Craft Shop Pops Up in Strabane

Local artists collective launches new initiative selling a variety handmade products from the Alley Theatre

The North West's craft sector continues to expand with the launch of a new Craft Collective pop-up shop in Strabane's Alley Theatre, just in time for Christmas gift shopping.

The enterprise offers unique, handmade products from artists local to the area, whose skills include textile sculpting, woodturning and photography. Jewellers, painters and fused glass artist also feature amongst the Collective.

Praising the initiative, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion said: 'Supporting the local craft sector can not only boost the local economy, but also help preserve traditional skills and, inspire the next generation of crafters

'Everything on sale is unique and handmade - ideal for Christmas gifts or just for that special occasion like a birthday or anniversary - and some of the items can be personalised, which makes them even more special.'

Strabane Craft Collective was originally funded by the Northern Ireland Executive’s Delivering Social Change fund in 2014, and received vital assistance from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) for a Social Enterprise hub at the start of last year, located at Railway Road.

Encouraging the public to support the iniative this winter, Leona Gallen of Collective member Hollyhill Crafts, said: 'We really appreciated the support the people of Strabane gave us last year when we first began, so we are delighted to be returning this year and working with the Alley to launch our 2015 pop-up shop.'

Natasha Duddy, well-known for her fused glass jewellery and giftware – some of which was commissioned for Mayoral gifts this year – said she was also delighted to be involved in the Strabane pop-up, and hopes it will go from strength to strength.

'All the crafters are very excited to be launching this new venture and, we’re really looking forward to meeting customers at the Alley, especially in the run-up to Christmas,' she added.

The pop-ip shop is open at the Alley, Monday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm. As well as being able to purchase craft products, visitors will have the opportunity to speak to individual crafters and find out how to get involved in the Craft Collective.

For further details, contact the Strabane Craft Collective by email to strabanecc@yahoo.com or on Facebook.