenants work but we thought it would be a perfect, quirky gallery, which of course is so us!

When the decision was made we just picked a date and went for it. We had 10 days! We only had 2 days where we could actually set it up. 10am on Weds 17th overalls on; painting, drilling, hammering and fearing for ones life up a ladder we worked. (It is not until you have to hang pictures on stairs you realise what a daft idea it is to have a gallery on the stairs!) Day 2, we could not get started until about 1pm and we worked fast. Our preview event was at 5pm – 7pm and we finished at 4.59pm. Danielle and I gave each other such an over enthusiastic hi five it really hurt our hands.

starewell spread


It all went perfectly after that of course and it is now open for your viewing (and hopefully purchasing) pleasure 10 – 5 Friday and Saturday. Please get in touch to book a visit if you cant come in on these days though. 10% of these sales will be donated to the pilgrims hospice.

A massive thank you to Danielle for curating it and designing all the posters for the event (and for the yummy blue cakes). Greg for helping us out getting all the art work up. The artists for wanting to be involved in this. And the whole Made in Ashford team for being totally awesome!

ashford snow dog artists gallery


ashford snowdog gallery poster

Exposed Social Entrepreneurs

pretty shop

A collaborative of local designers and makers that create and sell our products on our High Street in Ashford, we had no idea that we were Social Entrepreneurs until we were exposed!

It is Social Saturday on Sat 13th October which we wouldn’t be celebrating because we didn’t know that we were a social enterprise until a customer/friend from rural kent let us know that we were. But we are celebrating our first social Saturday (thank you friend) because we are a social enterprise!

Made in Ashford currently sells the products of 50 small businesses. It provides an affordable platform to sell on Ashford’s high street but we are more than  just a shop. Our true value to our community is still being realised and I am sure it will continue to evolve.
made in ashford outside
Many of our tenants are women, mums particularly. Working a 9-5 around children is not an easy thing and it certainly is expensive to juggle child care. By owning a small, creative business you can choose your hours (and like me right now) work when the kids are in bed! Many of us beaver away at home creating our incredible products but this can be a lonely place. But being part of Made in Ashford has brought together many of us and we have become friends providing a beautiful support network. This really helps those of us with mental health problems (us creatives do have a different way of thinking which makes us susceptible to mental health difficulties). We are a community.

We are the community. Our tenants are local, many Ashfordians but all Kentish. We live here in our town and know it and love it. Contributing to our local economy, being involved in local events, supporting local charities, sharing news, providing space for the community and attending everything we can to help our town. We nurture young creatives with our creation station. Listen to stories from our customers, providing some with companionship. We are trying to make a small impact on the plastic, pollution problem. We try to make our world better.

Pop by this Saturday and support a business that works so hard to support the community. We will also have  free bracelet making, you can also have a chat to us about all of the amazing projects we are working on.For more info about social saturday and how you can get involved check out this link:



Mixed Media Class

create mixed media

We are very excited to be offering a brand new class to our workshop here at Made in  Ashford with the local and talented mixed media artist Jennifer Hedley.

You will be shown how to use mixed media including handmade Asian paper, acrylic paints, glitter pens and gold relief to create your own piece of work based on designs and patterns from India.

Thurs 1st Nov 10.15 – 1.15              £35

Thurs 10th Jan 10.15 – 1.15            £35

To book the class click here or pop in store. 

Halloween Half term activities


Craftercise family craft sessions

Join us in our colourful craft HQ and share in creation with your small people! We will make a different thing each week, developing skills, having fun and spending quality craft time with your special ones (or you can have an hour and a half break, we dont mind).

This session is open to all ages but if you wish to leave your children with our fully DBS checked craftercise coordinator Melissa then we ask that they are 5+. We have limited space so please make sure you book in advance.

We will be doing the following crafts at the sessions:

Halloween trick or treat bag

Mon 22nd Oct 10.15 – 11.45               £7

Halloween mask making

Mon 22nd Oct 10.15 – 11.45               £7


Book tickets here. 

American Barnwood sign making workshop



If you are a Pinterest addict, you will know that rustic barnwood signs are all the rage in American interior décor!
Join Craftship Enterprise’s resident American and learn how to create a completely personalised barn sign of your very own. All wood and supplies are provided and Alisa will get in touch with you ahead of time to find out more about the type of sign you want to paint. The workshop lasts for two hours and includes tea/coffee and very possibly a yummy treat from Alisa’s grandmother’s midwestern cookbook.
Where possible, wood is reclaimed from a local source.
The theme for this workshop is Halloween but if you’d like to do something else – no problem! You can discuss it with Alisa ahead of the workshop. For inspiration, see Alisa’s Pinterest Board dedicated to Barnwood Signs at
Workshop Cost is £28 book online or in store.

Get tickets here.