Regulars through the Marlowe Arcade may have noticed that the area has gotten a bit more artsy.
The Canterbury Makers shop has been around for years…in one form or another. You may have noticed it where JD Sports now stands, or perhaps over by Fenwicks. It’s been a sort of long-term, pop-up shop, taking up residence in empty spaces around Canterbury before finding what may be a more permanent location in the Marlowe Arcade.
Canterbury Makers is a brick-and-mortar shop that hosts (at the time of this writing) about 65 local makers and artisans, who pay a small fee to display their wares for customers that they’d normally only reach at street markets or online.
From handmade soaps and oils to greeting cards, baby clothes, jewelry, children’s books, pottery, and more, the Canterbury Makers shop is a wonderland for gift purchases.
One of the makers (Esther, of Concept:Skin) says that the shop ‘works for customers, because it’s something different’ from the big-box stores on that side of the city. ‘Canterbury Makers meets us, the artists, where we are’, she says, ‘giving local artisans who can’t afford the huts at places like the Canterbury Christmas Market a place to show off our goods’.
The shop (the passion project of Carla Richardson) is manned by the makers, allowing for a collaborative and supportive community. And there’s one rule in the store: all goods must be made by the artists who display them.
If you’re looking for special, unique gifts that contribute to the local economy and the Kentish artisan community, you can find the Canterbury Makers shop at 16 Whitefriars Street. There will also be a Canterbury Makers hut at the Christmas Market that opens on Friday 12 November.