Newly expanded Chirpy in Chapel Allerton launches August craft programme
Local independent lifestyle store, Chirpy, which has been taken into the hearts of many local shoppers since its launch in December, is branching out having expanded its facilities to the 1st floor of the premises, to host craft workshops.
The store, which specialises in stocking unique, quirky items by Yorkshire independent designers or makers is a champion for original local talent, and is also a supporter of environmentally friendly, sustainable gifts and homewares. Owner Harriet opened the store at the end of last year, after realizing there were so many talented independent designers in Yorkshire and the rest of the UK, that weren’t being stocked in any stores or outlets in Leeds. Chirpy’s workshops are an extension of the shop, after requests from customers for tips on creating their own art and crafts.
Harriet said:“Chirpy is all about making local design accessible and we often have people popping in to browse the latest additions from a local designer, which I love. The fact that many of our suppliers are not stocked anywhere else makes me really proud, as we’re providing a launchpad for them to sell their work. We also often have groups of friends calling in together to browse the store and they spend ages chatting about their favourite things. This got me to thinking that Chirpy is a social place and I could do more for the local community.”
And so, upstairs of Chirpy was ‘born’. Converted from storage space into a social hub, it is now to be used for workshops, tea and coffee mornings and displaying local art.
Workshops taking place throughout summer until the end of August include:-
• Cushion Making, 21st, run by Kirkstall based Love Me Sew
• Jewellery Making, 24th, run by North Leeds based Gemma Smith, recently featured in Grazia
• Decoupage (the art of decorating an object using patterned paper & varnish effects), 31st, run by North Leeds based Miriam Laville.
• Pump Shoe Bag Making, 1st September, run by Kirkstall based Love Me Sew (as requested by local parents who wanted to make their children a cool shoe bag for the start of the new school term)
The workshops are open to any craft enthusiasts of all abilities, and all materials and equipment are provided.
Sam Lowe a local designer from Love Me Sew, said: “We have been doing a lot of work with Chirpy recently. We’re really thankful to them for giving us the opportunity to get our designs out there and for stocking them too. We’re really honoured to be able to teach at the workshops. It gives us a chance to share what we love doing with other people and encourage more people to create hand crafted pieces, for themselves or their home.”
Since opening, Chirpy has gone from strength to strength, having won a competition with the Guardian and O2 Priority Moments earlier this year, supporting young independent retailers. Chirpy is also set to sponsor the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival, ( Monday 26th August- Sunday 1st September), as well as featuring as a stop on its Arts Trail. The 7 day annual festival is run by volunteers and sponsored by local businesses, such as Chirpy, featuring a wide range of performers and artists including local story tellers, music performances. For the first time ever there will be an Arts Trail, which will showcase local artists and designers work with exhibitions in public venues around Chapel Allerton and Chirpy is on the map to be a featured stop off.
Harriet added “I’m really looking forward to being involved in the Arts Festival, especially being featured on the Arts Trail, which I think is a fantastic idea as it will give people the chance to discover what amazing talent there is in their local area.”
For more information on the workshops see http://www.chirpystore.co.uk/ or follow Chirpy on facebook.com/chirpystore, @chirpystore on twitter or pinterest.com/chirpystore.