VIDEO: Billingshurst gets creative in new co-operative shop

A small creative business which brings together hand-made craftwork by locals is hoping to make more aware of their Billingshurst-based shop.

Billinghurst Creatives, based in Jengers Mead, currently has 42 skilled West Sussex makers with products ranging from ceramics to textiles, soaps, cakes to order, hand-craft furniture cards and prints.

JPCT 150513 Billingshurst Creatives. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 150513 Billingshurst Creatives. Photo by Derek Martin

Billingshurst-based Jewellery designer Louise Scholefield, who showcases items from her business ‘The Silver Torch’, explained: “The shop really highlights the diverse creative talent in and around Billingshurst and gives talented people the opportunity to sell on the village high street which could otherwise be out of reach.

“It was set up by the Billingshurst Community Partnership as part of a project to inject a bit more life into the village,” she continued.

“It’s meant I’ve been able to get to know other people who have been trying to achieve the same thing and have got the support of the community.”

The shop opened just 9 months ago on September 15 after receiving funding from Horsham District Council and a Social Enterprise Grant from West Sussex County Council, and is run as a co-operative by all the artists and crafts people who annually rent shelf space.

To qualify for display space, you need to be local within West Sussex, hand-make all your products and meet trading-standard regulations but the business are very open and eager to showcase all arts and crafts.

Makers are also able to sell under their own brands meaning there’s always one of the artists behind the till when customers come in.

Louise continues: “I think the message is you don’t need to go online or to a big town because there are incredibly unique things here in the community so come and support your local makers and artists and enjoy a shopping experience that’s slightly different.”

To find out more, read the full feature on Billingshurst Creatives in July’s Horsham edition of ETC Magazine.