Two crafty Blackpool entrepreneurs have set up their own mini version of Manchester’s famous Affleck’s Palace emporium – and are hoping to bring a bit of indie individuality to the resort’s shopping experience.
Ruby Coupe, who trades under the name Dotty Delightful, and sewing expert Jacqueline Holden have teamed up with the Eclectic furniture shop to take their skills from craft fairs to the high street with their own premises in Church Street.
Ruby has organised and run the popular craft fairs at the Winter Gardens and other venues for many years and has been looking to get a place where customers could visit.
She said: “This is a great location just above Eclectic’s furniture which sells all sorts of furniture from different eras and styles, as well as items for the home, collectables and antiques, so it fits in really well.
“On the first floor we have vintage items, retro, unusual items, art, vinyl, furniture and homeware, plus the craft items and a huge space in the back room for holding workshops and after school clubs for mums and their children.
“Then there’s Jacqueline’s Handmade Heaven upstairs, its like a wonderful attic filled with handmade delights and fabulous haberdashery.
“She does pattern cutting and even decals for shop windows.
“People have described it as a mini Affleck’s Palace and if we could have an independent traders quarter in Blackpool a bit like that it would be great and bring a bit of new life to the high street.
“The workshops and crafting session are going really well. We do all sorts, scrapbooking, sewing, rag wreaths and bunting, and we have all the Christmas crafts in now too. It’s great fun and we serve drinks and cake too!”
Ruby started her craft fairs two years ago after she exhibited at a few and was left disappointed.
She said: “I went as a stall-holder and used to get really cross because they were never organised and advertised properly or you wold be next to someone selling junk.
“I thought I could do better so I started.
“They had some amazing fairs in London and I thought why not do one up here?
“When I started I did not know many other stall-holders but now I have more than 200 regulars.
“Our next one the Truly Christmas Bonanza, is at the Winter Gardens on November 30 to December 1 and we will be having 140 stalls selling everything from gifts to clothes, toys, accessories, cards and food.”