Free kids craft activities in Made in Ashford this Summer

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MAKE at Made in Ashford is a series of free craft activities this summer holiday that you and your children can drop by and enjoy in store.  What better way to inspire the next generation of local makers and designers than to get them making!

We are open 10 – 5 Mon – Sat and MAKE is on every day.
We have make your own paper bunting! make1 ee

 

The very popular colour in a sticker (or two).


Design and make your own keyring.

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I have loved seeing all of the little designs the children have been doing and so many key rings are being made as presents for mum or dad. This one was for his parents anniversary present <3!!!

Please note:
The materials and instructions are provided by us but you may need to keep an eye on your little one and help them if they need it. Also although we have the materials for loads of children to do them in the event that their are hoards of local children descending upon us to colour in their stickers these activities are limited.

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Meet the maker window demos

We have just finished our a series of meet the maker live window demonstrations. Lots of you enjoyed watching how we created our products and having a chat with us.  Over the course of 2 weeks we had appearances from Miss Polly had a Dolly, Grafts, Mulberry Glass Art and Aye Aye.

Here are some of the pictures of what we got up to:

Ben from grafts stamping spoons.

Sue from Mulberry Glass art painting vases.

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Miss Polly had a Dolly was making her beautiful dolls in store.

And Melissa from Aye Aye was making lots of headscarves!

What is on in Made in Ashford and the town centre this week?

There is a lot going on in Ashford for the next couple of weeks leading up to create festival and we have put on some events too.

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We will be having maker demonstrations so you can see how your favourite made in Ashford businesses create their products. It gives you a chance to meet them, ask them questions and buy their creation that have been made before your very eyes.

Friday 14th July – Polly Had a Dolly

Saturday 15th July – Blazing Needles

Thursday 20th July – Mulberry glass Art

Friday 21st July – Aye Aye 

Not only are there these wonderful meet the maker live demonstrations we will also be running a colouring competition in honour of Two Tone the fish for the Create festival platform. Children (and adults) can colour in and decorate a fish and our favourite will win a two tone in a jar from Raindrops and Rainbows. 

The Create platform is a week of events leading up to the free music festival held in Victoria Park Ashford (where we will have a stall if you fancy going)! See what is going on below:

Friday 14th July – 23rd July
Two Tone community art project in the town centre including a secret fish themed surprise at Emporia. Locally decorated two tones in the town centre window displays. Made in Ashford two tone colouring competition and meet the maker days in Made in Ashford.

 

Doodle studios in park Mall. Watch the doodle man doodle all over a Park Mall shop (next door to Made in Ashford).

Two Tone art exhibition in Stag Coffee shop. 2-tone designer John Sims, aka Teflon, best known for his work with The Specials and The Selecter, curates a mini exhibition of his iconic, black and white, rude boy art work from early 80’s. Take the opportunity to take in the show, along with good coffee and cake.

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Ashford Tales – an alternative look at the history of our town.

Sat 15th July – Ashford Street entertainer day!

Thurs 20th – Teflons 2 tone ska train at stag.

Fri 21st July – David Bowie tribute at Revelation St Mary’s

Sat 22nd – Create festival!!!!
Sun 23rd Mr. Harpers birthday picnic.

For more info on all of these events click here.

Meet the Maker with Kate Baker Mosaics

Our next Meet the Maker here at Made in Ashford with Kate Baker Mosaic Muse:

How did you start making mosaics?

I bought the book “how to mosaic in a weekend” by Martin Cheek as we were renovating together our first house together since marrying in 1997, and I’d decided to mosaic an orca on the bathroom wall in Faversham.

 

What is your favourite piece you have made?

Damselfly Flutter. It’s the first glass fusion I ever made and it’s combined with mosaic in its background. Glass fusions are made by cutting pieces of coloured glass and layering them and when the piece sits in the glass kiln they melt together. Damselfly Flutter became so important because it was made during a 7 day masterclass with the author of the book I’d read and it came at a time when I’d injured my back and was unsure of my future. The piece marks the start of what became my new career. Part of it I used to create my brand colours and logo too. It was gifted to my father for Father’s Day in 2012, when I found out he had cancer. I’ve been asked to make another as a commission but I’ll never make another one of this design.

 

How long do they take to create?

Depending on size and complexity and frequency of tile cuts, a minimum of 4 hours up to a maximum of 3 weeks, was my longest to date. Designing, cutting, sticking, drying and then grouting and finally cleaning all adds up.

 

Where do you source your tiles?

Mosaic trader online, plus mosaic supplies

kate baker mosaic muse studioonline. Venetian milifiori from Effectre, Murano Island. Glass from warm glass and hearts

 

from Sweden. Vintage and broken crockery from many kind friends and café owners who have chipped their vases, cups, plates and teapots.

 

How long have you been a part of made in Ashford?

Since May 2016

 

Tell us a bit about your made in ashford experience:

I’ve found it a very supportive shop with the friendly companies within it all at different stages of retail. It’s been great to have my work in the public eye and arrange it in the shop environment.

I enjoy being in the shop, meeting the public, helping to manage it when on rota and getting to see which of my products are popular.

What support do the council give your business and the shop?

The council have very fair licence fees. The team have helped with online advice, social media training and promotion through Love Ashford.

 

kate baker mosaic muse

What are the next steps for your business?

 

I’d like to sort out my website and Etsy shop and build the number of galleries my work is in.

 

When/where are your up coming workshops and events?

I run beginner workshops throughout the year…people get in touch after meeting me at an event I may be at, or seeing me at open studios. It’s surprising how many people have fav pieces of crockery they’ve always intended to make into a mosaic, but they never get time. I’m here to help them learn the skill and the rest is up to them.

My calendar and current workshop dates are below.

 

 Find out more abut Kate Baker Mosaic muse by popping in to Made in Ashford or on to her facebook page here.

Polly had a Dolly – Meet the Maker

Me working in my workshop making Waldorf dolls

What made you start Polly had a Dolly and how long have you been making dolls?

I have made dolls as long as I can remember – starting off making doll clothes as a natural progression from childhood doll play – and moving into creating rag dolls from kits with my mum.
Once my eldest daughter arrived I wanted to make her a special doll, one sewn with love especially for her. I then wanted to make another for my second daughter and thus I had reignited my passion for dollmaking. 

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An opportunity came up in our village, Staplehurst, a pop-up shop for a few weeks and I was invited to be part of it. I was a dressmaker at the time and it gave me the push I needed to start making my dolls professionally – which meant CE marking them. Thankfully, with help from CE groups, testing houses and Blazing Needles,

 

 I worked through the process relatively easily and could offer them for sale! 

 

What do you think the benefits are of children playing with dolls?
Dolls are different to teddies, cuddlies and blankets. Our need for doll play in our development goes back thousands of years and is linked to natural childhood development. Steiner education has taught me a lot about how important it is for children to have a special doll.
How every child engages with their doll is different, some like to parent the doll – to take care of it and treat it as a baby, others need someone to take on adventures, others need someone who they can share their secrets with when all is quiet. Every child is different, and every doll should be too. Each one of my dolls is unique – and I can make dolls to order to look just like your little one.
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What materials make up one of your 

dolls?

As all my dolls are CE marked the components have to be tested in a lab to ensure they meet very high British Standards and comply with EU law.
I use a wide range of materials from Liberty fabrics, to super soft plush and specialist doll making fabrics. Every one of my dolls is filled with 100% British lambswool because:
  • Wool has natural antibacterial qualities
  • It has a weight to it making the doll feel substantial and lifelike
  • It absorbs your body heat which feels so reassuring and comforting
  • It is naturally fire retardent so it won’t be a danger to a child
  • Its eco-friendly – renewable and biodegradable
Come in store and give a doll a cuddle to feel the difference!

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You have lots of different designs, what are your favourite 3?
I am a prolific creator with a head full of ideas – and I don’t think I could choose my favourites as they are all my creations! However, based on feedback from parents, the children’s favourites are:
• My Penny dolls, I hear countless reports of them being sneaked into school in pockets, they are so small and baby like and their closed eyes are a calming influence.
• My Martha/ Matthew dolls are very popular with older children – these can be made in your child’s image with skintone, eye colour and hair colour to match – their own mini me. They are the perfect size for adventures.
• My cuddle dolls seem to be the most popular bedtime companion – their super soft plush fabric make them very tactile and comforting.


All these dolls are available in Made in Ashford.

What do you enjoy most about owning handmade business?


I enjoy the flexibility – I can be around for my children after school and attend Sports Day and Carol Concerts without having to check with anyone else first! I also love the collaboration with other artisans and makers and working together.

You are part of a lovely network of creators and makers in Staplehurst, can you tell us a bit more about your group?

 

We have a lovely support group

StudioShots - 14in my village called Staplehurst Makers. We set up initially as a spin off from a business networking group, we split into our own group as we recognised the specific needs of a handmade business, the isolation it can bring, and the tendency of creatives to suffer from anxiety or  depression. We met in each other homes, around 8 times a year and keep in touch via a private Facebook group. If you would be interested in joining us please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/staplehurstmakers/.


Who your top 3 small bushiness?
Alix at the Little Red Hen Jewellery has been enormous support and influence to me right from the start of my doll making business, she has always encouraged me to try new things and gives me honest feedback.
Becca at Blazing Needles inspires me daily through her dedication to her craft. Her needles really do blaze and she always knows what the next trend is going to be!
David Gall is a coffee roaster in our village – St Apple Hurst Coffee – he has such tireless energy and is always visiting farmer’s markets around Kent. His coffee is amazing and he bring along his machine to our Staplehurst Makers meetings, delicious!
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Where else do you sell?
I have my own website, which you can purchase my dolls through (www.pollyhadadolly.co.uk) and also sell online on Etsy and Handmade in Kent.
I am currently part of an amazing pop-up shop in Canterbury called Whitefriars Food and Craft. I also attend a select number of fairs around Kent (see my website to find out more).


What are the future plans for Polly had a Dolly?
I’m currently very excited about developing ideas to help us as parents engage with our children through doll play and going to get my girls to help me work on this during the summer holidays.
Once my children are a little older I want to branch out into teaching people how to make dolls, and selling my patterns and kits to make them.
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Meet the Maker – Katy and the Bear

katy and the bear logo

Come and meet the lovely Katy and the Bear in the next in our series of meet the maker blogs from Made in Ashford.

Firstly who is the Bear?

The Bear is my quirky, creative, chaotic, disorganised, foul-mouthed and ever-so-slightly grumpy partner in crime.
Where and when did you start your business?
My business started in 2010 in Dubai after I quit my full-time job as a graphic designer to travel the world. I wanted a portable and flexible online business and so the company was born.katy and the bear poster
Where do you work now?
I have a small home office in Great Great, I’m lucky enough to stare out the window at trees and fields all day.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Travelling the world – I moved abroad when I was 17, and have only just returned back to Ashford. I have always doodled in sketch books and collected photos on my adventures and I always look back through them

What is your favourite print?

Personally, I’m a fan of the cheeky ones. “Don’t let the Ba****ds get you down” always motivates me.
500x500Give us your 3 best Father’s day card quotes:
“Dad, You Rock” – simple and to the point works for my pappa bear.
“As far as fathers go, I could’ve done a lot worse” – even if your dad is annoying, there’s always Darth Vader out there
“Dad, you’re cooler than Batman” – is there a bigger compliment?
What new ideas do you have up your sleeve?
I’m going to launch a totally new product in the next month and I’m so excited! Watch this space y’all!
As one of the newest additions to made in ashford what do you think of the shop?
I absolutely love the shop – as an Ashford resident newbie, it’s given me access to new friends and an opportunity to get out and meet new people. What the shop is doing for local makers

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and artists is incredible.
Returning back to my home town after 17 years away has been a weird experience…I am eager to see how Ashford town centre grows in the next few years and realises the amazing potential that’s here. I’m actually supporting 

 

other small business and start-ups with my graphic design and photography services by offering low-cost branding packages to get them on their feet. I think it’s so important to support the small, local companies – I think it’s what gives a community it’s identity.
Where else can we get your prints, cards and postcards?
You can buy any of my art online at www.KatyandtheBear.com or in the Canterbury Makers store in Whitefriars, Canterbury. Oh and  I’m also on Facebook and Instagram.

Who can you find in Whitefriars Food and Craft market?

Whitefriars food and craft market pop up shop in Canterbury is back!

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We are so excited that this new mega Canterbury Makers shop has popped up again in Canterbury this time right next door to Next in Whitefriars and it features many of our wonderful Made in Ashford sellers. Today I went over to have a look and this is what I found…

Raindrops and rainbows

Lots of cheery bright here, crocheted into the cutest purses, clutch bags, cacti in vintage cups and even easy care (knitted) fish in jars!

Lucy Alice Designs

Sweet pendants, reclaimed wooden brooches and unique, colour pop cards from one of our original and founding members of Made in Ashford who has created yet again a stunning display.

Somnus and Seb

Bright hand needle felted pomanders, natural felt brooches and bold ever lasting flower stems. We love this seller and her bright products!

Made in Pixieland

Whimsical, vintage inspired products from made in Pixieland. Those pixies have created everything from wrapping paper to keyrings!

Ella Bee

Unique wire crochet jewellery by Ella Bee crafts. Elegant earrings, necklaces and bracelets created from silver wire with stones crocheted in and her new electroplated, supper durable, copper range!

There are just so many incredible businesses to see and more of the Made in Ashford clan are pictured below. In Whitefirais Food and Craft there is also loads of other amazing businesses for you to browse so get your self down there!

Bombalicious – Meet the maker

In our first series of Meet the Maker blog posts here at Made in Ashford we interviewed Donna from Bombalicous. This is what she had to say:bombalicious-made-in-ashford-e1495477754965.jpg

My business:

I make and sell natural and tested bath bombs and soaps. They are all vegan friendly and SLS free.

I started my business in February 2016 and I love being able to help those with sensitive skin and cater for the vegan market with Bombalicious.

Why I started it:

I was inspired to start Bombalicious when my daughter and niece were unable to have bath products in their baths due to skin conditions. I researched a lot into what ingredients I could use in order to provide those with sensitive skin a bath time treat. I only use the best  natural ingredients.

New products:

I have just started to look into a new pamper set containing a soap a bath bomb and a teddy shaped flannel.

bombalicious bath bombsWhat I like in my bath:

My favourite bath bomb i like to use in my bath is the apple and the strawberry ones!

I love the smells and I often put them together. I usually use one large bath bomb or 3 small ones in my bath!

Where I create my products:

I have a work shop that I create my products in, this is in the form of my Dads garage! It has power and all the space I need to create my master pieces! And the best part is I am not disturbed and I can make as much mess as I like!

Staplehurst makers:

I am part of a very talented group of people called the Staplehurst makers, we try and meet once a month to discuss things such as Etsy, Instagram and Facebook. We help each other a lot by sharing posts and helping advertise each others business.

We must have at least 30 businesses involved in Staplehurst makers and every business is different.

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Money Off Promotion

In Made in Ashford we have money off of selected businesses in store until the 28th February 2017.

There is lots of goodies to choose from and you could pick up a Mother’s Day present or a treat for your self at a bargain price!  It is always worth popping in our shop as we have a wide range of products and we are home to over 30 businesses now, which is expanding daily (and we are very nearly full. If you want to join us get your application here). All of our makers bring new products in regularly as the just cant stop creating new wonderful things so there will always be something new to look at.

Here are pictures of  some of the items that our in 10% off promotion: