With firm roots in her beloved Fleetwood, Helen Taylor has realised her dream.
The talented 34-year-old artist has turned an old dance centre building in the quaintest part of Fleetwood into a stunning craft hub - a brilliant expansion for her business Glazey Days which has thrived in the nine years it operated on The Esplanade.
“We had outgrown the premises,” said Helen, “there were so many things we wanted to improve on and fix, but we didn’t have the room to do it.”
After prodding and prompting from her family and friends, lots of talking, throwing ideas around and many trips through Fleetwood to find the perfect site, Helen set her eyes on the former Crescent Dance Centre next to the North Euston Hotel - a stone’s throw from the old place.
“It was in use and it wasn’t up for sale or anything. But after a bit of research, I found out who owned it and I knocked on their door and basically asked if I could buy it.
“They have been brilliant and trusted me to convert the premises whilst in the process of buying it.”
That was seven months ago. With a massive uphill struggle ahead, Helen’s vision for her business finally began to unfold.
She enlisted the help of her family to rip the building apart before leaning on an expert - Nick Clarkson from Integrated Joinery Company Ltd - to put it all back together.
The new-look Glazey Days Creative Cafe now employs 12 people and its main element is still the traditional pottery and ceramic studio which people have come to love. But there’s also a sensory area for babies, with underfloor heating, a purpose built party room, a cafe area and a room upstairs for craft classes.
“All the things we couldn’t do at the old premises - we can now cater for,” said Helen.
“The party room will cater for all age groups, not just for children who are at the age where they want to paint.
“We want to concentrate on first birthdays and we are looking at different ideas for boys’ birthday parties.”
Helen has made sure she has used her artistic flair to incorporate lots of different elements inside Glazey Days.
One of the walls is completely decked out with old doors and the main walls have been cladded in wood creating a soft natural appeal with industrial beams.
Helen, who lives in the port with husband Mark and their two-year-old daughter, Penny, has so many ideas to put her beautiful centre to good use.
They include artist day classes for adults, sessions to learn an art from the experts, such as jewellery making and wood craving. Sewing classes are on the cards, pyjama parties, ladies evenings and library storytimes.
Baby yoga and birthing classes are already taking place.
“I’m hoping to employ a nursery nurse as well who can look after babies and toddlers in the sensory room while mums can catch up and have a coffee,” she added.