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Craft Collective Pop-Up Shop opens at The Alley

02 November 2015

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion, has welcomed the launch of a new Craft Collective Pop-Up Shop at The Alley Theatre in Strabane as “great news” for the growing local craft sector – and just in time for Christmas gift shopping.

Speaking at the launch of the new Pop-Up, located within the Alley’s Visitor Information Centre, the Mayor encouraged the public to support the enterprise, by choosing unique, handmade local products for Christmas gifts and homeware.

Praising the initiative by the Strabane Craft Collective, the Mayor 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.”

Cllr. McCallion added: “All the artists are local with a range of skills including, traditional soap and candle maker, jewellers, fused glass artist, woodturning, textile sculpting, painting and photography.

“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.

Leona Gallen of Hollyhill Crafts, one of the Strabane Craft Collective members taking part in the initiative 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. There is a wide and varied range of unique gifts on offer, ideal for presents, so we would encourage everyone to shop local and buy handmade this Christmas.”

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-Up 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.

The crafters whose work is on sale are:- Paul McGonagle, PMG Woodturning; Claire Robertson, Sperrin Sparkles; Mary Crowley, Artist; Sandra Dean Handmade in Donegal; Gareth Wray Photography; Declan Hughes, Buachaill Punk; Natasha Duddy Glass Design; Fiona McDermott, textile art for home decor; and Leona Gallen, Hollyhill Crafts.

For further details, contact the Strabane Craft Collective by email to [email protected] or on facebook https://www.facebook.com/StrabaneCraftShop

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